With Nora Roberts' revelation of Cristiane Serruya's rampant plagiarism igniting a Twitter firestorm in the romance-genre publishing community, the #MeToo moment for plagiarized authors may have arrived.
This time the Bad Guy of the story isn't men taking sexual advantage of vulnerable women, it's self-published plagiarist authors taking advantage of vulnerable established authors.
How can established authors like Courtney Milan and Nora Roberts be "vulnerable"?
Because the power of plagiarists, like the power of sexual predators, lies largely in their ability to remain unnoticed, their crimes unremarked in their world. In one important way, the power of plagiarists is even greater than that of sexual predators: their victims won't even notice the crime unless someone else brings it to light.
Passionate fans are not just the first line of defense against genre-fiction plagiarism... they are nearly the only defense. Nora Roberts and others on this list have the resources to defend their copyright in court, and win a judgment or settlement that is actually paid. But for every Nora there are ten thousand decently-talented but unknown romance authors toiling nobly away, who can't afford the legal costs to pursue a plagiarist who is beyond the reach of their local small-claims court.
Fan-fueled firestorms like this are the only hope of justice for those midlist authors. Yay for the outrage of #CopyPasteCris! I deeply appreciate Courtney Milan for her catalytic role in this fight— now keep an eye out for your favorite midlist authors too!
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