LiteratEye #27: The Plagiarist – A Literary Vampire?

Here’s the twenty seventh installment of LiteratEye, a series found only on The Art of the Prank Blog, by W.J. Elvin III, editor and publisher of FIONA: Mysteries & Curiosities of Literary Fraud & Folly and the LitFraud blog.

LiteratEye #27: The Plagiarist – A Literary Vampire?
By W.J. Elvin III
August 21, 2009

Twilight-PosterJordan Scott claims mega-best-selling author Stephenie Meyer stole some plot ideas for her teenage vampire romance series.

Based on particulars I’ve seen, Scott’s chances of chomping into Meyer’s colossal publishing and film cake are somewhere between slim and none.

There are similarities in the story in question, but coincidence of ideas and phrases is hardly unique in literature.

Generally speaking, plagiarism has more to do with intent than with specifics. Of course there are some blatant cases, as in the one to be discussed further along here, where material is lifted practically “as is.”

Seems like any author who hits it big – Dan Brown and A.J. Rowling come immediately to mind – attracts plagiarism charges and/or lawsuits.

And there are cases in the past – Alex Haley and Roots for instance — where charges have held up. Haley settled with Harry Courlander, author of “The African,” for $650,000.

Well, let’s move on to a case where the hijacking was indisputable. Words for the Taking: The Hunt for a Plagiarist by Neal Bowers details the relentless pursuit of a plagiarist who stole poems, changing them only slightly before sending them off to small literary magazines as his own. Continue reading “LiteratEye #27: The Plagiarist – A Literary Vampire?”