News & Reviews
Another plagiarist bites the dust as Chicago Review Press cans
‘Celluloid San Francisco’
Chicago Review Press killed its 2006 book ‘Celluloid San Francisco’
and removed the title from further sale or distribution after a court
judge ruled that author Jim Van
Buskirk plagiarized content from a local website MisterSF.com,
the site’s founder Hank Donat
judge Ollie Marie-Victoire
ruled that portions of Celluloid San Francisco -- which attempted to
detail the many unique locations in San Francisco where famous films
were shot -- were plagiarized from Donat’s original material.
According to Donat, Chicago Review Press senior editor Yuval Taylor said in a Jan. 2, 2007
e-mail: "Celluloid San Francisco is out of print and unavailable. Some
bookstores, including Amazon, continue to sell the copies they have on
hand... bookstores should soon run out."
Plagiarism cases against authors are rarely won in court, and Donat’s
case was one of several scandals to rock the book publishing industry
At least two authors have accused Dan
Brown, author of international best-selling novel 'The Da Vinci
Code' (Random House imprint Doubleday), of stealing their ideas but so
far he has won cases in court. On Jan. 16, lawyers for Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, who claim that Brown
pilfered their book 'The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,' reportedly
asked Britain’s Court of Appeal to overturn Brown’s victory.
Little, Brown and Co. pulled Kaavya
Viswanathan’s debut novel 'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got
and Got a Life' from bookshelves in May 2006 after she admitted
from veteran Megan McCafferty’s
previously published books. The
publisher also terminated a second novel that was part of a six-figure
Donat’s victory in small claims court, which earned him the maximum
$7,500 ruling, resulted in part because Van Buskirk copied and pasted
material from MisterSF.com’s published pages and presented them as his
own writing. "Sadly, the book was plagiarized from my website," Donat
told WORD’N’BASS.com. "But gladly, justice prevailed!"
Now that the latest literary ruckus is resolved, Donat can resume his
work detailing everything San Francisco. His latest endeavor is a new
city tour with GoCar Rentals called "An Insider’s Guide to San
Francisco," where clients take a GPS-guided audio tour with Donat to
check out the sights of famous movie shoots, notorious crimes and
criminals, cultural landmarks, and local secrets unique to The City.
Meanwhile Van Buskirk, who has held the title of Program Director of
the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center at San Francisco’s Main
Library, can go back to shelving books instead of "writing" them.
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