Cassie Edwards and Signet Part Ways

Posted on April 18, 2008

Romance novelist Cassie Edwards and her publisher Signet have parted ways as a result of the plagiarism scandal that rocked the romance world. In January, allegations were made that Cassie lifted full passages in her books from other sources.

"Signet has conducted an extensive review of all its Cassie Edwards novels and due to irreconcilable editorial differences, Ms. Edwards and Signet have mutually agreed to part ways," the publisher said in a statement Friday. "Cassie Edwards novels will no longer be published with Signet Books. All rights to Ms. Edwards' previously published Signet books have reverted to the author."

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Penguin initially said that Edwards, who lives in Mattoon, Ill., had "done nothing wrong" and that any use of other texts was protected by "fair-use doctrine." Edwards has written more than 100 novels, although not all with Penguin, which has said that more than 10 million copies of her work are in print.

"Writing my Indian romances is my small tribute to those beautiful first people of our land who have suffered so much injustice," Edwards writes on her home page on Penguin's Web site. "And I have just begun. My upcoming books will continue with more passion and adventure and rich historical settings. Enjoy!"

Translation of Signet's press release: "We fired Cassie after our lawyers told us that she lifted entire passages from research books without attribution." The lesson here is quite clear: always give attribution when quoting from some one else's work, even if it's an obscure historical work. The reality is that with Google, there is no way plagiarizers won't get caught.


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