[Taxacom] Botanical Plagiarism

Robin Leech releech at telus.net
Mon Mar 11 22:09:43 CDT 2013

D'accord, mon ami.

-----Original Message-----
From: Gregor Hagedorn [mailto:g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com] 
Sent: March-11-13 6:21 PM
To: Richard Pyle
Cc: Stephen Thorpe; Robin Leech; Mark J. Costello; TAXACOM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Botanical Plagiarism

On 12 March 2013 01:00, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:
> 1) Ripping off an entire regional checklist from someone else and 
> reproducing it verbatim as though it was new original work, is 
> something that our community should scorn (whatever the legalities of
copyright are).

Correct. There are moral rights and good practices. You can loose your
academic status if you not cite your sources, COMPLETELY REGARDLESS of
whether it is a copyright violation. Often it is not. I would say: a
novelist or poet should focus on copyright, a scientist should focus on the
codes of practice of science. The two are not the same.


One correction: there seem to be general assumption in this thread that
"opinion" is copyrightable. Under international law this is NOT correct.

Basically, it would be copyrightable if it would be just a very creative,
largely unsupported opinion. But then you loose your status as a scientist.
If you carefully analyse the available information and form an educated
scientific opinion which you do or can argue about the reasoning, then this
is not creative. It very hard work, it is excellent and valuable work, but
not creative in the sense of copyright according to the Berne Convention.

Einstein with his invention was "creative" in the sense of thinking in new
ways, it was hard work elaborating them, but the theories are NOT
copyrighted, they are not "creative" in the sense of Copyright.


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