6 YA Book Authors Who Were Sued for Ripping Off Another Writer’s Work
Plagiarism allegations are about as common in the entertainment world as celebrity cheating scandals — they both happen all the freakin’ time!! Whether you’re a musician, YouTube star, or even a best-selling author, basc no content creator is safe from accusations that they’ve stolen their ideas from someone else.
A lot of YA books have simply been accused of being rip-offs of another (Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games was called into question for stealing aspects of the film, Battle Royale, and the highly publicized novel How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life by Kaavya Viswanathan), but no further action is ever taken. Although most plagiarism accusations never make their way into the court room, some do — even if they wind up being unsuccessful in the end.
Accused of Ripping Off: The Legend of Rah and the Muggles by Nancy Kathleen Stouffer & The Adventures of Willy the Wizard: Livid Land by Adrian Jacobs
Joanne 'Jo' Rowling is no stranger to court proceedings, as her best-selling Harry Potter franchise has been the subject of several lawsuits since the first book was published in '97. The author found herself arguing over the originality of her books in 1999 when The Legend of Rah's writer claimed J.K. stole the term 'muggle' and said Harry Potter was a direct copy of her character "Larry Potter," because he also had brown hair and glasses.
Later, the fourth HP novel was called into question by the Adrian Jacobs estate, claiming in an official statement that "both Willy and Harry are required to work out the exact nature of the main task of the contest, which they both achieve in a bathroom assisted by clues from helpers, in order to discover how to rescue human hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal fantasy creatures."
Both lawsuits found the HP queen innocent of any plagiarism, though the author has successfully sued some other publications for ripping off her work.