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  1. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Showdown at the Twitter Corral

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by word whisperer, Aug 21, 2013.

    So I'm thinking about confronting the author who plagiarized me on the Twitter (or Facebook) arena. If a lot of you fellow writers think this is a good idea, please let me know. In return for your input, I will disclose the name of the author just so you know I'm being straightforward with you and you can follow our discussion (if you want to).

    Here is the tricky part. I'm not allowed to outright accuse her of plagiarism. I thought about opening with this: Why do you think our two stories are so similar?

    Do you know what else I can write? Of course, she'll respond with, "I don't know what you're talking about." I might need your help with a response of my own.

    Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Do you know for sure the Twitter/Facebook accounts are the same person and not just the same name?
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm no lawyer, but this sounds like it could get you into some trouble. Could she sue you for harassment?
     
  4. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Gingercoffee, there is no doubt in my mind it's the same person. Her picture is included in her books. And only one writer has her name.
     
  5. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    I don't know what else to do, Minstrel. I tried sueing this person for four years. I'm squeamish about contacting the press because the writer could turn around and sue me. That would be fine if the law was on my side. It doesn't seem to be. Are you a parent? You know how you just know when your kid is lying to you? And all the facts prove that he did it? I know this writer got a hold of my manuscript and used every bit of it that she could. No two stories could have so many similarities by sheer coincidence. Half a dozen attorneys agree with me.
    I just can't let her get away with it, you know?
    P.S. Thanks for responding and for showing concern.
     
  6. Terok
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    Terok Member

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    There really is no doubt in your mind, to post it that many times.

    Ask her what book she gets her Ideas from.
     
  7. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Thanks for replying, Terok. I like your advice. I'll use it. Thank you. :)
     
  8. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Let me give you examples of the similarities between our two books.
    They follow a similar storyline.
    Characters who play similar roles also look similar.
    The climax scene takes place in the same unique setting.
    Sometimes the writer quoted me word-for-word.
    They even start on a Sunday and take place during the same month!
    There are so many more similarities. The list definitely convinced the attorneys!!
     
  9. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Thanks for replying, Cartographers. Yeah, I was actually glad she copied my words as well. The list definitely puts a nail in her coffin. She wasn't very careful about disguising where she got her ideas. Good for me! :)
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Can you absolutely prove your work came first? If not, you could be opening a serious can of worms. Also, can you prove she read your manuscript before publishing hers? Once again, I'm not a lawyer (or a parent, to answer your earlier question), but it seems to me that before you start a public campaign like the one you're proposing, you'd have to have all your ducks in a row. Your arsenal must be complete and primed and ready to fire and your fortress must be impregnable. (Apologies for the mixed metaphors - no coffee yet today!)

    The point is, if she can slap you down, she will. And it will be publicly embarrassing for you, not for her, if you haven't got an iron-clad answer for every point she can make. Especially if she gets her lawyers on it and sues you for harassment, defamation, or whatever.

    I'm just saying be careful - this could go badly for you if you aren't ultra-prepared for everything she can do to you.

    Best of luck.
     
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  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't do it. Whether you accuse directly or indirectly, your intent is to communicate that this person has stolen from you, and that will likely become clear. You are setting yourself up for a libel/slander (not sure if Twitter counts as publication or speech) suit.
     
  12. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Thanks for replying, Minstrel.
    Yes, I can prove my manuscript was submitted to the publisher five years before the other writer's book was published. I have the dated letters on the publisher's letterhead to prove it. The private investigator who was assigned to my case also discovered the link between the publisher and the writer. Because of this, I wouldn't mind if she sued me. I have proof my story took it's steps into the world before hers did. But I see your point about looking bad. I know her fans would stand by her.
    Thanks so much for your concern. I really appreciate it.
     
  13. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    I'll take your advice to heart, ChickenFreak. Do you have any suggestions of what I could do instead? I've tried living with what this writer did, but I'm finding it very difficult. She doesn't deserve the fame and fortune she's found when she robbed another writer to get it.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    regardless of what anyone on this or any other writing site suggests you do, ww, do NOT tweet anything about this, do NOT tweet anything to the person you're accusing of stealing your work... and do NOT mention that person's name or the title of the book anywhere on the internet... nothing you write online can remain private and if you do any of that, you will be putting yourself at serious risk of being sued for libel, just for starters... and that person plus all who have derived millions in profits from the works under that person's name have more than enough clout to bury you...
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Disclose the name without solid proof, and you open yourself up to a libel suit.

    She does not have to prove she is innocent. You have to prove your assertion is correct. In other words, the burden of proof is on YOUR shoulders.
     
  16. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Thanks for your advice, Mammamaia and Cogito. Can I ask what you would do in my shoes? And please don't say learn to live with it. I tried that. It didn't work. I want justice. I lost one of my best stories to this person. She shouldn't get away with it.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm working on it... see my emails... and it would be best to close down this thread, since it could only get you in trouble and can't do you any good...
     
  18. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    So, what exactly are you trying to get out of this? To be honest, I don't really see what this will achieve apart from making you feel righteous.

    If you think you've got proof you were plagiarised, take them to court. If you don't, that's probably where you should be concentrating your efforts.
     
  19. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Don't worry, mamamaia. I won't do anything stupid. I'm going to sit tight and see what we can work out. I'd still like to hear what other writers have to say. :)
     
  20. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Thanks for responding, NigeTheHat. I want some sort of justice. This writer stole one of my best stories. She shouldn't get away with that. I want people to know she's a fraud and a criminal and doesn't deserve the fame she's achieved from this book.
    I think I've found a way around the problem the attorneys I saw had with suing this writer. I'll let you know if it works.
     
  21. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Me, personally, I think there's a line that shouldn't be crossed. I think too many people are so afraid of what could come back and bite them that they don't bother to care for their own wounds. Too many people think it's better to live with it, to just deal, than to fight for themselves. If it was me I'd gather every single ounce of proof and I'd sue them. If that didn't work you can bet I'd be putting it everywhere. Let them sue me, at least it'll get me into a court with them. If I know I'm right and I can prove it, I'm not scared. And I'm well aware that's not the popular answer, and you need to do what YOU can live with.
     
  22. Lightman
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    Lightman Active Member

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    If OP lives in the US, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, not the defendant.
     
  23. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Exactly, Trish!! That's how I feel. If she wants to sue me, fine. I have the dated letters that prove my manuscript hit the publisher five years before her book came out. And I don't know anyone who works in publishing.
     
  24. word whisperer
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    word whisperer Senior Member

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    Hello, Lightman. My list of similarities is so strong that none of the attorneys I met with were worried about proving how this author got hold of my manuscript. But the PI did find the link anyway.
     
  25. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Question: If you're so confident of your evidence, why haven't you sued her already?
     

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