Outed Student Author Shows Originals Remain Recognizable

“When the Harvard Crimson reported last week that sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan’s novel, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life, contains a number of passages that are ‘strikingly similar’ to two books by Meghan F. McCafferty, the alleged plagiarism drew national attention. On Friday, the New York Times reported that publisher Little, Brown would recall the offending book, which had apparently been part of an extraordinary $500,000 two-book deal and had been optioned by Dreamworks for a movie.

“Deliberate or not, the plagiarism was obvious. The more interesting issue, however, is what constitutes illicit copying within a specific genre. Even while apologizing, Kaavya maintained that she was writing about her own experiences. Can we still tell an “original” from a “copy,” assuming that we ever could?

“Actually, yes.”

Counterfeit Chic. Kaavyat Scriptor. April 30, 2006.

See also: Viswanathan-gate. April 30, 3006.

Motoko Rich and Dinita Smith. Publisher to Recall Harvard Student’s Novel. The New York Times. April 28, 2006.

Dinita Smith. Aggrieved Publisher Rejects Young Novelist’s Apology. The New York Times. April 26, 2006.

David Zhou. Sophomore’s New Book Contains Passages Strikingly Similar to 2001 Novel. The Harvard Crimson. April 23, 2006.

CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.

Written by sesomedia

05/02/2006 at 08:50

Posted in Uncategorized

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