Quote of the Day

The objects of which Paris folks are fond — literature, art, medicine and adultery.

 – unknown –

A window in Paris

A window in Paris

German Jury’s Handling of Plagiarism

Yesterday’s article,  Not Plagiarism but Mixing and Matching, Says Best-Selling German Author, 17, from the New York Times, is about a young German author, who sees nothing wrong in committing  intellectual property theft.

For her acclaimed book, Axolotl Roadkill, she took whole passages from a blogger’s website and included those in her book. She calls it mix and match, I call it plagiarism.

Growing up in Germany and attending German schools, there was no such term as plagiarism. Back then, the worst students could do was to get caught cheating on the test.

In this day and age though, with information readily available, it looks as if this  student has missed a valuable lesson, of which the Golden Rule is just the beginning. Plagiarism is a crime and gets punished with expulsion in some schools around the world. If a celebrity gets caught stealing, the dues are outrage from the public.

The 17-year-old author tried to be clever and innovative on her way to fame. But for the editors to have missed these plagiarized passages is yet another story. Don’t they run them through the search machine? A good editor should be able to recognize an illegally copied text by just reading it. Any book, especially written by such a young author, should be thoroughly checked for inconsistencies. She talked about life in Berlin’s clubs (some of which require its patrons to be 21 years of age), which would be unknown to her as a minor. Too many inconsistencies slipped by the editors and the jurors.

Her book has become a finalist for a major book prize of $20,000 prize at the Leipzig Book Fair in the fiction category. Yesterday, one jury member admitted to the panel having known of the plagiarism charges prior to the nomination.

It seems these inconsistencies did either slip by editors and jurors, or were plainly overlooked. By German standards, was this case of plagiarism not deemed worthy in respect to breaking literal ethics or was it just plain ignorance coming from these well-read literary experts?

Man sieht nur das, was man weiß.
(You only see what you know.)

– J.W. von Goethe

Diese Webseite verwendet Cookies. Wenn Sie auf der Seite weitersurfen, stimmen Sie der Cookie-Nutzung zu. Mehr Informationen

Diese Webseite verwendet so genannte Cookies. Sie dienen dazu, unser Angebot nutzerfreundlicher, effektiver und sicherer zu machen. Cookies sind kleine Textdateien, die auf Ihrem Rechner abgelegt werden und die Ihr Browser speichert. Die meisten der von uns verwendeten Cookies sind so genannte "Session-Cookies". Sie werden nach Ende Ihres Besuchs automatisch gelöscht. Cookies richten auf Ihrem Rechner keinen Schaden an und enthalten keine Viren. Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf der Seite “Datenschutzerklärung”.