Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is intent needed to establish plagiarism?

Within a piece titled Intent needed to establish plagiarism by Gerry Geronimo, the Manila Standard Today includes the following text:

Even stranger is Ceap’s and Cocopea’s apparent ignorance of the book of Marilyn Randall entitled “Pragmatic Plagiarism.” Had they been as the wide reader as they are by society expected to be, they would have come across Isabel Alexander’s essay “Inspiration or infringement: the plagiarist in court” contained in “Copyright and Piracy: An Indisciplinary Critique” published by Cambridge University Press. She reports that Randall therein asserts that “Identifying plagiarism entails ascribing to an agent a series of guilty or fraudulent intentions, the necessity to show intent, in order to establish guilt, or at least degrees of it, is by far the most important criteria for establishing plagiarism.”

One can find part of Marilyn Randall's rambling treatise, published by The University of Toronto Press in 2001 , on the internet. Among other things, it confuses plagiarism with copyright infringement.

Of the Cambridge book, one notes that at page 11, Alexander corrects Randall's misunderstanding.

Copyright and Piracy
An Interdisciplinary Critique
Edited by: Lionel Bently, University of Cambridge
Edited by: Jennifer Davis, University of Cambridge
Edited by: Jane C. Ginsburg, Columbia University, New York

the contributor's name is Isabella Alexander.


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