Without Apology, Zondervan Settles Plagiarism Case Involving Christine Caine

According to Publisher’s Weekly yesterday, publisher HarperCollins Christian/Zondervan and author Christine Caine settled a plagiarism lawsuit with author Carey Scott. Scott accused Caine of copying sections of Scott’s book Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Life to include in Caine’s book Unashamed: Drop the Baggage, Pick up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny.

Scott commented for the PW article, Caine did not.

While Scott alleged several instances of copying, I can show one. Consider the last paragraph of page 55 from Scott’s book beginning with “And the enemy”*

Then listen to Christine Caine’s narration from a segment of “Joni Table Talk” where she promotes her book Unashamed.

While this is a small portion, the words and flow of the sentences are copied from Scott’s book. This section was apparently quite important to Caine in that she chose it to promote the essence of the book. Because of the complaint, Caine agreed to change the text of the promotional video (you can view that on You Tube). In the complaint, Scott alleges that Caine acknowledged that she had read Scott’s book.

Sometime in July 2016, following HCCP’s and Zondervan’s review process, Ms. Caine contacted Ms. Scott directly. Ms. Caine affirmatively acknowledged that she had access to and read Ms. Scott’s work. (page 7)

Scott further alleged in the complaint that Caine’s book is “substantially similar” to hers. In a court filing prior to the settlement, Zondervan and Caine contested Scott’s claim that Caine’s book was substantially similar to Scott’s book.

Messages left with Zondervan and Christine Caine were not returned. Carey Scott had no comment.

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Image: Warren Throckmorton

* This was Exhibit A in Scott’s complaint against Zondervan and Caine. The first two sentences in Scott’s books are reversed in Caine’s narration.

6 thoughts on “Without Apology, Zondervan Settles Plagiarism Case Involving Christine Caine”

  1. I had been accused of plagiarism by Ramsey Campbell when I did a iwl.me analysis of my most enduring piece, the citizen journalism yarn is something that drew a comparison in the result to David Foster Wallace but I didn’t plagiarize. Ramsey Campbell had a lot of nerve and those like Ray Comfort who were busted for doing patchwork and word for word plagiarism outright.

  2. I’m pretty sure that clip is from Joni Lamb of Daystar TV, not “Joni and Friends” — which is Joni Eareckson Tada’s group and completely unrelated.

    1. You are correct. I got it right in the post but wrong on the video caption. It is now corrected. Thanks.

      1. Thanks, I didn’t mean to nitpick & derail from the bigger issue but I did a double take when I saw that 🙂

        And this whole issue just baffles me. I just wrapped up a master’s program and if I did this I’d be marked and removed from the University.

        1. I don’t think of it as nitpicking. Thanks again.

          Congrats on the degree. And you are correct, in academia, plagiarism like this would be grounds for action.

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