Special News Follow-Up

(July 30, 1997)

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I've been following up on the Nora Roberts/Janet Dailey plagiarism situation and have some additional news to report. Following the spate of stereotypical reporting from The Washington Post, the Associated Press, and The Osgood Files for CBS radio, I am in the process of contacting those news organizations to "turn the tables", so to speak, and ask them why they didn't simply report the news without adding a negative bias.

I've recently read additional coverage by Newsweek, People Magazine, and a clever take by Entertainment Weekly (whose report is fully comprised of footnoted information). These later reports, as well as, surprisingly enough, one by the television tabloid Hard Copy, have been less negatively biased and more balanced, although most of the reports have focused on Janet Dailey, her history, and the unusual relationship she has with her husband.

Nora Roberts, in an email received this morning, indicates:

"I'd very much like to know what some of the media say about their coverage of the plagiarism.

"It's stealing, as the retired judge said yesterday on CNN's Burden of Proof. Plain and simple stealing, and a federal offense.

"As of yesterday, she refused our terms of settlement - a donation to the Literacy Volunteers and a sworn statement that there are no other books with infringing material out there. Unless she changes her mind quickly, my lawyers will file suit next week."

As for other actions to be taken against Janet Dailey, her December release by Harlequin has been put on hold (or cancelled, depending on the source), and HarperCollins has not yet stated what they will be doing with her contract.

Finally, as a commentator, I'd like to add that some of the early reports seemed to have a very subtle All About Eve quality about them, referring to Nora as a younger rival to Janet. If you noticed that as well, please let me know by emailing me.

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