Chapter 5 Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Cheating 113
CHAPTER 5 Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Cheating Plagiarism and Cheating The satiric singer-songwriter and sometime Harvard professor Tom Lehrer on ce wrote the following logic: “Plagiarize, plagiarize. Let no one else’s work evade your eyes.” As this suggests, plagiarism and other forms of ch eating are by no means c onfined t o the student body. T his poi nt is e mphasized further by the following article. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is the biggest bestseller of all time, boasting more than 60 million copies in 44 languages. Brown’s net worth is reported to be about a quarter billion and climbing. But if another author, Lewis Purdue, were to be believed, most universities, if they played by their own rules, would fire Brown from their faculties. Perdue, author of 1983’s The Da Vinci Legacy and 2000’s Daughter of God, possesses an expert opinion from Director John Olsson of Britain’s Forensic Linguistics Institute, who has publicly called Brown’s book, “the most blatant example of in-your-face plagiarism I’ve ever seen.” Unfortunately for Perdue, when Brown and Random House hauled him into the federal court in Manhattan, seeking a declaration that Code did not violate Perdue’s copy- rights, the judge disallowed the expert report. Although Perdue is pursuing the case into the U.S. Supreme Court on a motion for certiorari, the two lower courts ruling against him may be dead right. Current U.S. copyright law protects only the actual expression of an author’s ideas, not the underlying ideas themselves. Copyright infringement...
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