Naomi Ragen to appeal plagiarism ruling

By Mark Robins, July 6, 2012

The American-born novelist, Naomi Ragen, has appealed against a ruling finding her guilty of plagiarising the work of another strictly Orthodox author.

Mrs Ragen, who holds dual American and Israeli nationality and who has lived in Israel since 1971, was found guilty by a Jerusalem court last December of copying sections of a book by Sarah Shapiro.

At issue was her 1992 novel Sotah, about the implications of adultery in the strictly Orthodox community. In 2007, Ms Shapiro took legal action against Mrs Ragen, alleging that Sotah included parts of her 1990 book, Growing with My Children.

However, Mrs Ragen contended that she had only taken "certain ideas and information" from Ms Shapiro's book in order to inform better her own fiction.

She described the charges against her as "absolutely ridiculous", adding that they "prevented creativity" in Israel.

On top of damages, court costs and lawyer's fees, the court ruling ordered Mrs Ragen to remove the contested passages in all future printings of the book.

The case will now go before the Israeli Supreme Court for a final decision.

Last updated: 4:49pm, July 6 2012