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Two weeks after receiving a cease-and-desist order over claims that the fourth book in her "Twilight" series, "Breaking Dawn," plagiarized another novel, Stephenie Meyer was sued on Wednesday over the alleged infringement. According to TMZ, lawyers for little-known author Jordan Scott filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that "Breaking Dawn" shows "striking, articulable and substantial" similarities to Scott's "The Nocturne," in "plot lines, themes, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, characters, sequence of events [and] ideas."
A statement from Meyer's publisher, Hachette Book Group, called the copyright-infringement suit "completely without merit and simply a publicity stunt to further Ms. Scott's career," adding that "it is indisputable that Ms. Meyer's 'Breaking Dawn' was based on her original 'Twilight' sequel 'Forever Dawn,' which Meyer wrote in the fall of 2003 and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office on January 5, 2004. That is nearly two years before Ms. Scott allegedly posted portions of her novel on the Internet and approximately five years before Ms. Scott filed her copyright in September 2008."
Though actress/singer/author Scott's book is set in 15th century France and details a love affair between a young sorcerer and a teenage girl, while Meyer's book chronicles a doomed teenage love triangle between a human, vampire and werewolf set in modern times, lawyers for Scott have claimed that there are many similarities in the texts of the two novels.
When the cease-and-desist was issued, Meyer's publisher had initially dismissed the plagiarism claims as "completely without merit," but a lawyer for Scott, Craig Williams, told MTV before the filing of the suit that it was "highly unlikely" that the many similar plot points were simply a coincidence. In the suit, noted copyright attorney Williams claims that Scott began writing "The Nocturne" in 2003 when she was just 15 and published the book in 2006. "Breaking Dawn" was released in 2008.
While Meyer's books have topped best-seller lists around the globe, Scott's novel does not appear to have been widely stocked in bookstores and has been available mostly through her official Web site and other online distributors. In dismissing the claims, Meyer's publisher said neither the author nor the publishing house had ever heard of "this writer or her supposed book prior to this claim."
Among the claims made by the suit is that "Breaking Dawn" represents a "significant literary departure" from the tone of the first three "Twilight" books and reads as if it were "written by a teenager." The suit is seeking damages and asking the court to impound all copies of "Breaking Dawn" currently on bookstore shelves. Williams could not be reached for comment at press time.
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