Further thoughts on the CBS and Cha plagiarisms
the CBS plagiarism does not surprise me.....this plagiarism is becoming
What is more worrisome to me is:
A) The US has had a reputation for "creativity"....which means doing
the hard work, thinking alone...and this plagiarism culture short
circuits that learning curve.
B) Of course, plagiarism also is done to make one look better than
is.....so quality does NOT bubble to the top.
IPBiz had previously discussed Dean Velvel writing ABOUT Judge Posner's book on plagiarism:
One of the things that makes plagiarism so terrible is that it is a form of dishonesty, a form of fraud, that is sometimes used by the very best; not just by the second rate, the pathetic. When some of the very best are resorting to dishonesty, you know the society has a problem.
The bottom line on all of this is that, if one believes that truth and honesty are important, an idea long in desuetude but perhaps now making a comeback (due to Iraq), then one can also believe, contrary to Posner, that the perpetrators of plagiarism and unacknowledged ghosting should be heavily punished, regardless of supposed likelihood of detection. Only by heavy punishment, one would think, can this epidemic of fraud be ended.
IPBiz had previously discussed a review of the Posner book by Charles McGrath:
Of the clerk angle, McGrath wrote: In the book he readily acknowledges that judges publish opinions all the time that are in fact written by their clerks, but he excuses the practice on the ground that everyone knows about it and therefore no one is harmed. IPBiz notes that a common view of Ph.D. theses is that of moving bones in a graveyard, from one site to another. Does that excuse plagiarism for Ph.D. students merely because there is a perception that most theses are NOT original? What about the Ohio University students who failed to attribute material in the "background" portion of their theses? If the stuff is in "background," would not the reader of thesis understand that the student did not originate it and thus "no one is harmed"? McGrath and Posner alike don't seemed to be tuned into the reality at Ohio University. What about the debate about "plagiarizing oneself," that materialized at SIU? Certainly no one was harmed by the SIU administrator dusting off some of his earlier work. However, in the Madey v. Duke University case, there might be a different take.
IPBiz notes that a defense of plagiarism based upon "everyone knows about it and therefore no one is harmed" is simply wrong. It should be self-evident that the person copied from (and denied credit for work) is harmed. Separately, society is harmed by being denied knowledge of the person who really had the idea. The public at large will misallocate resources to the "apparent author" and deny resources to the true author, thereby making an inefficient use of resources.
A different IPBiz reader had asked about the text in a different IPBiz post referencing the Posner conjecture:
In view of a recent post by Kim on californiastemcellreport, it appears that Lee's actions both at KSOG/KJOG and at Fertility & Sterility were in violation of policies AT BOTH JOURNALS against multiple publication. Separately, by deleting Kim's name from the Fertility & Sterility paper, Lee took work, which she knew to have been written by another (Kim) and represented it as NOT having been written by Kim. This brings us back to Posner's conjecture: do custom and practice in a field excuse plagiarism, as Posner would do in the area of legal writing? May senior workers (and employers) in science substitute their names for the name of the actual author? In the realm of United States patent law, the answer to this is a strong NO; the true inventor must be named.
IPBiz notes that in the US system of patents the true inventor must be named. That is, the US system requires the identification of the person who had the original idea. In all of the current discussion about patent reform and harmonization, no one has suggested a change to the requirement that the true inventor be named.