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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Can an author publically (News paper article, social media,

Customer Question

HI, can an author publically (News paper article, social media, facebook Twitter etc.. ) accuse another author of " theft" for a possible plagiarism ? and if not could the accused author sue for defamation ?
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Customer: can an author publically (News paper article, social media, facebook Twitter etc.. ) accuse another author of " theft" for a possible plagiarism ? and if not could the accused author sue for defamation ?
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Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 5 months ago.

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. Plagiarism would simply be a form of copyright infringement not theft. To publicly call someone a thief when it is not true could be deemed defamatory. Has it done damage to your reputation? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your quick response.. amazon blocked my account after this author accused me of plagiarism, i had more than 25 books exclusively on sale and i was earning an average of 4000+ euros a month.. now i have no income whatsoever and can never publish again with amazon where i was earning 100% of my earnings. This author wrote an article in a national news paper calling me a thief, i had dozens of hatred facebook messages and emails and i dont know what to do ?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 5 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. Is the author a Journalist? Was it his/her work you are accused of plagiarizing?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
the author is a journalist and it is that journalists work im accused of plagiarising, can i still sue for defamation ?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 5 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. Yes you could sue him for defamation but you would need to prove that his words are defamatory because they are not true. Can you prove you did not plagiarize his work? Kind regards AJ

Expert:  Alex J. replied 5 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. Yes you could sue him for defamation but you would need to prove that his words are defamatory because they are not true. Can you prove you did not plagiarize his work? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** are very similar in story, but there are no same sentences or paragraphs so how can that be called copyright infringement ?. You just wrote plagiarism is not theft, so how can they accuse me of being a thief ?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
If as you say plagiarism is not theft, then why would i need to prove that their words are not true ? isnt it up to them to prove that their accusation is true ?, which according to your first reply would be impossible ! i am confused by your answers
Expert:  Alex J. replied 5 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. Copyright infringement is a qualitative test not a quantitative test. Is the idea a copy or were you in anyway influenced by this journalist?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The author publicly called me a thief, for their accusation of plagiarism, There are no accusations of copyright infringement... If as you say plagiarism is not theft, then why would i need to prove that their accusation is not true ? If i sue them for defamation, isnt it up to them to prove that their accusation is true ?, which according to your first reply would be impossible as "plagiarism is not theft" !
Expert:  Alex J. replied 5 months ago.

Thank you. They would need to prove their accusation, but defamation is a civil claim which you would bring so the burden of proof is initially on you to show that you did not plagiarise they would then have to respond to any claim that you bring in a defence. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you. If the concept of plagiarism doesnt exist in legal sense, what would they legally be proving ? Surely i only have to prove that this author called me a thief to take out a defamation case ?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 5 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. A defence to defamation is that the allegations are true - therefore if the author called you a thief in the context of copyright infringement it may undermine your claim if it proves you did infringe his/her copyright. What you need to do is bring your claim and state that being called a thief is defamatory because your work was original. Also your claim would be made more straight forward by the fact that you can prove you suffered loss of income, so you have a remedy.

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