Home » Copyright/Intellectual Property » Sex, Plagiarism and Spyware. This Is Not Your Average Copyright Complaint.

Sex, Plagiarism and Spyware. This Is Not Your Average Copyright Complaint.

3 December 2017

From The New York Times:

Emma Cline’s 2016 novel “The Girls” was, by any measure, a triumphant debut. The novel, which takes place in California in the 1960s and centers on a teenage girl who falls into a Charles Manson-like cult, sold to Random House for seven figures in a three-book deal, and spent three months on the New York Times best-seller list. Ms. Cline, who was 27 when the novel came out, was celebrated as a major new talent.

But for the last two years, her success has been overshadowed, in private, by legal threats levied against her by a former boyfriend, Chaz Reetz-Laiolo.

This week, that long simmering dispute became glaringly public, when Ms. Cline and Mr. Reetz-Laiolo filed dueling lawsuits in federal court in San Francisco. In his complaint, Mr. Reetz-Laiolo, who is also a writer, claims that Ms. Cline plagiarized phrases and scene structures from him that appear in “The Girls,” and used spyware to read his email and other personal documents. Ms. Cline’s publisher and Scott Rudin Productions, which optioned the screen rights to “The Girls,” are also named in the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.

Ms. Cline’s countersuit calls the claims “ludicrous,” and says that the suit was motivated by jealousy, and marks the culmination of Mr. Reetz-Laiolo’s continuing effort to threaten and intimidate her into paying him a large sum of money.

. . . .

 Random House issued a statement in support of Ms. Cline, saying that “there is no basis to the plagiarism claims made by Mr. Reetz-Laiolo and we look forward to presenting our arguments in court.”

. . . .

 The unusual and dramatic legal clash over “The Girls” is far from a standard copyright complaint. There are high-powered lawyers representing both parties, in a convoluted dispute that includes accusations of physical and emotional abuse and charges of digital spying and invasion of privacy.

. . . .

 “What should have been a happy milestone — publishing my first novel — has turned into a yearslong nightmare perpetrated by someone I believed I had finally escaped from,” Ms. Cline said in a statement to The Times.

Link to the rest at The New York Times

Yet another story to reinforce PG’s gratitude for being married to Mrs. PG.

Copyright/Intellectual Property

6 Comments to “Sex, Plagiarism and Spyware. This Is Not Your Average Copyright Complaint.”

  1. This story is the heart of an endless number of novels, and they just handed it to us. I’ve already opened a folder and started writing Image/Seeds.

    When I first read the article the other day, I was still in the pre internet mindset while working on a story; a different world than today. I just thought, what idiots, and went back to the page. Then seeing it here on TPV, it hit me as eminently storyable. HA!

    Thanks…

  2. There are good reasons for not joining up with other writers – success is often uneven, and you are mixing personal and professional work and goals.

    And when one relationship sours, you’re left bereft of support on both fronts.

    But you can’t tell people anything. And it’s so good when it’s good (they tell me).

    Art is fragile, as are egos.

    One of my curiosities in life is exactly how people such as movie stars form relationships when the ego of each may require such massive amounts of sycophancy as to make it impossible to hear the truth.

    Those who actually appreciate having the truth gently presented to them when they are being idiotic may not also have the ego to be megastars.

    When who should understand yours better than someone with the same problems?

    They do so beautifully with the fairytale weddings. It’s a pity.

    • “One of my curiosities in life is exactly how people such as movie stars form relationships when the ego of each may require such massive amounts of sycophancy as to make it impossible to hear the truth.”

      I think the only time you see movie star relationships truly working out and lasting is when one of the stars retires from the limelight and allows their spouse to shine.

      Otherwise I think, more often than not, those weddings are mere publicity stunts meant to bring attention to the people involved. They will most likely spend most of their marriage apart traveling for movie shoots and publicity tours, having multiple affairs. Then the marriage will dissolve when they’ve either 1) bilked it for all the publicity it will give them, 2) one spouse has embarrassed the other by being “caught” having an affair, 3) they’re bored or 4) they find someone new to move on with and have to end their old relationship.

      I also thinking filming a movie together fosters a sense of intimacy and connection that doesn’t last when the movie ends, no matter how hard the actors try.

      Then there are relationships that are designed solely for public consumption, that pretend to be about love but instead are based solely on some serious contracts. (See also: Tom Cruise.)

      Two cents from a pop culture junkie. 😉

  3. And then Rock Hudson marries Phyllis Gates…

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.