The current storm surrounding Cassie Edwards–the allegations of plagiarism against her–is showing no signs of a natural death. Instead, the winds of destruction have gained strength and they are heading straight for CE herself.
In case you’ve been out of the loop, or hiding under a rock, I first learned of this last week HERE, but the story broke HERE. They’ve also provided a PDF of similarites. Dear Author is covering the story as well.
There were some that may have had sympathy for CE at the get go, but I’d say that’s dwindling, if not disappeared. What was the woman thinking? And don’t give me that “she’s old” story. Old does not equate with stupid. Who of us doesn’t know what plagiarism is? I could ask my mother—who is older than CE and has never written a word in her life—what plagiarism is, and she could tell me. She could tell me it’s something unacceptable. She’d tell me never to fall into such an immoral, unethical trap.
When the story first hit, it seemed that CE was just “taking” from works that are now public domain. Out of copyright. And that she didn’t know that what she was doing was wrong. Uh huh. You can check out the AP story HERE, and get her response—and her husband’s.
As I said, the storm has gained strength. Now it’s been discovered she’s been “taking” from works that are still protected under copyright. Non-fiction and fiction.
The latest is that she’s taken from Pulitzer Prize winning Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge. And Hiawatha by Longfellow!
Both the RWA and Signet—CE’s publisher—initially pooh-poohed the issue and stated no wrongdoing. Signet has reassessed that statement and is now diligently checking all of CE’s work.
This just makes me sick. I’d originally thought to stay out of this, but the blatant wrongness of it overwhelms me. How can any writer claim not to know this is wrong? Here’s an excerpt from my contract for my little e-book.
Author warrants that s/he is the author and sole owner of the Work or has been assigned the rights delineated above; that it is original and contains no matter unlawful in its content, nor does it violate the rights of any third party; that the Work is not in the public domain. Author also warrants that these rights are owned or controlled by him/her without encumbrance and that Author has full power to grant the listed rights to Publisher.
I’m guessing a big house like Signet had CE sign something similar.
Oh yeah, the storm is fierce now. And it’s blowing CE right toward the fan along with you know what.