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The Plagiarizing of Tammara Webber’s Easy by @JordinBWilliams

Edit x2: The book has been removed from sale on Amazon and BN.  Good job for reporting this everyone!

I love Easy by Tammara Webber and so do hundreds of thousands of other readers. Unfortunately, one Jordan Williams recognized this and thought, hmmm, I’ll just incorporate whole swaths of text from Webber’s famous and much beloved book.  Worse, Jordan William’s book is selling like mad. It’s 58 in the US Kindle store, as of this writing.

Obviously, I’m not going to point fingers without real evidence so here are the screencaps.

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And from Tammara Webber’s book Easy:

The hoodie joined the cap, and his t-shirt fell back into place. Picking up the sketchbook and pencil, he turned to me, and I noted that the ink on his forearms continued over his biceps and under the short sleeves of his shirt.

“Where do you want me?” More breathless than I’d intended, my question seemed a brazen proposition. Wow. Could I be any more obvious? Maybe I should just come out and ask him if he wanted to be my Kennedy-rebound, no strings attached.

My insides went liquid from his ghost of a smile—the one that was becoming more and more familiar. “On the bed?” he said, his voice gruff.

Oh, God. “Okay.” I moved to perch on the edge of the mattress as he swept the hoodie and the cap to the floor. My heart was pounding, waiting.

He peered at me, head angling to the side. “Um. You look really uneasy. We don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”

We don’t have to do what? I thought, wishing I could ask him if using me as a model was a pretense, and telling him that if so, it was a pretense he didn’t need to maintain. I looked him in the eye. “I want to.”

He stuck the pencil over his ear, looking unconvinced. “Mmm. What position would be the most comfortable for you?”

I couldn’t say aloud the answers that popped into my head at that question, but the flush that spread across my face like wildfire gave me away. He caught his lower lip in his teeth, and I was sure it was to contain a laugh. Most comfortable position? What about with my head stuck under a pillow?

He glanced around my room and went to sit on the floor, against the wall, facing the foot of my bed. Knees up, pad on his thighs, he was just as I imagined him in class the other day. Except he was in my room, not his own.

“Lie down on your stomach and rest your head on your arms, facing me.”

I did as he told me. “Like this?”

He nodded, eyeing me as if absorbing details or searching for flaws. Coming onto his knees, he moved close enough to fan his fingers through my hair and let it fall over my shoulder. “Perfect,” he murmured, scooting back to his position against the wall, a few feet away.

I stared at him as he sketched, his eyes moving back and forth from my face to the pad. At some point, his gaze began to move over the rest of me. As if his fingertips skimmed over my shoulders and down my back, my breath caught in my throat and I shut my eyes.

“Falling asleep?” His voice was soft. Near.

I opened my eyes to find him on his knees next to me, sitting back on his heels. My heart picked up the pace again at his nearness. “No.”

He’d left the pad and pencil on the floor behind him. “Are you… done?”

He shook his head slightly. “No. I’d like to do another, if you don’t mind.” At my nod, he said, “Turn onto your back.”

I rolled over slowly, afraid he’d be able to see my heart hammering through my thin sweater. He grabbed the pad and pencil from the floor and stood. Staring down, he let his eyes roam over me, and I felt vulnerable, but not in danger. I knew so little about him, but there was one thing I felt unequivocally: safe.

“I’m going to arrange you, if that’s okay?”

I swallowed. “Uh… sure.” My hands were clutched to my ribcage, my shoulders hunched almost to my ears. What, this isn’t how you want me positioned? I barely contained the nervous twitter that bubbled up at the thought.

His fingers encircled the wrist nearest him, and he brought my arm over my head, bent it as though it had been thrown back. Taking the opposite hand, he splayed my fingers over my abdomen, sat back, stared at me a moment, and then moved it, too, over my head, crossing my wrists, as though I was bound. I struggled to breathe normally. Impossible. “I’m going to move your leg,” he said, his eyes on mine, waiting for my nod. His hands on my knee, he angled it out, leaving it flush against the mattress.

He picked up the pad and turned the page. “Now tilt your face toward me a bit—chin down—that’s good. And shut your eyes.” I fought to remain relaxed, knowing that as long as I heard the scratch of his pencil across the page, he wasn’t going to touch me. I lay unmoving, eyes closed, listening to the rasp of lead on paper, broken by the soft brush of his finger, smearing a line or a shadow.

From the laptop on my desk, my inbox dinged, and my eyes flashed open. Without thinking, I rose to my elbows. Landon? But there was no way I could check.

Lucas was watching me closely. “Do you need to check that?”

Landon had ignored my email all afternoon, when in the past he’d answered so promptly that I was probably spoiled. But Lucas was sitting in my room. On my bed. I lay back, returned my arms to their prior position, and I shook my head. I didn’t close my eyes this time, and he didn’t ask me to.

He returned to sketching, concentrating on my hands a long while, and then my face. He stared into my eyes, back and forth between that intense examination and his drawing. When he stared at my mouth for long moments—drawing, staring, drawing, staring—I wanted to reach up, grab his t-shirt, and pull him down to me. My hands clenched involuntarily and his gaze flicked there and back.

Eyes blazing, he looked down at me. “Jacqueline?”

I blinked. “Yes?”

“The night we met—I’m not like that guy.” His jaw was rigid.

Edited to add. Yup, more plagiarism. This time from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 12.05.33 PM

From Beautiful Disaster:

The weight of the grief we both felt was crushing, and an irrepressible need came over me to save us both. I lifted my chin, but hesitated; what I was about to do would change everything. I reasoned that Travis didn’t see intimacy as anything but a way to pass the time, and I shut my eyes again and swallowed back my fears. I had to do something, knowing we would both lay awake, dreading every passing minute until morning.

My heart pounded as I touched his neck with my lips, and then tasted his flesh in a slow, tender kiss. He looked down with surprise, and then his eyes softened with the realization of what I wanted.

He leaned down, pressing his lips against mine with a delicate sweetness. The warmth from his lips traveled all the way to my toes, and I pulled him closer to me. Now that we had taken the first step, I had no intention of stopping there.

I parted my lips, letting Travis’ tongue find its way to mine. “I want you,” I said.

Suddenly, the kiss slowed, and he tried to pull away. Determined to finish what I had started, my mouth worked against his more anxiously. In reaction, Travis backed away until he was on his knees. I rose with him, keeping our mouths melded together.

He gripped each of my shoulders to hold me at bay. “Wait a sec,” he whispered with an amused smile, breathing hard. “You don’t have to do this, Pidge. This isn’t what tonight is about.”

He was holding back, but I could see it in his eyes that his self-control wouldn’t last long.

I leaned in again, and this time his arms gave way just enough for me to brush my lips against his. “Don’t make me beg,” I whispered against his mouth.

With those four words, his reservations vanished. He kissed me, hard and eager. My fingers ran down the length of his back and settled on the elastic of his boxers, nervously running along the gather of the fabric. His lips grew impatient, then, and I fell against the mattress when he crashed into me. His tongue found its way to mine once again, and when I gained the courage to slide my hand between his skin and the boxers, he groaned.

 

We are going to do a compare and contrast for the rest of the book but many plagiarists include multiple sources.  This book needs to be taken down. Here’s the Goodreads link | Amazon Link | Author’s contact page 

I did email the person who put the book up for publication but have not yet received a response.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

284 Comments

  1. wikkidsexycool
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 17:32:40

    @Jill Sorenson:

    Hi Jill,

    No, you were right. Another commenter (Sandy N)has stated that McGuire corrected the last name in another tweet, and stated it Bishop, not Baker. My apologies for the error.

    ReplyReply

  2. Lynne Connolly
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 17:34:14

    @Robin/Janet: I do agree with your point, that very little is original. And like you, I’m interested on where to draw the line. If there is a line.
    Jackie, maybe I should have said “legal plagiarism.” It’s in the public domain, and the person using it can’t be prosecuted in a court of law. Not that many of these cases get that far.
    There’s a case ongoing, in which the estate of Sherlock Holmes is claiming that since the last book is still in copyright, then Sherlock Holmes riffs and pastiches shouldn’t happen without their permission. The opposition is claiming that the characters of Holmes and Watson were established in the earlier, out of copyright books. It’s ongoing, but there are Holmes watchers waiting for that result.
    And Georgette Heyer – almost every trope and character in her books can be traced down to books being published today. She nearly went to court suing Barbara Cartland for plagiarizing one of her books. “These Old Shades,” she said, was copied by Cartland in “Knave of Hearts.” I’ve not read the Cartland, so I don’t know how close it is.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/aug/04/1
    One of the prosecutors in the failed Dan Brown case died this week. Michael Baigent. To me, the similarities between “Holy Blood and Holy Grail” to the “Da Vinci Code” are astonishingly close, but that case failed.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/mar/28/danbrown.books

    ReplyReply

  3. Jody W.
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:11:56

    The plagiarist may not make bank, but Amazon sure as hell will, unless everyone insists on a refund. Or will they do the right thing and give everyone their money back? Somehow I doubt it. It’s not to Amazon’s benefit to police plagiarism other than making KDP authors check the little box…until somebody sues AMZ successfully over it.

    ReplyReply

  4. Cristina A.
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:23:30

    such a disgrace!!!

    ReplyReply

  5. Daylafm
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:36:29

  6. credoroza
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:38:27

    I am truly saddened and stunned by these events.

    I am one of those bloggers who have had this “author” on my site as I do a lot of promotion for Indie writers. There are so many wonderful stories that I have come across that are Indie have always felt they deserved as much promotion and attention as the larger more known authors.

    This whole debacle just makes everyone side eye everyone now, especially the Indie’s. Let us hope the true Indie authors do not get a bad rap because of one person who obviously was looking to make a buck at the expense of readers and the authors he/she stole from.

    ReplyReply

  7. Lynn M
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:45:04

    @Daylafm I don’t have a Kobo nor a Kobo account, but could you at the very least leave a review that states that this book has been plagiarized? At least then maybe a potential purchaser will stand warned.

    ReplyReply

  8. BAD WOLF
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:50:13

    Wow, it’s like looking at Cassandra Clare’s fanfiction career all over again.

    ReplyReply

  9. Daylafm
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:51:45

    Done and done.

    Edit: Funny story, I went to link up the book with my review and it said that the content was deleted by the provider (this was the Kobo site), then when I went on the Chapters side of the website, the book is still there… I think there’s just a minor delay in it.

    ReplyReply

  10. Jane Davitt
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:54:38

    @Daylafm:

    Same for me. Left the review on the book page then was told the book didn’t exist. Looks as if it’s disappearing silently.

    ReplyReply

  11. Jessica
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 19:20:00

    The scary moment when you realize you are friends with both Liz Thomas and Emily Curran on Goodreads…

    Wonder how many other frauds are among us but haven’t gotten caught yet.

    ReplyReply

  12. Carolyn Jewel
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 19:27:47

    @Annabeth:
    Actually, I’m pretty sure Amazon DOES have functionality that does this, it’s just that they don’t do it when the book is uploaded.

    For example, I have twice received emails from Amazon that they found content “substantially similar” to some of the works I have for sale there. One of the URLs they sent went to a website where one of the works had been posted without my permission. The other went to my website, where I have the story available to read.

    In the other case, the email had to do with the fact that for four of my historical romances, Berkley has only North American rights. And that means I have the rights elsewhere, which, in turn, means I can upload my version of the book to Amazon and click only the territories where I have rights. And that, in turn, means that for each of those books, there are two versions of virtually identical content — and it’s not plagiarism or copyright infringement.

    I don’t mean to blabber on too much, but there are, as my situation illustrates, completely legal and above board reasons for content to be duplicated, as well as not-so-above board ones, as in the case of that story someone reposted.

    Of course, none of that answers the question of why Amazon doesn’t check (in some fashion) at the time of upload, since that would surely raise flags about cases like Jordin who, and cases where someone has wholesale stolen another author’s work and is re-selling it under some other name.

    On the other hand to my knowledge, no traditional publisher runs contracted MSS through such pre-publication checking for plagiarism either, so why, the thinking would go, should Amazon or anyone else?

    ReplyReply

  13. Review/Post of “Amazingly Broken” by Jordan B. Williams removed amidst allegations of plagiarism | Christine's Blog
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 19:32:20

    [...] B. Williams. The evidence I used to support my decision are as follows: Dr. Author’s Website http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/the-plagiarizing-of-tammara-webbers-easy-by-jordin-williams/ Little Bookworm Reviews http://littlebookwormreviews.blogspot.com/2013/06/why-i-am-outraged.html [...]

  14. Lindsay
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 19:34:59

    @Carolyn Jewel

    I have a feeling that Amazon will never check content. If they start checking for more than just formatting and typos, then they will open themselves up to liability if something slips by their review. Then the author who has been plagiarized will be able to go after the copycat and potentially Amazon for failing to catch them. Amazon will continue doing it they way they are doing it now, where they react after the fact and escape all responsibility, and let authors and the reading community police plagiarism.

    ReplyReply

  15. Meryl
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 19:47:27

    I did buy this book. It was very similar to Beautiful Disaster with a terrible ending. If this book is taken down do buyers get their $ back

    ReplyReply

  16. Stephanie Doyle
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 20:39:45

    @Robin/Janet:

    ” At some point, for example, a story built on Tyra and Tack from Motorcycle Man might absolutely become transformative, even if it began as fan fiction to the novel”

    Not until it’s public domain. Otherwise I’m sorry… it’s icky. I know, law and icky are sometimes hard things to marry. But in this case it’s the icky factor that I’m using to judge.

    ReplyReply

  17. Laura Hunsaker
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 21:36:47

    Is Liz Thomas/Emily Curran the one who plagiarized harlequins last year? I also remember someone with sports names, like manning and Peyton who did this last year. Wow, so this just gets more confusing as it develops.

    ReplyReply

  18. Yvette
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 22:00:26

    @Luann:

    Seriously? Did you really just say that?

    ReplyReply

  19. Carolyn Jewel
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 22:27:09

    @Lindsay: I would not be surprised if that’s the case.

    ReplyReply

  20. Shelly
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 22:33:10

    I bought this ebook and I returned it today for a refund as soon as I saw this post. I had no problem getting my money credited back to me. This situation is such a disgrace.

    ReplyReply

  21. Pamela DuMond
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 22:34:36

    Yowsa! Thanks for this post. Your comments were fascinating. I saw this book cover. Glad I didn’t buy it. I’ve had my work stolen by torrent sites, and I know that sinking feeling that comes from be pirated. Plagiarizing would be just as awful. Congrats on catching this!

    ReplyReply

  22. Sandy N
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 22:59:11

    @Meryl:
    You should be able to just do a return from your ebook account. But do it soon, I think (on Amazon at least) the time for a return is 7 days.

    ReplyReply

  23. Amir
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 23:50:06

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention Jane. I don’t know why the author thought she can get away with it.

    And it further saddens me that she’s making excuses for her actions by blaming it on someone else.

    ReplyReply

  24. azteclady
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 00:53:39

    @Lynne Connolly:

    maybe I should have said “legal plagiarism.” It’s in the public domain, and the person using it can’t be prosecuted in a court of law. Not that many of these cases get that far.

    I’m sorry, but no.

    Plagiarism is to copy, word by word. Not to quote, not to cite, to give no attribution. To copy. Whether or not it violates copyright–as would be the case with works that are in the public domain–it remains plagiarism.

    To violate copyright you don’t need to claim you wrote the text or created the images; to violate copyright you USE the text or images without the permission of the copyright holder. Even if you acknowledge the rights of the copyright holder, even if you link to the original work, you are still violating their copyright by using their work without permission.

    Those two are not the same.

    ReplyReply

  25. Laura @ Bookish Treasures
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 04:39:24

    I have a blogpost that covers all the drama that has so far occured. I also have several screenshots – http://bookishtreasures.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/the-strange-case-of-jordin-williams.html

    ReplyReply

  26. R.M. Prioleau | Author of The Necromancer's Apprentice » Blog Archive » A Wise Man Once Said, “Cheaters Never Prosper”
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 08:39:41

    [...] be fooled, and if they are, it’s not for long. In case you haven’t heard the latest internet buzz about one such author named Jordin Williams a.k.a. ghostwriter a.k.a. a [...]

  27. Spuneti NU CARTILOR PLAGIATE! | Whispers at Moonlight
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 09:55:06

    [...] Dovada #1 [...]

  28. Lada
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 10:19:39

    Can someone explain to me if ghostwriting fiction is popular? I get it for something like an “auto”biography but I don’t understand it in fiction. I know big name authors (Evanovich, Patterson, etc.) are now publishing books written by others under their banner which I’m not a fan of either. But I don’t understand hiring someone else to put words to your ideas. Either you are a writer or you aren’t.

    Also, I’m wondering if Jane or someone would be interested in creating a page on their blog (or even a separate site) which would keep track of these instances of plagiarism for perpetuity. One place where links to evidence of these situations could be kept and tracked so maybe people wouldn’t so easily forget these crimes. I think including separate but linked fanfic PTP information would be helpful to readers, too. Don’t know that it would be a deterrent but I would think an “author” list of shame or some such would be a good place to start.

    ReplyReply

  29. Stephanie Scott
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 11:13:37

    @Shawna:

    Crazy… I’m just catching up now. I can’t believe the author set up a blog tour and everything. Wow.

    ReplyReply

  30. Want to be an author? Use your own effin’ words! « Unraveled Soul ~Adriana Noir
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 12:42:52

    [...] I don’t even know where to start this time. My thoughts are all over the place. It seems some recently released book was, in large part, plagiarized. Not just from one best-seller, but two. Maybe even more. *blinks* Say whaaaa?  http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/the-plagiarizing-of-tammara-webbers-easy-by-jordin-williams/ [...]

  31. Melissa Williams Brown
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 12:46:42

    The book is still on sale on Amazon as of today.

    ReplyReply

  32. On Ghostwriting and Jordin Williams | Erotica by Cerys du Lys
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 13:05:37

    [...] and you can find a ton of posts if you want to search around. I think the most prominent is at the Dear Author site where I first heard about it. This might actually be the first place to release this info, [...]

  33. Desmond X. Torres
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 14:21:45

    @wikkidsexycool:

    Hi,
    The book has been written and will be out very soon! I’ve been working on it since February 2013. I noticed some funny things happening with some book sales by new authors and the idea hit me!

    My book is called ‘Sock Puppet’. It’s a romantic comedy, hitting on the problems of plagiarism and publishing. And I swear on a stack of Bibles, I wrote every word of it myself! It will be available in July.
    Desmond X Torres

    ReplyReply

  34. Lucretia
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 14:27:09

    We were asked if we’d host a guest blog post. When I went to look at it all there was were links, a cover, and an excerpt. I wrote back that a guest blog post is when an author writes an “article” type of writing and that our site prefers them BDSM/kink themed. Never got a response back. I figured she didn’t want to write anything for us, just get her info on our site. Now I know. Thanks!

    ReplyReply

  35. This isn't about me, except in how it's about all of us | Zoe York
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 14:50:18

    [...] were scammed into supporting a “new author”. Yesterday, the deception was revealed by DearAuthor.com, and the reading/writing community banded together to figure out just how deep this went. Today, a [...]

  36. Apparently, Yes…Anyone Can Self-Publish | Good E-Reader - eBooks, Publishing and Comic News
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 14:54:21

    [...] entire passages stolen from Easy by Tammara Webber and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. The widely popular blog Dear Author has actual screen shots of the passages, highlighting the portions that were copied verbatim and [...]

  37. LauraDeLuna
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 15:36:51

    @azteclady:

    plagiarism is taking the *ideas* (this includes characters and storyline). any intellectual property of an original author that is “used” by another author is technically plagiarism.

    ReplyReply

  38. Anne
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 16:21:07

    Plagiarism actually covers not just copying tracts of the original book, but also characters and the storyline.

    Public domain: When something is in the public domain, it covers in copyright law, the right of anyone to use literature, music or other previously copyrighted materials, after the copyright period has expired. Although the copyright laws have changed several times, a rule of thumb would be that the last possible date for copyright protection would be 50 years after the death of the author. Thus, the works of William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Jack London, and other classic writers are in the public domain and may be published by anyone without payment of a royalty.

    Mythical figures from antiquity can be used as characters, for example my book is a crime/mystery/fantasy novel surrounding the Sumerian myths of the Annunaki, who were thought to be a group of angels also called Watchers, two hundred of them fell from grace after teaching mankind certain things that were not allowed, they also mated with human women and produced hybrids called Nephilim. Their leader was called Semjaza and one of the characters in my book is Semjaza. Because all of this is firstly mythical and secondly meant to have happened in antediluvian times, the characters, their names and events are in the public domain and not within any copyright.

    ReplyReply

  39. Isobel Carr
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 16:41:05

    @Lada:

    Can someone explain to me if ghostwriting fiction is popular?

    No. Outside of things like celebrity novels (which are almost always ghostwritten) and series where the “author” is a pseudonym created and owned by the publishing house (such as Carolyn Keene or Dana Fuller Ross) ghostwriters are not something I’ve ever heard of. Even in situations like what James Patterson is doing, the “co-author” is listed and is not in any sense of the word a “ghostwriter”.

    ReplyReply

  40. LauraDeLuna
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 17:03:55

    @Anne:

    unless is it s a part of their estate that has been inherited. some things never go out of copyright because someone has always owned it.

    ReplyReply

  41. Bitchie
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 17:18:16

    @Isobel Carr:

    Well, the VC Andrews books have been ghostwritten for years, since she died over 20 years ago. Neiderman’s name still doesn’t appear anywhere on those books.

    ReplyReply

  42. Daylafm
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 17:23:31

    L.J. Smith lost all rights to her books under that name because of the publisher. So, any new Vampire Diaries, Secret Circle, etc books under that name are ghostwritten.

    ReplyReply

  43. Isobel Carr
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 17:28:20

    @Daylafm: @Bitchie: I would call those both classic examples of what I was talking about, and also unusual in the greater scheme of publishing. The VAST majority of “authors” are the writers behind the words within the cover of the book that bears their name. I do believe that the ghostwriter thing might be more common in middle grade and YA though, where many of the examples I hear about come from. I think this might be to do with how those publishers function (a lot of work for hire).

    ReplyReply

  44. AlexaB
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 19:48:17

    @LauraDeLuna:

    No, copyright has a finite term. Currently in the United States, for works that qualify for protection created after Jan. 1, 1978, copyright protection is the life of the author plus 70 years. And the US copyright term is longer than most countries. Many countries set the limit at life of the author plus 50 years.

    For works made for hire and anonymous and pseudonymous works in the US, the duration of copyright is 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

    The only copyright in perpetuity of which I am aware is Peter Pan. J.M. Barrie willed his Peter Pan copyrights to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. When the copyrights ran out, the British Parliament created a special exemption for the hospital and they retain the rights to public performances of Peter Pan in the UK. However, the other rights are now in public domain. Hence the recent explosion of Tinker Bell merchandise – Disney no longer has to share monies and/or get permission to use her in new settings.

    Also, copyright does not protect ideas. While plagiarism can be defined as taking someone else’s ideas and passing them off as your own, plagiarism in and of itself is not illegal. Academia and journalism tend to have strict penalties for students/researchers/employees caught plagiarizing, and most people think it is highly unethical, but there are no laws covering it.

    That’s what happened in the Dan Brown case: while he was certainly aware of the earlier book, and even used the authors’ names to create a character name in The DaVinci Code, the courts found that Brown did not violate copyright because at best the books shared the same idea: Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene married and had a child, whose descendants are guarded by a secret cabal. An idea that Garth Ennis also used in his comic book series Preacher, years before The DaVinci Code. And ideas can’t be infringed.

    So to go back to @Lynne Connolly’s question about ideas/ tropes: in my mind, tropes are fair game. It’s the execution that matters, not the originality of the basic plot. After all, what’s the old saying: there are only seven basic plots in the world, and Shakespeare used them all at least twice? And then there’s the idea that you if give ten authors the same plot, you will end up with ten very different stories. I look for originality in the expression of the idea, but the basic plot being as old as time and used by dozens of other authors beforehand doesn’t bother me.

    @Daylafam: L.J. Smith had a work for hire contract from Alloy Entertainment; she never owned the rights. But yeah, Alloy continued to use her name, although they were careful to say “Created by L.J. Smith” on the covers of the books that were ghostwritten.

    ReplyReply

  45. Lynne Connolly
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 20:09:24

    Beautifully explained, Alexa, thank you! In the UK also, it’s author’s life plus seventy years. Recently, I wrote a Clandestine Classic. We took the work of famous authors, and added to them. The rules were that we were not to change the words in any way, just add our own. I did it because it was a fascinating exercise. Some of the books I wanted to do were nixed because they’re still in copyright – “The Big Sleep,” and “The Maltese Falcon” for instance. I ended up doing “Tom Jones,” which was a great choice, as it turned out. Except that it’s 800 pages long, and we had to split it into 4 parts!

    ReplyReply

  46. Laurie Carlson
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 20:38:22

    What a shame a fellow author would feel the need to steal someone else’s work, and HIDE IT inside the book HOPING no one would catch it!
    KOODLES to the person who found it! YEAH! KOODLES for pointing it out, too!
    I’m glad I came across this article, and I think I found it tweeted? Can’t be certain as it was LATE last night! I had woken up with NO hopes of falling back to sleep! LOL!
    Now I know if this author writes again, I will NOT support this author.
    Doesn’t this guy know that NO ONE will support him? Doesn’t he know he CRUCIFIED his future abilities to write? WHERE were his brains?
    I HOPE he learned his lesson! Thanks for sharing!
    Laurie

    ReplyReply

  47. michelle A - Novels On The Run
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 21:52:26

    This morning I was feeling saddened by Jordin being attacked. I had not seen this posting yet. I have read the book as my blog was promoting the book. I had written my review but not posted it to the blog. In my review I stated that a scene from Easy as in a whole scene appeared very very close to what was in AB = Amazingly Broken. I noted all the similarities to BD = Beautiful Disaster. I HAD been willingly to let it slide that character characteristics were similar etc..etc… between AB and BD but now that I have read you posting. I am very saddened to see that in fact there are many many many with what appears to be almost a copy and paste action in the story line. I am saddened as I don’t like seeing humans who are not perfect make mistakes and get lynched for it. When I see other authors of note being called up on there similar behavior. But this is quite damning evidence that saddens me. I had spoken to the author be it girl or guy several times and they were sweet and excited about their book and release date and the reviews coming in. After seeing this I can’t help revaluate how I feel about the author. I LOVE supporting Indie Authors but I feel quite duped . I understand even the author image was not the author. I have removed my Book Promo I had up for this book. I am lucky I didn’t release my draft of the review. I want to help authors, promote them , but I don’t want to be promoting somebody who isn’t on the up and up. I spend a lot of time with authors and emails and reading and reviewing etc etc, but to have this happen. I feel very saddened. There are mistakes in life as nobody is perfect and then there is doing this which is quite contrived , thought out. I mean who goes to this much trouble to take these lines from other books? Really deeply saddens me. I believed in Jordin as a person and author. :(

    Mich

    ReplyReply

  48. Desmond X. Torres
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 23:05:23

    @michelle A – Novels On The Run:

    “There are mistakes in life as nobody is perfect and then there is doing this which is quite contrived , thought out. I mean who goes to this much trouble to take these lines from other books? Really deeply saddens me. I believed in Jordin as a person and author. :( ”

    Frankly, this is the heart of the matter, right there. I mean, think about it, many readers got scammed for five bucks or something like that- the book was down before I could see what the cost was. Personally, I’ve been clipped for more than five bucks on stupid things lots of times. Nobody’s going to go to the poor house because of it.

    It’s the betrayal of trust. The book bloggers that fell in love with the book, and promoted the heck out of it because they BELIEVED in the book, and the author. That’s the shame of it all.

    I doubt that Jordin whazitsname is the first writer to pull this trick. And I truly doubt he/she feels badly about it. But the fact is, that Jordin Whoever should be ashamed of him/her self.

    ReplyReply

  49. Newest Plagiarism Example Reveals How Amazingly Broken It Is | Falls Into Writing
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 23:06:51

    [...] the site Dear Author, they broke how Amazingly Broken lifted entire passages out of Webber’s book Easy and out of [...]

  50. michelle A - Novels On The Run
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 23:23:54

    It is a shame for this to have happened, as a blogger I want to help authors , everyday. It isn’t a good feeling to know this has happened.

    Mich

    ReplyReply

  51. michelle A - Novels On The Run
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 23:30:45

    @Desmond X. Torres:

    Hi Desmond, I now understand what you are saying. I misinterpreted your comment before. It is sad and it is not good what has happened.

    Have a great day!

    Michelle

    ReplyReply

  52. Quick Linkdump for my Dad’s Birthday | Cora Buhlert
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 23:55:17

    [...] Dear Author reports about a plagiarism scandal in the romance community. Turns out one Jordin Willia… for her own attempt, Amazingly Broken. The book seems to be gone from Amazon, but Dear Author is planning to do a full side by side comparison. Galleycat also reports on the case and offers some Twitter screenshots according to which Ms. Williams claims that the ghostwriter she hired was at fault. And since Ms. Williams is self-published, this will make all indie authors appear in a bad light, sigh. [...]

  53. The Plagiarizing of Tammara Webber's Easy by @J...
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 01:08:17

    [...] Why do authors think no one will ever catch this? Most of us read hundreds of books a year and the better books stick with us. There are books I read years ago that I can still quote entire passages from.  [...]

  54. A new NA Plagarism case
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 01:57:59

    [...] Dear Author broke a story about an author called Jordin Williams, who had put up a book called Amazingly Broken that turned out to have plagarised parts of Easy by Tamara Webber. Jordin Williams claimed it was ghost written, but then Kindleboards found a link that made it appear the text was actually borrowed from a fanfiction: Amazingly Damaged. And then things really started to unravel into cross promotions, suspected fake IDs and more. There’s a full breakdown here, with a diagram that has to be seen to be believed. [...]

  55. The Turndog Tales: 23/06/2013 – 28/06/2013
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 06:41:55

    [...] This makes me rather sick, not only for the fact that this ‘writer’ has plagiarized several other’s works, but because they’ve made thousands of dollars doing so. [...]

  56. Linkspam, 6/28/13 Edition — Radish Reviews
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 07:31:00

    [...] The Plagiarizing of Tammara Webber’s Easy by @JordinBWilliams Plagiarizers: You will always get caught, eventually. Always. Teresa Mummert has more. [...]

  57. This Whole Plagiarism Thing
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 11:23:31

    [...] First off, I want to add my voice to those of other readers who are frustrated and angered by this newest plagiarism issue (if you somehow missed it yesterday, Dear Author broke the story HERE.) [...]

  58. Celebrating real authors | three am
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 11:32:24

    [...] let alone twitter, but I happened to pop on in a rare moment and discover the joys of yet another plagiarist author. Now it didn’t affect me personally so I watched with bemusement mostly. I felt bad though [...]

  59. Publishing News of the Week | Foreword Literary
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:31:26

    [...] Dear Author catches author plagiarist, but it seems there is more to the story. [...]

  60. Writer Who Plagiarized Bestselling Authors Linked To Suspicious Accounts - GalleyCat
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 13:17:53

    [...] at Dear Author, Jane Litte exposed a romance writer plagiarizing Tammara Webber and Jamie McGuire, generating a flurry of Twitter exchanges. You can read all [...]

  61. Book Wookie
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 14:06:16

    Wow, unbelievable! How could someone think that they could possibly get away with that? It’s blatantly obvious. Despicable.

    ReplyReply

  62. The Weirdest Plagiarism Scandal Yet | The Romance Reader
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 14:24:21

    [...] through my go to sites, I was appalled to find yet another instance of plagiarism, documented on Dear Author.  These types of scandals are like candy for me; the first time I visited the Smart Bitches was [...]

  63. Around The Bookish World: Week-In-Review | Book Lovers Inc.
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 15:12:15

    [...] Dear Author broke the news that authors Jamie McGuire’s BEAUTIFUL DISASTER and Tammara Webber&… Now this is where the tale gets really strange and twisty when it was later found out that Williams also had a slew of aliases with other books which were then removed and their profiles removed when the news broke. But it gets even stranger when the book was later found out to be  Twilight fanfiction which had plagiarised passages from McGuire and Webber’s books and it was due to the plagiarism that this author was caught and the long twisted tale led to the other aliases being found out which had similar profile pics and author bios. For the infograph linking the whole sordid saga- click here. But I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg because it is very easy to scrape free fiction or fanfiction and slap on a cover and get some savvy marketing to make a quick buck. I know it has made me wary about debut authors selfpublishing especially in New Adult and that is a huge disservice to those genuine writers. Because breaking out is extremely hard to do and with dubious scammers using spammy marketing and stolen stories is just going to make things harder for readers and authors alike. [...]

  64. Writer’s Beware: Plagiarism is afoot! | The Book Affair
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 18:16:24

    [...] to http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/the-plagiarizing-of-tammara-webbers-easy-by-jordin-williams/?fb_s… Jordin Williams author of Amazingly Broken has plagiarized her book from authors Tammara Webber [...]

  65. My thoughts on Book-Theft-Gate | Ella Fox
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 18:36:58

    [...] you don’t know what’s going on, check out  Dear Author  and Teresa Mummert’s [...]

  66. Bücher über alles » [Buchsplitter] KW 26/2013
    Jun 29, 2013 @ 06:14:58

    [...] gibt schon wieder einen neuen Plagiatsfall. Betroffen diesmal: »Beautiful Disaster« von Jamie McGuire und »Easy« von Tammara [...]

  67. Peg C.
    Jun 29, 2013 @ 17:32:47

    Tammara Webber is one of my favorite authors and “Easy” is an outstanding book – one I’ve read 3 times since downloading just a few months ago. Plagiarists should know they CANNOT get away with this now that authors and readers are all over online and sharing info instantly. I’m very glad this person has been exposed and it looks like she’s gone into hiding. She shouldn’t be able to make one dollar off her plagiarism. (I have not read the other book she stole from.)

    ReplyReply

  68. Rants and Raves – Of Plagiarism… | Jessy's Book Club
    Jun 30, 2013 @ 06:22:54

    [...] June 26, Dear Author posts “The Plagiarizing of Tammara Webber’s Easy by @JordinBWilliams“. Turns out Jordin Williams, published a book called  Amazingly Broken which apparently did [...]

  69. Buzz Worthy News: 1st July 2013 | Cuddlebuggery Book Blog
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 09:47:18

    [...] Tamara Webber and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire to create Amazingly Broken.  Jane Litte from Dear Author first wrote about the [...]

  70. Easy by Tammara Webber and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire Get Plagiarized | books, life, & wine
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 15:01:35

    [...] See comparison here: The Plagiarizing of Tammara Webber’s Easy by @JordinBWilliams [...]

  71. Recap: June 2013 | Before Midnight
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 19:03:25

    [...] sections of both Easy by Tammara Webber and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. Dear Author has a pretty good write-up about it, and a few others have been kind enough to also do write-ups since then. You can also find a [...]

  72. Sheena-kay Graham
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 22:07:24

    I find this absolutely disgusting. Using another authors work to get famous.

    ReplyReply

  73. Diana Peterfreund Blog | An Epidemic of Plagiarism in the Indie World
    Jul 29, 2013 @ 08:25:34

    [...] few weeks ago, Dear Author uncovered an instance where an indie debut writer named Jordin Williams was plagiarising the work [...]

  74. The New Face of Book Pirates: Plagiarists | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 07:30:59

    [...] month ago, Jordin Williams was outed as a plagiarist for her debut novel. Except there was no Jordin Williams. Or Liz Thomas. Or Emily Curran. Or Beth [...]

  75. Apparently, Yes…Anyone Can Self-Publish | Good E-Reader - eBooks, Publishing and Comic News
    Aug 03, 2013 @ 16:53:06

    [...] entire passages stolen from Easy by Tammara Webber and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. The widely popular blog Dear Author has actual screen shots of the passages, highlighting the portions that were copied verbatim and [...]

  76. How reading habits shape the publishing landscape and what authors and publishers can do to change it
    Aug 06, 2013 @ 07:41:10

    [...] actual copies of Beautiful Disaster and another popular New Adult, Easy by Tammara Webber, that a plagiarized novel by an unknown author came perilously close to hitting the Kindle top 100 before it was removed by [...]

  77. Are you being plagiarized? | Cinthia Ritchie
    Aug 23, 2013 @ 05:32:33

    […] Peterfreund summarizes the NPR and Fast Company plagiarism controversy involving stolen erotica and then highlights a more recent case uncovered by the romance review blog Dear Author. […]

  78. Sandy James
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 15:19:27

    As a teacher, I try to impress upon my students over and over again what a crime–literally!–it is to plagiarize. To see an “author” making money from stealing someone else’s work makes me ill. How can she not know she would be exposed? There are simply too many people who can easily check if something sounds too familiar…

    It seems that my students’ usual attitude of “catch me if you can” is a lot more common than I believed. What a damn shame. So keep catching ‘em, Jane!! Show my students it’s not right to steal.

    ReplyReply

  79. What to do when you can’t write…(adult language advisory) | Blue night. Black iron. Golden rope.
    Sep 26, 2013 @ 11:11:25

    […] some idiot named Jordin Williams got caught blatantly stealing other writers’ […]

  80. By the Numbers: An Analysis of the Reviews Deleted in the Goodreads Policy Change | Soapboxing
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 22:43:22

    […] to do with the broadly defined issue of author behavior. These controversies range from books being pulled from publication for plagiarism, racist or homophobic statements made by the author, the author’s conviction on the charges […]

  81. Is Plagiarism an “Author Behavior”? | Soapboxing
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 17:24:52

    […] just like almost literally all the reviews on Goodreads for Amazingly Broken at this point, that Jordin Williams plagiarized from (at least) Tammara Webber’s Easy and Jamie MacGuire’s B… Given my test reviews, and others I’ve written in the past about plagiarized content (Q.R. […]

  82. Terri Doherty
    Jan 19, 2014 @ 01:13:55

    Hi
    Just wondering if you can help me. I have just written my first book and am in the editing process. I have only just realized that this thing happens and am now freaking out if I have any lines in my book that might have been used before in another book without my knowledge. If for example my lead says to his girlfriend “on your knees” or “get into position” is that plagiarism? I am confused because when I googled it, it says three to five words are plagiarism . So in that case how does every book use the words “I love you?” Do you know what I mean? Arggg I am going a little crazy worrying myself sick. Someone told me that if it is a verb sentence as in a describing three words eg “lie down baby” it is not plagiarism. Please if anyone reads this HELP. I have not copied anyone’s work but it would absolutely kill me if I get accused of this and I did it accidently. I have been working on my book for twelve months and now it is nearly finished I need to get this straight before I publish. Thanks guys xx

    ReplyReply

  83. Jerry
    Feb 26, 2014 @ 09:49:26

    Very good information. Lucky me I found your website by chance (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book marked it for later!

    ReplyReply

  84. Carrie Bostic
    Mar 22, 2014 @ 15:46:02

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Beautiful Disaster published before Easy? I’m assuming that you were talking about the book Amazingly Broken? According to Goodreads.com:

    Beautiful Disaster was published January 1, 2011.
    Easy was published November 6, 2012
    Amazingly Broken was published June 19, 2013.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11505797-beautiful-disaster
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16056408-easy
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17673542-amazingly-broken?from_search=true

    As much as I love both Easy and Beautiful Disaster (Easy is my favorite of the two), it stands to question did Tammara Webber actually plagiarize? I hope not. I am disappointed that either of them would…?? :-/

    ReplyReply

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