Saturday, April 02, 2005

Unattributed copying of IP blogs?

The Patently O blog has the following text:

In one particularly bad case of copying, I saw a nicely written IP blog post reviewing a new case (not from Patently-O). A few weeks later, I received a mailer from a major law firm reviewing the same case. (No, the particularly bad thing is not that it took the major firm several weeks to write a case review.) The particularly bad thing was that the major law firm’s case review was almost an exact copy of the the blog post. The greatest difference being that the name of the blogger as author had been replaced with the name of an attorney at the major firm. We IP bloggers are too polite to name names, but the copycats should be on their toes.

Unattributed copying in the legal business has been a problem not only with blogs but also with law professors, as the incidents with Tribe, Dershowitz, and Ogletree of Harvard Law School recently demonstrated. Further, as Dershowitz suggested, there is a culture in the law business wherein it is perceived to be all right to place one's name on a piece of writing done by someone else, whether the writing of a clerk or an associate. It's not a good thing, but it does happen.

A separate problem is the publication of falsities (for example in law reviews) with no subsequent correction.


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