I have not read these books and know nothing of the veracity of the infringement charges. I am surprised that anyone would try to pass off someones work as their own in this day and age. The internet allows such a wide-reaching ability to check up on this type of thing (and to discover it in the first place). Our words (whether or not we worry about individual book sales) can now instantly reach the world.
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Three Canadian Authors File C$6 Million Copyright Lawsuit
By Leigh Anne Willliams
Plagiarism allegations that have been swirling around Ling Zhang’s novel Gold Mountain Blueshave now become a C$6 million lawsuit for copyright infringement.
After reading advance copies of Zhang’s novel, by Nicky Harman, Canadian authors Wayson Choy, Paul Yee and Sky Lee asked Zhang’s Canadian publisher Penguin Group Canada to have an independent third-party compare the content of Gold Mountain Blues with several of their books. The novel was first published in China, and that’s where a blogger first noted similarities in plot lines. Penguin Canada addresses the allegations in a statement on its website, writing: “Although Penguin had no reason to believe these accusations, they have been examined in detail and proven false. Gold Mountain Blues does not infringe on any other work, and the accusations of “plagiarism” are baseless and unwarranted. Gold Mountain Blues shares only a few general plot similarities with the other works, and those similarities reflect common events and experiences in the Chinese immigrant community. A representative for Penguin Canada was not immediately available for further comment on the lawsuit. May Cheng, the lawyer representing the authors who have launched the lawsuit against Penguin Canada, Zhang and Harmon, says, launching the suit was the authors’ only option because Penguin Canada and Zhang did not respond directly to their first request. “They’ve given us no alternative….Really, the only way to get the report that we’re asking for is through the discovery process, and we’re not satisfied with it anyhow because they’ve never produced it and it was done by a person who’s got a serious conflict of interest.” Harman was hired by Penguin to read all of the books and report back on the similarities. Included in the statement of claim was a chart outlining some example of plot similarities: "In Sky Lee’s book Disappearing Moon Café: In grave danger, a young Chinese man is rescued and then cared for by a beautiful girl, Kelora, of rare Chinese/Native heritage.In Gold Mountain Blues: In grave danger, a young Chinese man is rescued and then cared for by a beautiful girl, Sundance, of rare Chinese/Native heritage.