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Conference Board Admits Plagiarism, Pulls Copyright Report 60

An anonymous reader writes "The Conference Board of Canada has withdrawn all three reports on intellectual property after allegations this week by Michael Geist of plagiarism. The organization now admits that its report on copyright was plagiarized from US copyright lobby groups."
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Conference Board Admits Plagiarism, Pulls Copyright Report

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  • I guess they will pull it just long enough for a period of rewording and concept massaging.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:11PM (#28126853)

    Had these reports been subject to "Internal Review", they never would have been released. What they really meant to say was: "We look like money grabbing hypocritical lobby group puppets and need to do some damage control before our reputation is permanently scarred." Yeah... thats what they *really* meant to say. I work at a company where all externally released documents are subject to internal review. That means that before the document can be released, at least 2 other people are required to review the document and sign off on it before it is released. The author and reviewers names are on the cover, and their signatures are captured and stored in a tracking system to show that they approved the documents. *Thats* an internal review process. To say that the Conf. Board of Canada did an internal review? Thats utterly laughable.

    Good work Mr. Geist for spotting this and stepping on it very early.

    • by linzeal ( 197905 )
      Yeah, my question is why they don't have the smarts to do what every college student has been doing for years. Translate what you want to copy into another language in Babblefish, translate it back into English, correct the grammar and use the time you would of taken on writing that paper smoking more pot.
      • Good luck with that.

        Original English Text:
        The Stranger (1942), by Albert Camus, is one of the most famous French novels of the twentieth century and is among the most notable literary expositions of the absurdity of human existence in an indifferent universe. Philosophically, it is an existential novel, despite Camus not considering himself an existentialist.

        Translated to French:
        L'étranger (1942), par Albert Camus, est l'un des romans franÃais les plus célÃbres du 20Ãme

  • by Piata ( 927858 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:15PM (#28126935)
    First I've heard of it. I've never had troubles accessing any site ever. This article seems a little bias when you consider how much more liberal Canadian laws are in the use of our internet and information technology in general. (i.e. we don't have a DMCA)
    • by nattt ( 568106 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:21PM (#28127055)

      But Canada does not have fair use, but instead fair dealing which is a lot less liberal than the USA's fair use.

      • by Sj0 ( 472011 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:07PM (#28128031) Journal

        Yeah, but due to the law of unintended consequences, Canada has incredibly liberal copyright laws thanks to earlier lobbying efforts by the music and movie industries.

        • by nattt ( 568106 )

          Due to the record companies getting a levy on blank CDs, we have audio private copying, which indeed through the "law of unintended consequences" allows Canadians to make private copies of music, but that is a right that has been paid for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gordguide ( 307383 )

      " ... This article seems a little bias when you consider how much more liberal Canadian laws are ... i.e. we don't have a DMCA. ..."

      Canada has both more and less restrictive copyright law than the US does; that it is "liberal" is simply spin by the usual suspects, which would come as no surprise to anyone following the modern copyright debate.

      Regarding the DMCA, although it's somewhat strange to say "we don't have a [law enacted by a foreign government]" since sovereign nations always pass their own laws, v

  • What's a "conferance" board? Spell-check, anyone..?
  • by revjtanton ( 1179893 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:24PM (#28127111) Homepage Journal
    Is that the Canadian's downloaded the plagiarized reports via BitTorrent.
  • Do as I say..... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MacColossus ( 932054 )
    Not as I do! ;-)
  • Oh wait. I can't because of copyright. Man, this made so much more sense when there were printing presses.

  • by hurfy ( 735314 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:30PM (#28127249)

    I, for one, am speechless....maybe they should have been too.....

  • for the poor chickens that had to work overtime to lay all those eggs!

  • Seriously??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TbB_thund3rp33l ( 1054546 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:37PM (#28127385)

    Seriously Conference Board of Canada, seriously? Did they think that people wouldn't check up on this??

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by joelmax ( 1445613 )
      They probably spent all the money on booze, pot, and hookers, didn't do the work, then, the night before, realized they needed to come up with something fast, and fired up BT :P

      Personally, I think the Board should be taken to court over this, they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, and while I don't agree with the copyright laws necessarily, I think that if they are there, they should be followed, especially by the people who support it. If the people who are supposed to be the supporters of
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:07PM (#28128025)

    Ok... the title above is obviously lifted, but it comes very handy and no longer under copyright protection, hopefully.

    Let's see then the story here:

    1) US copyright groups want to send people to jail in the US and around the world for downloading music, etc. for their own listening, viewing, etc. pleasure.

    2) Conference Board of Canada was downloading documents from US copyright lobby groups, lifted them partially into a paid, for profit report to support the Canadian government to formulate laws, reflecting the interests of US copyright lobby groups.

    3) How about feeding the US lobby groups recommended medicine to Conference Board of Canada as a test? Suing the hell out of the Conference Board of Canada? Demanding jail term for the head of the organization?

    4) How about commissioning a report, on how US copyright lobby groups are influencing or directly rig the legislation process in other countries?

  • Admitting plagiarism?

    Wasn't it exactly them who said that music had the right to children?

    np: Autechre - Teartear (Amber)

  • Previous story/ies decorated the Conference Board of Canada with "prestigious". In which circle does the prestige hold sway?
  • by TropicalCoder ( 898500 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:24PM (#28128427) Homepage Journal

    Under their retraction [conferenceboard.ca] they provide a contact link. I clicked on that link and gave them my thoughts as pasted below, and the acknowledgement promises a response. Will get back to you on upon their reply.

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    After almost selling out Canada to the USA via your plagiarized reports on intellectual property, I would strongly suggest that you contract Prof. Michael Geist or at least work closely with him in the next effort. Michael is well know, extremely knowledgeable on the subject, and trusted by a large number of Canadians. Only in this way will you regain the prestige you once had.



    • That's an excellent letter to them.

      I'm going send the same one word-for-word, I think it'll help get the point across!

  • Dear Hulk,



  • by Anonymous Coward

    This really shouldn't be much of a surprise. Check out the people involved in their conference on Intellectual Property they are having tomorrow in Toronto.

    http://www.conferenceboard.ca/conf/09-0120/brochure.aspx [conferenceboard.ca]

    The president of the CRIA is the chair of the conference for crying out loud.

  • The Conference Board of Canada is really just a private company that claims to be independent and not to represent industry interests (it says so right on their about us page). If they really mean that then they must also know that in academia plagiarism is a crime, and the punishment is dismissal and black listing. I look forward to hearing that the senior people responsible for this report have been fired.

    • This is really bad. In tomorrows conference [conferenceboard.ca] to be presented by the Conference Board of Canada, we see who two of their sponsors are:

      "The Conference Board of Canada would like to acknowledge the contribution of the following individuals and organizations in the development of this conference:"

      Graham Henderson
      Canadian Recording
      Industry Association

      Wendy Noss
      Executive Director
      Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association

      Tomorrows conference is all about Intellectual Property Rights. They state:

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        I love the spin. From their "About Us" page:

        (2) Objective and non-partisan. We do not lobby for specific interests.

        (3) Funded exclusively through the fees we charge for services to the private and public sectors.

        (7) Independent from, but affiliated with, The Conference Board, Inc. of New York, which serves nearly 2,000 companies in 60 nations and has offices in Brussels and Hong Kong.

        Grover says, which of these three does not belong? (hint: it's the first one)

  • They hate plagiarizers. But they are plagiarizers. And they hate irony!
  • The ironic thing about this is if they had used some sort of copyleft license on the original lobbying material, this kind of sharing wouldn't have been an issue :]

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.