Friday, May 29, 2009

Too Amusing not to Memorailize...

At the risk of becoming an intellectual property lawyer infringing the copyright of a newspaper reporting on a research organization preparing a report on copyright plagiarizing a U.S. entertainment lobby group... (well off the irony-o-meter), the first paragraph from today's Globe and Mail gets the point across:

One of Canada's most respected research organizations has a black eye after being forced to withdraw three reports on copyright an intellectual property because they contain plagiarized information from a U.S. lobby group for the entertainment industry.

Headline: Think tank's approach to Hollywood: Copy That ;)

The research organization in question is the Conference Board of Canada. Many apologies about how internal rules (including external review) were not followed. The newspaper article doesn't say who individually, specifically wrote these now-withdrawn reports.

Who blew the whistle? The indefatigable Michael Geist. More (much more) at

At the least, this is really good anecdotal evidence of the international transmission of ideas and how this can influence international cooperation, harmonization etc. (Feel free to substitute lobbying for ideas in the preceding sentence) One debate in the academic/theoretical arena, of course, is whether such activity actually causes a sovereign country (like Canada) to act in anything other than its "self-interest". This invites a long discussion on the meaning of "self-interest" and how a country figures out what is in its "self-interest", but my personal short answer is yes.

I may come back and edit this post to add more information if I get more time.

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