Tuesday, November 09, 2010

"For us, plagiarism caused by negligence or recklessness is still plagiarism"

An article on the Del Castillo plagiarism matter titled More schools join snowballing criticism of Supreme Court includes the text:

"For us, plagiarism caused by negligence or recklessness is still plagiarism. The lack of malicious intent may mitigate the penalty, but does not negate the plagiarism itself."

It is truly scary that some group in the far-off Philippines can see clearly what academics at the University of Virginia and Southern Illinois University (SIU) cannot see.

The article also included text:

How can we now discipline our students who copy the works and writings of other authors without attribution when they can simply take refuge behind the Supreme Court ruling?" COCOPEA also asked.

Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, one of the two dissenters in the controversial ruling, has raised the possibility that the court's decision may set a bad precedent on how plagiarism cases are dealt with in other institutions, not just in the courts.

"Unless reconsidered, this Court would unfortunately be remembered as the Court that made 'malicious intent' an indispensable element of plagiarism and that made computer-keying errors an exculpatory fact in charges of plagiarism, without clarifying whether its ruling applies only to situations of judicial decision-making or to other written intellectual activity," said Sereno.

The case of Glenn Poshard at SIU showed how one US University allowed plagiarism in a Ph.D. thesis because of a perceived "lack of intent." At one point, Alan Dershowitz of the Harvard Law School famously suggested that law schools promote a culture of copying.


More legal plagiarism exposed, but thesis committee blamed

From wikipedia on Dershowitz concerning the charge of Finkelstein against Dershowitz:

Dershowitz and some of his prominent supporters assert that what Finkelstein calls plagiarism is in fact standard scholarly practice.[29][30] Dershowitz's defense here is that the Chicago Manual of Style says that references should be given to original sources, not to secondary sources, "since authors are expected to have examined the works they cite"[31] and that therefore he was correct to cite only Twain. The fact that he repeats typographical errors from Peters, however, suggests that he did not in fact examine Twain, so the argument about citation practice appears to be a non sequitur.

**In an inverted form of this, Mark Lemley, in his "transistor only for hearing aid" argument, cited only a secondary source, which source referred to a non-existent primary article in the New York Times in 1947. See 8 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 80 (2008).


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