I may not have read any of the "Twilight" books, but I'm having a grand old time following the allegations of plagiarism lodged against Stephenie Meyer by one Jordan Scott. It isn't quite as hilarious as the "Metallica sues band for use of E, F chords" thing, but at least this story is true. To catch up you newcomers in the peanut gallery:
Stephenie Meyer is the author of the insanely popular "Twilight" book series, the last of which is called "Breaking Dawn." It's about modern-day vampires and werewolves, and Mormon love. Jordan Scott is the author of the virtually unknown book, "The Nocturne." It's about a young sorcerer and his lady-love in 15th century France. Both feature weddings, honeymoon getaways and life-threatening pregnancies. The verdict? Stephenie Meyer is a big, fat copycat!!!!! Riiiiiiiiight.
The punchline to all of this is that Scott has not yet even supplied Meyer's lawyers or "Twilight" publisher Hachette with a copy of "The Nocturne," which she apparently wrote when she was 15. Scott doesn't even want money out of this, simply an admission of the similarity between the two works. And an immediate cessation to the circulation of "Breaking Dawn." So yeah, nothing big.
Hachette has publicly denounced the lawsuit as "frivolous," claiming that Scott is looking to simply "ride the coattails" of Meyer's success. Sadly, Scott has already gotten what she wanted. Whether or not she thought she could actually walk away from this lawsuit victorious, it's a win because people now know her name.
I couldn't find "The Nocturne" for sale in a cursory online search, but I wonder how long it will be before the book is reprinted. Even if "Twilight" fans swear it off en masse, the curiosity factor will certainly drive at least a few of them to pick it up. And while Scott may have a tough time convincing a reputable publisher to accept her work, we live in a world where O.J. Simpson's "If I Did It" arrived on bookshelves. She probably won't have a tough time finding someone to capitalize on her name recognition with her next manuscript, which will likely surface once the worst of this controversy bubbles away.
Granted, a lot of this is pure speculation. But these plagiarism claims and the way they're being handled strikes me as patently absurd. I can't see any other reason for Scott to mount such an attempt, other than to raise awareness of her personal "brand." For more details on this ongoing farce of a lawsuit, check out Gil Kaufman's latest report over at MTV.com.