Cassandra Clare’s lawyer hits back at copyright claims

Cassandra Clare’s lawyer hits back at copyright claims

Cassandra Clare’s lawyer has hit out at a lawsuit filed by author Sherrilyn Kenyon for copyright infringement, saying the case is "filled with basic factual inaccuracies".

Earlier this week, Kenyon, a sci-fi and fantasy author, filed a lawsuit in the US suing Clare for allegedly copying elements of her Dark Hunter series. She also claimed Clare reneged on her promise to stop using the term ‘shadowhunters’.

However, John Cahill, the US attorney for Clare, said Kenyon’s suit rests on a "basic misunderstanding of copyright law".

He said many of the characters and events cited as similar by Kenyon in her lawsuit appeared in Clare's works prior to their appearance in Kenyon’s, and pointed out that magic has featured in stories for thousands of years.

"Ms Kenyon complains that Cassie stole her idea to use ‘normal objects…..imbued with magical properties such as a cup, a sword, and a mirror,’ but those ideas and many others to which Ms. Kenyon lays claim have long been part of our storytelling tradition from ancient times to the present," he said.

He added: "The lawsuit is filled with basic factual inaccuracies about Cassie’s work that would be recognized by any reader of her novels.  For example, the lawsuit identifies a main character’s stepfather as her 'best friend,' alleges that the term 'daimons' appears in her books (the word is never used) and claims that one of her main characters is based on a Kenyon character whose similar attributes were first revealed some three years after Cassie had created and told the backstory of the relevant protagonist.   

"Tellingly, the lawsuit failed to identify a single instance of actual copying or plagiarism by Cassie."

Cahill said Clare never agreed to stop using the term shadowhunters, as Kenyon claims. “Cassie never gave Kenyon any assurances regarding this and, although she would have preferred to resolve any concerns that Ms. Kenyon has or may have had, Ms. Kenyon never contacted or spoke with her.”

He said he expects that "all of Ms Kenyon’s claims will be dismissed".