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How Opal Mehta got plagiarized...

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steph

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Thanks all for the link.

Well that was another interesting bit of info.

For the record, I haven't read anything on this thread that would be construed as 'accusations'.
What I am hearing is opinions and suppositions. That word has a harsh connotation.


#211 - April 27, 2006, 04:19 PM

steph

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 The following link from Yahoo states that the books are being pulled from the stores.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060427/ap_en_ot/young_author;_ylt=AkdUhp6A.0QW72XE1oOYZHxxFb8C;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--
#212 - April 27, 2006, 04:55 PM

dwrites

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Hmmm, the NY Times article was interesting but I'm still not convinced. Steph, I think Liz meant "accusations" in general, from the press, the public, outsiders, not from people on this board. I can't stay away from this thread. It's addicting.

Diana
#213 - April 27, 2006, 05:06 PM

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Has anyone else noticed the Little, Brown is now saying that the advance was less than the well-reported 500,000 and was split between Kaavya and Alloy? 
#214 - April 27, 2006, 05:10 PM

steph

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Yeah, still lots of unanswered questions - or answers to questions that i'm not sure i'm buying.

LOL! Just wanted to make clear that I don't think anyone here has 'accused' anyone of anything, but in re-reading the post I think you're right Diana.

Apologies to Jaded if I misunderstood ;D
#215 - April 27, 2006, 05:13 PM

steph

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Jen,

One of the links above - I believe the crimson article with 'the old hag' (sorry that's her blog can't remember her name) mentions that up to half of an advance can go to the packager. Now we hear that LB says the advance was for less than the reported amount. Take away the agent's cut and she isn't left with much.

In the link to the NY times story above - it says that the actual deal was signed between LB and Alloy - I found that interesting.
#216 - April 27, 2006, 05:20 PM

Melanie

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i don't know, it seems to me that the publishers and packagers would have more to gain by sticking with each other on this story than by supporting the writer.  they make each other lots of money, no?  they have established relationships where they have made lots of money together, and my hunch is that they would want to continue that relationship. 

what would a young writer who has fallen from grace have to offer either of them? 

i agree with diana -- it all reeks (and that this thread is addictive).
#217 - April 27, 2006, 05:57 PM

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To continue with what Melanie and others wrote, this is why I wonder why Alloy gets a share of the copyright for simply assistingin the preconceptual phase.

And this is just my two cents, but generally NYT errs on the conservative side when it comes to sources. Meaning, they won't print something unless they're 100% sure.
You might notice that when the KV item came out on Sunday, NYT didn't report on it until Tuesday, when people were actually making statements. So I find it interesting
today to see an article in NYT about KV and plagiarism and right next to it, one on Alloy with the headlines "First, Plot and Character. Then, Find an Author."
Hmm...doesn't sound like Alloy is so out of the picture just yet.
#218 - April 27, 2006, 07:01 PM

jadedmetaphor

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Don't  know if somebody mentioned this yet or not (I could have missed it) but there is a review from a 7th grader at Amazon who says there is nothing wrong with what she did. How sad.
Only time for quick post-

It's especially sad, considering Little, Brown isn't going to take any action against KV and even Megan McCafferty, herself, said she won't seek restitution (not that it sounded like she could get it, anyway). I respect her right to choose, but I hope adults will be able to explain to children like the 7th grader why what happened was wrong...

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=513121
#219 - April 27, 2006, 08:03 PM
« Last Edit: April 27, 2006, 08:06 PM by jadedmetaphor »

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a review from a 7th grader at Amazon who says there is nothing wrong with what she did.

 :faint:  

What next?
#220 - April 27, 2006, 08:04 PM
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Only time for quick post-

It's especially sad, considering Little, Brown isn't going to take any action against KV and even Megan McCafferty, herself, said she won't seek restitution (not that it sounded like she could get it, anyway). I respect her right to choose, but I hope adults will be able to explain to children like the 7th grader why what happened was wrong...

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=513121

Even if Little, Brown doesn't sue, Dreamworks still could.  At this point, if they decide against making a movie and have a standard originality clause in their contracts, they could cut their losses by getting the money back.  Somehow, though, I think they're more likely to just let the option expire if they decide not to make a movie.
#221 - April 27, 2006, 08:20 PM

Pickles

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There's another jr. high student in a much earlier review, but still post-scandal, who says the same thing and calls MM jealous and very old. Ha! And there are two other posts, which I supsect are written by the same person, which say we shouldn't feel sorry for MM because she's getting so much free publicity. Heavy sigh.
#222 - April 27, 2006, 08:24 PM

DerekJ

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Even if Little, Brown doesn't sue, Dreamworks still could.  At this point, if they decide against making a movie and have a standard originality clause in their contracts, they could cut their losses by getting the money back.  Somehow, though, I think they're more likely to just let the option expire if they decide not to make a movie.

"Originality clause"?....DREAMWORKS?? 

Face it, this is The House That Plagiarism Built, where it's treated like a code of honor--These two lonely people on the planet were made for each other...
If there was a "no-plagiarism clause" in any of Dreamworks' productions, none of their animated films would have ever been MADE.    :pp
#223 - April 27, 2006, 09:01 PM
« Last Edit: April 27, 2006, 09:05 PM by DerekJ »

ecb

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One of the links above - I believe the crimson article with 'the old hag' (sorry that's her blog can't remember her name) mentions that up to half of an advance can go to the packager. Now we hear that LB says the advance was for less than the reported amount. Take away the agent's cut and she isn't left with much.

Hmmm.... how much less, though?  For a 2 book deal, assuming William Morris got the standard 15% and Alloy got half of the remainder... that still leaves just about $100,000 for KV for OPAL.

So unless the real advance was SUBSTANTIALLY less than reported... say, $475,000 less... I'd say she still makes out pretty well.
#224 - April 27, 2006, 10:22 PM

Paulahy

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There's another jr. high student in a much earlier review, but still post-scandal, who says the same thing and calls MM jealous and very old. Ha! And there are two other posts, which I supsect are written by the same person, which say we shouldn't feel sorry for MM because she's getting so much free publicity. Heavy sigh.

And this is why LB and Alloy need to do a  very expensive joint education campaign on the evils of plagirism.  Say about $500K worth of PSA's and print ads directed at kids in age from 6-18. 

The opportunity to educate on why this is wrong is staring them right in the face!!!  Matter of fact, the whole industry may as well get in on it instead of expecting an entitiy like the Author's Guild or Assoc of Journalist to tackle it.  The people that publish the work should educate b/c their pockets are deeper and more capable of doing a wide spread and comprehensive campaign.

At this point, as addictive as reading about this is for me, - and I'm scooping up every new piece, but I'm highly disappointed that none of the companies have thought about this.  Where are the corporate PR people in all this?  Why aren't they advising them to do this?  I know I would in their position!!!


-P
#225 - April 28, 2006, 05:04 AM

lurban

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You all heard that LB is pulling the books, right?
#226 - April 28, 2006, 05:39 AM

Paulahy

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Yup, we heard.  There's a link somewhere on page 8 to the Yahoo story about the book being pulled.

Step 2 - education campaign on plagirsim.

Sorry, total broken record on this issue.  ;D

-P
#227 - April 28, 2006, 05:46 AM

steph

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Hmmm.... how much less, though?  For a 2 book deal, assuming William Morris got the standard 15% and Alloy got half of the remainder... that still leaves just about $100,000 for KV for OPAL.

So unless the real advance was SUBSTANTIALLY less than reported... say, $475,000 less... I'd say she still makes out pretty well.

Regardless of what money she is left with (considering it was a 2 book deal and I think it's doubtful # 2 will be written).

This is so not about money.  I think she would pay double what she received as an advance to restore her reputation.

So KV's  punishment, book removed, most likely no second book, problems at Harvard, can't begin to know the damage to reputation (time will tell), possibly having remaining money removed. 

This was an initial run of 100,000 books. I'm curious to know how many books were actually left to be removed. Based on that I'm not sure how much monetary damage was done to  the publisher.

What about Alloy/17th Street Productions - did they keep their share of the advance?


Forgot about the agent (you know the one that connected her with Alloy ) should she have to return her fee?
#228 - April 28, 2006, 06:28 AM
« Last Edit: August 12, 2006, 07:38 AM by steph »

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They do say though that KV is rewriting those passages in question. So it seems as if they will re-issue the book at some point.
#229 - April 28, 2006, 06:36 AM
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steph

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You're right, I read that in the original blurb about standing by the author blah, blah and that they would correct in the next run.

Yesterday eve when they announced they would pull the book (funny though late last night it seemed you could still get a copy at Amazon) I didn't read it as 'we will scrap first edition and get second edition to stores asap'.

But, I think you're right, like I said above who knows how many books were left to pull, could be a 'collector's item' in the future (I know sad but true) and the next edition will be MM free.

I think it will be interesting to see what's left in of the 40 or so disputed excerpts. I know there are clearly excerpts that were ripped from MM but there seems to be some disagreement on how much was MM's and how much is just how teens naturally talk.
#230 - April 28, 2006, 06:45 AM

Jaina

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"New Coke," anyone?
#231 - April 28, 2006, 06:59 AM

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Steph,

You said it could be a collector's item.  They're already selling them on eBay.

AM
#232 - April 28, 2006, 07:03 AM
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Athena529

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MM has made a (gracious) statement regarding the scandal (excerpt taken from NY Times article):


"Ms. McCafferty, who until now has remained silent, also issued a statement last night.

'In the case of Kaavya Viswanathan's plagiarizing of my novels 'Sloppy Firsts' and 'Second Helpings,'  she said, 'I wish to inform all of the parties involved that I am not seeking restitution in any form.

'The past few weeks have been very difficult, and I am most grateful to my readers for offering continual support, and for reminding me what Jessica Darling means to both them and to me. In my career, I am, first and foremost, a writer. So I look forward to getting back to work and moving on, and hope Ms. Viswanathan can, too.'

Ms. Viswanathan, reached last night, declined to comment."

#233 - April 28, 2006, 07:12 AM

almarrone

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 think it will be interesting to see what's left in of the 40 or so disputed excerpts. I know there are clearly excerpts that were ripped from MM but there seems to be some disagreement on how much was MM's and how much is just how teens naturally talk.

There were definately a few spots that I thought were plain old teen speak.
#234 - April 28, 2006, 07:13 AM

steph

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Really, are they just offering 'Opal'  on  E-bay or are they offering 'Sloppy' as well.

How many books do you suppose are left today to 'remove'.


That does sound like a gracious statement from MM.
#235 - April 28, 2006, 07:14 AM
« Last Edit: April 28, 2006, 07:17 AM by steph »

Pickles

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I saw Opal going on ebay for over $35 a couple of days ago. Sloppy firsts was also available. But so are a lot of books. I briefly searched for other relatively recent titles off the top of my head. You can find Storky on e-bay. So it's not unusual to find books on ebay, but it did seem odd people were willing to pay over double and this was a couple of days BEFORE the yank was announced. I'm guessing, people anticipated the yank.

-k.
#236 - April 28, 2006, 07:53 AM

Jennie_1551

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Sorry if these have been posted, but I found them very informative, and entertaining, too!

How Kaavya Got Packaged and Got Into Trouble: Plagiarism and the teen-marketing culture.
By Ann Hulbert
http://www.slate.com/id/2140683/

I Coulda Been a Pretender: How I didn't end up like that Harvard sophomore accused of plagiarizing her novel.
By John Barlow
http://www.slate.com/id/2140620/

J.
#237 - April 28, 2006, 07:55 AM

fuego80027

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I have been reading this thread now for a few days and I do have to wonder if KV does try and publish another book will she have an extremely hard time in doing so or will it be looked at with heavy scrutiny?
#238 - April 28, 2006, 08:27 AM

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PW is reporting that the movie deal has been scratched, and that it's unclear whether the book will be reissued...
#239 - April 28, 2006, 09:06 AM

NDM

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Thanks, Jen.  Anyone else read the Sara Nelson article in PW?  Great read on the role of marketing and packaging in the publishing world.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6329232.html?display=breaking
#240 - April 28, 2006, 10:03 AM

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