Why a 'Twilight' plagiarism lawsuit won't suck much blood

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Why a 'Twilight' plagiarism lawsuit won't suck much blood

Tue Aug 04, 2009 @ 11:41AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Pattinson,rob Vampires are obviously parasites. But what about authors of vampire novels?

That's our philosophical thought of the day after reading this cease-and-desist letter sent to Hachette Book Group's general counsel (and TMZ) by an attorney representing Jordan Scott, the author of something called "The Nocturne."

The letter outlines alleged similarities between "Nocturne," which came out in 2006, and Stephanie Meyer's "Breaking Dawn," published two years later. The book is the fourth in Meyer's "Twilight" series, the movie adaptations of which are currently causing millions of teenage girls to squeal in prolonged unison over vamp-hunk Robert Pattinson.

We'll give credit to Scott's lawyer for crafting a detailed analysis of substantial similarities between the two books, but as we've said many times, idea theft complaints are extremely common and rarely successful--and from the looks of this one, a lawsuit, if it's ever filed, won't have teeth. It's not very hard to draw comparisons from one work to another, especially by citing lame cliches like one book saying, "There was silence. It could have been no more perfect," and the other book saying, "The moment was so perfect, there was no way to doubt it."

OK, so the two books describe a woman who's sick because she's carrying a child with "evil powers."

Considering how long vampire books have been around, and how fashionable they've become lately, we'd be surprised if there wasn't liberal borrowing of themes and ideas among vamp writers in general. This probably doesn't amount to copyright infringement, just a good 'ol fashion blood suck.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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