canadian authors sue publisher over gold mountain blues

News from the Canadian literary scene! Three authors have filed a $6 million lawsuit against Penguin Canada for copyright infringement, claiming that the publisher's new novel, Gold Mountain Blues, heavily copies from their own stories: Canadian authors file copyright suit over Gold Mountain Blues.

Wayson Choy, Paul Yee and Sky Lee are suing Penguin, author Zhang Ling and translator Nicky Harman for "purposely copying multiple elements" from their books and "deliberately calculating to generate profit and gain."
Gold Mountain Blues was released Oct. 8 in 12 global markets to a firestorm of controversy over allegations that many parts of the book were similar to the works of Choy, Yee and Lee, and another Canadian author, Denise Chong, who is not a party to the lawsuit.

Gold Mountain Blues was originally published in China in 2009, where it won major literary awards and is a national bestseller. It has also been optioned for movie and television rights.

But the suit says the Canadian authors now face “significant potential losses” when they are eventually published in China because “it will appear to Chinese readers in China that the plaintiffs have copied portions of Gold Mountain Blues” when the authors were long-published before the book came out. The suit says the authors have identified more than 50 key examples of original elements that have been substantially copied.
Penguin says they hired a third party to review the book and compare it to Choy's The Jade Peony, Lee's Disappearing Moon Cafe and Yee's Tales From Gold Mountain -- all of which Zhang says she has not read. The publisher says the similarities are minor.

To be honest, from what I've read about Gold Mountain Blues (the product description begins, "In the epic storytelling tradition of Amy Tan and Jiang Rong..."), it doesn't really sound like something I'd be interested in anyway. But no doubt, there is a market for these kinds of novels. At some point, doesn't it all seem kind of derivative? More here: Authors sue Gold Mountain Blues writer for copyright infringement.

angry archive