back to top

John Green Accidentally Stole A 13-Year-Old Girl's Quote

An honest mistake of misattribution, made right by the author.

Posted on
AP Richard Drew

Author John Green is often attributed as the writer of the quotation, "I'm in love with cities I've never been to and people I've never met," which is credited to his book Paper Towns.

But in a new video on John Green's YouTube channel, he talks about finding out that the quote isn't even in his book and how the internet had led him to believe otherwise:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

"So yeah, when I started seeing the quote a few years ago, I just assumed that it was in Paper Towns — people kept sourcing it as being from Paper Towns."

Paper Towns by John Green
Speak

Paper Towns by John Green

Turns out it wasn't — the actual author of the quotation is Melody Truong, a fan of John Green who often posted his quotes on her Tumblr.

"So, and just to be clear, we've been selling a poster with a quotation attributed to me that was in fact written by a 13-year-old Nerdfighter."

John is retroactively paying Melody royalties from sales of the poster.

As John notes, "But I think a very misattributed author...failing to notice the misattribution in question speaks to how screwed up credit and sourcing and copyright are on the internet."

"We do an epically bad job of acknowledging one another's work and checking our sources."

You can buy the "Cities I've Never Been To" poster here, now properly attributed to Melody Truong. Way to come clean in a classy manner, John Green!

The best things at three price points