For my money, I would NOT bet on the veracity of the claim below.
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IF IT'S TRUE, which I suspect it isn't on account of the fact that I haven't been able to find anything from the purported source "Associated Press" and the initial article spelled plagiarism incorrectly.
Stephenie Meyer is being sued for idea infringement? I read about it here first. And they got the info from here. My friend sent me the info in a text message, and as I was reading my reaction went from, "yeah, whatever" to "oh wow, she has proof?"
Now, fortunately, I've been a good little reader on blogs in the past six months or so, and I know you can't copyright an idea in terms of fiction. I mean, please, can you imagine how many romance writers would be out of business? I wrote about a guy and a girl getting together and then having a fight and then making up and getting married first!!
So yeah, you can have an idea. (In my head, I already wrote that novel you're just about to publish.) But if you don't document it, you're SOL in the lawsuit department.
But this woman, Heidi Stanton, has copies of the story she wrote in college, combined with her lit professor who remembers her work as being exceptional for someone at that level. And still, I say ... eh, I doubt it will pass muster legally. Because unless Meyer had a copy of that same story and used it to reference her own world building, and then lifted passages close enough to verbatim to be copying this woman's style, then the suit won't have legs.
I shall profess here that I loved the TWILIGHT series, I gobbled them up, and I even read THE HOST. One of the reasons Meyer has been successful--whether you like her or not--is because she knows how to write angst like no other. Boy, does she know her angst.
And--whether you like it or not--Meyer has a distinctive voice. So unless Stanton was over her shoulder feeding the words into her ear during the writing of all 5 of Meyer's successfully published books, I don't think she'll get much money out of this.
I also think that it's a tad disingenuous to just come to this realization now. Yes, Stanton is a busy mother of 4, but if my ex-college roommate had published a book, I'd read it. No matter how small the press, no matter how busy I was.
If my ex-college roommate was making a mint with a series of books she'd published on vampires (something Stanton must have discussed with Meyer for the suit to have merit), and was the pride of her church (which is known for its close-knit, member-supportive policies), to the extent that you couldn't get away from knowledge of the books...you bet your ass I'd read that book! Besides, with four children, you know someone around her told her about the books.
So I'm not buying the whole, "I've been too busy to notice that my idea has made a billion dollars" argument. However, I totally buy that she wrote a story about vampires back in college. They may have even had the same characteristics as Meyer's vampires--cold, "vegetarian", baseball playing--but you can't copyright that.
Can you imagine how many authors would have to pay out for their vampires not being able to go out in daylight? or sipping but not killing? or being afraid of a cross? One doesn't get to hold on to the idea. One gets to defend the execution.
And if Meyer stole the idea, she will lower a notch in my estimation, but a small notch and her career will be fine. If she somehow (and I can't imagine) stole the execution, then I sincerely hope she gets what she deserves.
[I apologize for the blatant abuse of exclamation points in this post]
Currently reading: Caressed By Ice
Currently reading: Just The Sexiest Man Alive
Just about to start: B is for Burglar