Edited to add my inquiry: Apparently some are taking umbrage that I posted the Signet response but not my own email inquiry. I will say that I had permission to post the Signet response but I don’t mind adding my inquiry:
Dear Mr. [name redacted at the request of the responder]:
I was writing to inquire whether Penguin had any response to the allegations of copying asserted against NAL author, Cassie Edwards. If so, is there one we can share with our readership? Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
The Response from Signet:
Date: January 9, 2008 11:12:46 AM CST
To: Jane Litte
Subject: RE: Regarding the Cassie Edwards situation
Dear Ms. Litte,
Please find attached – - -
Signet takes plagiarism seriously, and would act swiftly were there justification for such allegations against one of its authors. But in this case Ms. Edwards has done nothing wrong.
The copyright fair-use doctrine permits reasonable borrowing and paraphrasing of another author’s words, especially for the purpose of creating something new and original. Also, anyone may use facts, ideas and theories developed by another author, as well as any material in the public domain. Ms. Edwards’s researched historical novels are precisely the kinds of original, creative works that this copyright policy promotes.
Although it may be common in academic circles to meticulously footnote every source and provide citations or bibliographies, even though not required by copyright law, such a practice is virtually unheard of for a popular novel aimed at the consumer market.