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The outspoken Senator has finally seen the error of his plagiarizing ways  And has hurriedly released the following statement on the subject:

Although plagiarism in some contexts is considered theft or stealing, the concept does not exist in a legal sense. "Plagiarism" is not mentioned in any current statute, either criminal or civil. Some cases may be are treated as unfair competition or a violation of the doctrine of moral rights. The increased availability of intellectual property due to a rise in technology has furthered the debate as to whether copyright offenses are criminal. [much better citation needed] In short, people are asked to use the guideline, "...if you did not write it yourself, you must give credit."[11] [unless it is an unreliable source?]

Within academia, plagiarism by students, professors, or researchers is considered academic dishonesty or academic fraud, and offenders are subject to academic censure, up to and including expulsion. Many institutions use plagiarism detection software to uncover potential plagiarism and to deter students from plagiarizing (which seems totally unfair, by the way). In journalism, plagiarism is considered a breach of journalistic ethics, and reporters caught plagiarizing typically face disciplinary measures ranging from suspension to termination of employment. Some individuals politicians caught plagiarizing in academic or journalistic contexts claim that they plagiarized unintentionally, by failing to include quotations or give the appropriate citation. While plagiarism in scholarship and journalism has a centuries-old history, the development of the Internet, where articles appear as electronic text, has made the physical act of copying the work of others much easier. Trust me.


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Then the learned senator goes on to list some of the reasons, when and why plagiarism might be "justifiably" excused:

Among other factors that may excuse reuse of previously published material Samuelson (author of "Self-plagiarism or fair use?") lists the following:

  1)  The previous work must be restated to lay the groundwork for a new contribution in the second work.
  2)  Portions of the previous work must be repeated to deal with new evidence or arguments.
  3)  The audience for each work is so different that publishing the same work in different places is necessary to get the message out.
  4)  The author speaker thinks they said it so well the first time that it makes no sense to say it differently a second time.


The senator told "This Week" that says he doesn't consider speeches to carry the same rules of attribution that written pieces do, and said that he took offense to any suggestion of being intentionally dishonest or misleading.

He added: "I'm being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters ...
Afterall, I should know a little somthin' about that."

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[ Full Disclosure: Senator Paul didn't really say most of those things -- but just give him time and he probably will. ]



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