Sunday, December 30, 2007

Of plagiarism, James Bond, and Thunderball

There's a new book by Robert Sellers titled The Battle for Bond (published by Tomahawk Press) which details the plagiarism case AGAINST Ian Fleming over Thunderball.

Part of a review in the Sunday Times states: So, why has nobody written before about the collaboration between the maverick Irish film producer Kevin McClory and Ian Fleming to make what would have been the first 007 film, back in 1960 – with Richard Burton as Bond, and Alfred Hitchcock directing? Instead, it led to Fleming being accused of plagiarism, a bitter court case, betrayals, deaths and broken lives.

The review also suggests that Fleming thought he would overcome the plagiarism charges by virtue of his high status in British society. Such a position would not be inconsistent with the outcomes of the Laurence Tribe matter or the Glen Poshard/SIU matter.

In a different matter, the Yale Daily has some comments on the plagiarism charges by a Yale professor as to Peking University.
These include:

A Yale biology professor who taught at Peking University this fall as part of a joint program between the two schools has accused the Chinese school of turning a blind eye toward plagiarism, raising questions about the academic integrity of an institution that is a central partner in Yale’s internationalization efforts. "

At least it's the "Harvard" of China -- given the stories on plagiarism by a student and prominent faculty at Harvard, the Chinese could be said to be doing their best to live up to that appellation.

One also has:

I doubt Stephen Stearns’s sincerity in fighting against violation of intellectual property right. This is because he was involved in a much greater and even more shameful violation of intellectual property.

In a 2003 publication in Science (300: 1920) which was authored by his former student Martin Ackermann, himself, and his former colleague in Switzerland he cheated the whole world by claiming that “A fundamental question about senescence has not been settled: Which organisms should be senescent, and which should be potentially immortal?” This is an outright lie because I had already published a view that all organisms (including the so-called “immortal” bacteria) are mortal and subject to aging/senescence (see more details at

Due to the deception buried in that 2003 Science publication, western world has regarded Ackermann, Stearns and Jenal as pioneers in studying bacterial aging. But the truth is I was the true pioneer in this research area and has published most on this topic. Jenal (who later became a mentor of Ackermann) should know my study because he was at the same session of the 1997 ASM General Meeting where I presented my discovery of bacterial life and aging to the world for the first time. However, my publications, including a peer-reviewed and SCI-indexed publication in both English (Science in China 42: 64-654, 1999) and Chinese (Science in China 29: 571-579, 1999), were ignored (very likely intentionally) by Ackermann, Stearns and Jenal in their 2003 Science publication. I should also point out that the methodology used in that 2003 Science study was an exact “copy” of my method invention disclose in my 2000 patent application which was open to public in 2002 and granted a US patent in 2004 (US6767734B).

In August this year, I wrote to Ackermann and others (including Stearns) to ask them to do some right things for the truth of scientific history and the respect for others’ intellectual property right after I saw Ackermann et al. continued their lie to the world in another publication (Aging Cell 6: 235-244, 2007). However, none of these “scientists” have answered my criticisms or done any right things so far.

Thus, I was very surprised to see that Stearns would be so “upset” with the “plagiarism” he saw in the term papers submitted to him by the Chinese students. If he does upheld a high ethical standard, why would not he do anything moral regarding his outright lie and credit robbery?

Shi V. Liu

IPBiz responded to a commenter to this post:

Everything you say about Chinese culture might be correct. But that's only half the story.

Beyond doubt, Laurence Tribe of the Harvard Law School plagiarized. Beyond doubt, Glen Poshard, President of SIU, plagiarized. Nothing happened. Merrill, a journalism professor, plagiarized, and many journalists came to his defense.
Thus, of your --But to their culture, plagiarism cannot be a stigma.-- one could say
--But in our culture, plagiarism is not a stigma, either-- Like they say at the Harvard Business Review: plagiarize with pride!

People in the U.S. may talk about the evils of plagiarism, but they don't walk the walk.

In passing, IPBiz did attempt a post at the Yale Daily website on pre-grant damages.


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