Analysis

Bad Copyright Friend: When Can't Art Imitate Life?

By Kelcee Griffis (October 8, 2021, 7:14 PM EDT) -- The New York Times Magazine's "Bad Art Friend" saga captured the imagination of the internet this week, detailing a juicy dispute in which a writer-turned-kidney donor accused a fellow author of cribbing details from her charitable journey for a fictionalized short story.

While the tawdry personal tidbits — Snarky group chats! A lifted Facebook post! — appealed to general audiences and legal professionals alike, copyright attorneys say the story also presents some valuable lessons for intellectual property attorneys and creators.

The saga, which begins when writer Dawn Dorland posts a heartfelt but possibly attention-seeking letter on Facebook to the stranger who would...

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