• Christopher G. Moore

“How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life…and got sued for theft.”

The New York Times reports that the lawyers will be making recommendations about how to proceed with this copyright infringement case. This is what happens. You steal some text and before you know it, your main audience is in-house lawyers working for the publisher. The law firms they keep on retainer to advice the in-house lawyers are another layer yet to be fully reported. No one would ever read the book with a yellow marker and notepad in hand, except of course, an author looking for stuff to put in their own book. This is an expensive way to get publicity and to pump up sales.

This story will roll out a reality show like cast of characters; the legal equivalent of Pit Bulls, circling showing fangs and claws. Here’s the likely lineup: Random House’s lawyers, Little Brown’s lawyers, the author’s lawyers, the packagers’ lawyers, and, did I tell you the film rights were sold to the book? Hollywood producer have platoons of lawyers on retainer. It takes the crash of a commercial flight to bring in more lawyers than will be feeding off this case.

The New York Times said,

“…in a statement issued today, Steve Ross, Crown's publisher, said that, ‘based on the scope and character of the similarities, it is inconceivable that this was a display of youthful innocence or an unconscious or unintentional act.’

“He said that there were more than 40 passages in Ms. Viswanathan's book ‘that contain identical language and/or common scene or dialogue structure from Megan McCafferty's first two books.’"

Forty and counting.

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