Naomi Ragen cleared in plagiarism case

Supreme Court clears author less than a month after she was convicted of plagiarism in a separate copyright lawsuit.

January 6, 2012 04:54
2 minute read.
Naomi Regan

Naomi Regan 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The Supreme Court this week cleared author Naomi Ragen in a plagiarism case, less than a month after she was convicted of plagiarism in the Jerusalem District court in a separate copyright lawsuit.

In Tuesday’s verdict, the Supreme Court ruled “there is not nor has there been any basis for any sort of claim of duplication or copyright infringement,” in the case that was originally brought before the Jerusalem District Court before author Michal Tal’s death in 2010.

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The case dealt with Tal’s claim that Ragen plagiarized portions of her book The Lion and the Cross for Ragen’s best-selling book, The Ghost of Hannah Mendes.

Responding to the verdict this week, Ragen called Tal’s claims “delusional,” and said she would work to make sure she is exonerated in all cases against her.

In mid-December 2011, the Jerusalem District Court issued a 92-page ruling in favor of a lawsuit issued by author Sara Shapiro against Ragen, which accused Ragen of copying portions of Shapiro’s book Growing With My Children: A Jewish Mother’s Diary for her best-selling novel Sotah.

Shapiro’s 1990 book was based on her personal diary from when she was becoming a young mother.

In the ruling, the court stated that in Ragen’s book there was “a resemblance in the subjects and motifs, resemblances in language and terminology, similarity and resemblance in dialogue, at times word for word, and cumulative violations.”

The attorneys representing Tal’s family in the Supreme Court case, Niv Sofer and Michal Herlaif said Thursday that after Tal’s death her children did not have the desire to pursue the case and left it in the hands of the Supreme Court.

The attorneys also noted how in the court’s ruling they “gave their verdict without discussing the body of the appeal and ruled that the assertions contained in the lawsuit presented by Michal Tal were made without malice at all and out of her full belief that her claims were just.”

On Thursday, Tal’s lawyer in the Jerusalem District Court case, Gilad Corinaldi, said “it’s worth nothing that two weeks ago the Jerusalem District Court ruled clearly and decisively that Ragen carried out literary theft.”

Corinaldi, who represented Tal along with lawyer Talia Greenstein, said that after his client’s death her children did not want to pursue the case any further, leading in part to Ragen’s victory.

Corinaldi, a specialist in copyright law, also called on Ragen to come clean for what he said are clear cases of repeated plagiarism, saying “every act of literary theft is a violation of the trust between the reader and the author.”

Corinaldi mentioned the Shapiro case as well as that of Sudi Rosengarten, who filed a suit in 2010 alleging that Ragen’s The Sacrifice of Tamar was based on her autobiographical short story A Marriage Made in Heaven.

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