Shadowhunters Creator Sued for the Worst Possible Thing an Author Can Do

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Shadowhunters found itself at the center of some serious drama even before it premiered. Now, just about a month since its television debut, the book-turned-movie-turned-TV series is surrounded by even more controversy, this time courtesy of its creator, Cassie Clare.

The YA author is being sued by fantasy novelist Sherrilyn Kenyon for “trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, and trade dress infringement.” The author says The Mortal Instruments mastermind “knowingly and willfully copied” her Dark-Hunters series, which was published eight years prior. Sherrilyn is looking for compensation for lost profits that were a result of the books’ similarities, which are laid out in full in this document.

“Both Series employ a line of warriors who protect the normal world from demons,” the lawsuit explains. “The Hunters (whether “shadow” or “dark”) operate in a high tech world that is hidden from everyday mortals and deal with demons who come and go through portals to a “Veil World.” In both series, a young person becomes part of the Dark-Hunters (or Shadowhunters) world after being saved by a gorgeous blond Dark-Hunter (or Shadowhunter). The protagonists learn their purpose and how to fight various demons and their own personal inadequacies, while dealing with intricate family and friend issues. They face the constant threat of being consumed or being
converted to evil. They each must kill their demonic father.”

Seeing as TMI was originally published back in 2006, you may be wondering why Sherrilyn decided to come after Cassie now. According to the lawsuit, the Dark-Hunters author did get in contact with the now-beloved YA writer back then and had her remove all “dark-hunter” references. Cassie obliged and changed the wording to “shadowhunters,” but assured Kerrilyn that she wouldn’t expand on that term.

“[Clare] has persisted over time in expanding her use of the term ‘shadowhunters’ from a mere description of her protagonists, first to a tag line on the cover of her works and eventually to a complete rebranding of her works so as to be confusingly similar to the Dark-Hunter Series,” she said in the lawsuit.

Neither Cassie nor Sherrilyn have said anything about the legal issues on social media; in fact, they both seem to be going about their online lives as if nothing is happening. Only time will tell…

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