Today I’m talking with Kristy, known on Twitter as CaffeinatedFae, and Claire Ryan. Kristy is a former bookseller, and Claire is a fantasy writer and programmer, and together, they’ve been taking on the full account of Cristiane Serruya’s alleged plagiarism, which you might have seen being discussed online as #CopyPasteCris.
Kristy and other readers, including Jeanna Skinner, have been maintaining lists of the passages from other romance titles discovered inside of Serruya’s books, and that list is mammoth – over 80 books now. Claire has created a programming solution to comparing books to look for similar passages.
We talk about what they’ve done in response, and what they’ve learned – and how the research and accounting of how many books were involved has affected them, a little bit, too.
It’s almost always a reader who spots the similarities, and in this case, the superpowered programming solution is kinda mind blowing. Claire is excellent at scaling, too, so she’s creating an online tool to try to stop this kind of plagiarism from happening again.
Cheers to both of them.
Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:
And! Claire’s plagiarism detection tool is online at Similar.works.
Here are the links we discussed in this episode:
- Courtney Milan’s blog post, “Cristiane Serruya is a Copyright Infringer, a Plagiarist and an Idiot.”
- Jeanna Skinner’s ongoing Twitter thread linking titles to retailers
- Claire Ryan’s blog post about her work, “Climbing Everest with CopyPasteCris.”
- Nora Roberts: “Plagiarism, Then and Now“
- Nora Roberts: “Update“
- Nora Roberts: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot“
And if you’d like to read some of the coverage of the Nora Roberts/Janet Dailey plagiarism lawsuit from 1997, brace yourselves:
- “There’s a reason romance novels all seem to read like.” Entertainment Weekly, August 1997. “Plagiarism in the Romance Publishing World.”
- “Heaving bosoms and throbbing loins are all very well, but if you really want to make a romance writer breathe heavily, try pinching her prose.” Washington Post, July 1997. “Stolen Kisses!”
And yes! Live Show Ahoy!
Wanna see us record a podcast LIVE?
If you’re attending BookLoversCon in New Orleans, you can!
Thursday May 16 at 3:30pm local time, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Amanda, Elyse and I will be recording a live show, and we hope you’ll join us if you can!
We’re going to play Cards Against Romance Tropes, there might be trivia, and we’ll definitely be silly about something. We’ll be in Imperial 5C – so come on down!
It’s free for attendees of the BookLovers Con, but we are asking folks to register so we know how many chairs we’ll need.
I hope we’ll see you there!
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Thanks for listening!
This Episode’s Music
Our music is provided each week by Sassy Outwater, whom you can find on Twitter @SassyOutwater.
This is from Caravan Palace, and the track is called “Beatophone.”