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In Argentina, Law Against Plagiarism Plagiarized 165

Posted by kdawson
from the send-yourself-to-jail dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An Argentinian politician who introduced a law to send plagiarists to jail for three to eight years appears to have plagiarized the explanation of his bill directly from Wikipedia. The bulk of his explanation is three paragraphs that are taken, verbatim, from Wikipedia, without acknowledgment."
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In Argentina, Law Against Plagiarism Plagiarized

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  • by ls671 (1122017) * on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:35PM (#32208552) Homepage

    Do as I say don't do as I do, some politicians outside of Argentina also have that attitude ;-)

    • by Jerrry (43027) on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:38PM (#32208592)

      "Do as I say don't do as I do, some politicians outside of Argentina also have that attitude ;-)"

      In my experience, that's what all politicians do. As do the cops. They set bad examples for the rest of us.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:14PM (#32209154)

        "Do as I say don't do as I do, some politicians outside of Argentina also have that attitude ;-)"

        In my experience, that's what all politicians do. As do the cops. They set bad examples for the rest of us.

        No joke. The constitutions and other founding legal documents of all modern governments should have included a clause stating that when any politician, law enforcement officer, or other government official breaks the law, they will be subject to three times the penalty (fines, duration of incarceration, or both) that an ordinary citizen would suffer had he or she done the same. The reasoning is that when they break the law, it represents a threat to the institution of law and the concept of the rule of law, both of which are fundamental and essential to the functioning of modern society.

        Also, if the politicians and particularly the cops really wanted to improve their public image then the honest ones would stop looking the other way when they have knowledge of the corruption of the dishonest ones. Cops in particular are rather brave people; facing an armed assailant is "all in a day's work" for them and a possibility they accept willingly. Therefore, this cannot be a matter of courage or fear of retribution and is instead a matter of complicity. That complicity makes them just as guilty as those whose corruption they ignore. This is one of the main reasons why they are sometimes perceived as thugs who act only in their own self-interests while pretending to protect and serve.

        The only other thing that would dramatically improve relations between the general public and government would be to end the War on (some) Drugs. It began for mostly racist reasons and persists as a form of class war. The only reason why the proceeds from drug dealers might fund criminal organizations and create more crime is because there is high demand for these products that is not going away and no legitimate, honest business that can compete in an open market with them. There is also no moral justification for telling adults what they may or may not do with their own bodies and no ethical basis for imprisoning those users who are responsible and do not pose a danger to others with their habit.

        The classic example of this is someone who comes home from work and relaxes with a joint, does not drive, does not leave his home, and does not disturb his neighbors. What case is there for putting such a person through the nightmare world of our legal system? He or she is not violating anyone else's civil rights. How does persecuting such a person benefit society or create the perception of good and competent governance? Anyone who doesn't think such abuses foster an adversarial relationship between citizens and government has little grasp of reality.

        • by cromar (1103585)
          We do need to end the War on (all) Drugs. Legalize the ones, such as marijuana, that are relatively harmless. Decriminalizing everything else and making the punishment drug treatment, along with the legalization of relatively benign substances, would reduce the power of organized crime in the Americas to ashes within a year or two.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            Marijuana is harmless? Are you high?

            • Marijuana is harmless? Are you high?

              It may not be totally harmless, but there's certainly nothing to show that it's more harmful than tobacco or alcohol, both of which you can buy at any convenience store.

              That's quite aside from any other issues with those particular substances, especially alcohol. When's the last time you saw someone who was stoned deliberately start a brawl?

            • by cromar (1103585)
              No, not so far today! In so much as marijuana is not particularly addictive, if at all, and that there is no known LD-50 for it, and the fact that it has no long term effects on your organs (you don't have to smoke it), etc., etc. Yes. It is safe, or at least safe enough that the government has no business prohibiting it, especially given that any harm marijuana may cause to its users is rendered moot by the harm caused by prohibition. For instance the Mexican cartels make somewhere between 60% and 75%
              • There is more to the question than, does it kill you?

                It doesn't, however chronic marijuana use is as debilitating as chronic alcohol use. It's very easy to spend weeks months even years stoned. That is harmful to the individual and society however being dosed up with antidepressants or Valium or other prescribed drugs can be just as bad if not worse and although legal they are not such a great alternative, marijuana is often used in place of prescribed drugs .

                On the whole legalization makes sense, the peop

        • by MRe_nl (306212)

          Addendum: A clause stating that when any president, pope or politician declares war, they shall lead the charge themselves physically, and if incapable their spouses, first-born children, brothers, sisters and or parents must take their place on the front line.

          Sending other peoples children to fight and die with no measurable sacrifice of your own: fuck that.

          • That may be reasonable from an empathy standpoint, but you're completely ignoring the fact that we live in a modern society with specialization of labors. As unfair as it is, some people find that military service is the kind of job that suits them personally, while others do things like law, IT, engineering, or a host of other specializations. Your argument is totally valid for any sort of draft, though. Drafts should start with children of elected officials.
            • by causality (777677)
              I can't attribute it unfortunately, but the applicable saying is:

              "I've always considered statesmen to be more expendable than soldiers." As in, there's plenty more where those came from.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          No joke. The constitutions and other founding legal documents of all modern governments should have included a clause stating that when any politician, law enforcement officer, or other government official breaks the law, they will be subject to three times the penalty (fines, duration of incarceration, or both) that an ordinary citizen would suffer had he or she done the same. The reasoning is that when they break the law, it represents a threat to the institution of law and the concept of the rule of law

          • by billcopc (196330)

            Maybe the central tenet is wrong...

            Just sayin'

          • Many laws have various types of aggravating circumstances. Abuse of a position of authority in the commission of a crime actually is frequently considered to be one. "All are equal before the law" does not prohibit taking circumstances into account, or accounting for aggravating and mitigating factors in sentencing.

            That being the case, the central problem is exactly the one you identified. If those in a position of authority never get prosecuted for their crimes at all, the question of what we would sentence them to if they were becomes rather moot.

            As to this idiot, I hope if they pass his law they make him its first prosecution. It's the very definition of arrogance and believing you're above the law to commit the very crime you're trying to prohibit others from doing while writing the law to prohibit it.

        • The classic example of this is someone who comes home from work and relaxes with a joint, does not drive, does not leave his home, and does not disturb his neighbors. What case is there for putting such a person through the nightmare world of our legal system? He or she is not violating anyone else's civil rights.

          No, but he or she is guilty of unauthorized personal pleasure, and the powers that be can't have that.

    • by SterlingSylver (1122973) on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:41PM (#32208650)

      "Do as I say don't do as I do, some politicians outside of Argentina also have that attitude ;-)"
      -SterlingSylver, May 2010

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061)

      As an Argentinian (living in Buenos Aires, Argentina), I have to say I'm more embarrassed that I usually am.

      In our defense, I must say, the guy is from Tucuman (You can think of Tucuman as our Kentucky), and he's a Peronista ...

  • by decipher_saint (72686) on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:39PM (#32208610) Homepage

    Oh pleaaaaaaaaaaase enforce the penalty!

  • Hypocrisy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Killall -9 Bash (622952) on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:40PM (#32208626)
    Same ole' crap. "Stop stealing," says the thief.
    • "The great thing about hypocrisy is that once you accept it in yourself, you are free to condemn it in others." :)

  • by AarghVark (772183) on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:40PM (#32208632)
    They should have done a Wikipedia search on the definition of irony.
  • Doesn't Argentina have like a free pass to take any IP that they want?

  • by waitwonder (1014869) on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:48PM (#32208762)

    It is a well written bill with unit tests included.

  • This makes me wonder how many politicians who favor strong copyright enforcement and huge windfalls for the RIAA download music illegally? Or about how many have children that do. Would G.W. Bush have favored the industry in the same way if his daughters had been sued for copyright infringement? I'm not sure, but I find it difficult to believe that legislators don't download songs illegally and believe themselves to be immune.
    • This makes me wonder how many politicians who favor strong copyright enforcement and huge windfalls for the RIAA download music illegally?

      Probably not that many. First off, many of those politicians are technologically illiterate, and couldn't download a song if their lives depended on it.

      Second, many of them are too wealthy to actually worry about such things - they just tell their personal assistants to get them the song(s) they want.

  • LOL (Score:2, Funny)

    by Beelzebud (1361137)
    You just can't make shit like this up!
  • by vrmlguy (120854) <samwyse@nospAm.gmail.com> on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:00PM (#32208938) Homepage Journal

    While I was in seventh grade, I missed a week of school due to an illness. My first day back in English class, we were told spend the hour writing an essay about the evils of plagiarism. In retrospect, it's obvious what happened in my absence, but at the time I didn't know what the word meant, just that it was bad. So, I wrote an essay on the evils of communism, substituting the word plagiarism throughout. Yes, I discussed the possibility of godless plagiarists taking over the country and forcing a plagiarist regime upon the American people. I don't think we got a grade for it, but the teacher thought it was pretty hilarious.

    • by ae1294 (1547521) on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:07PM (#32209044) Journal

      I wrote an essay on the evils of communism, substituting the word plagiarism throughout

      So how many terms did you serve as class president?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by guyminuslife (1349809)

        Class president? I was wondering which Senate seat he was elected to.

        • by ae1294 (1547521)

          Class president? I was wondering which Senate seat he was elected to.

          I didn't want to be rude and prevent him from stroking his ego by telling us all about how he overcome adversity to become the ______ elected to _______ before becoming ________ over at _________.

          Trying to work on my social skills and make friends...

    • by Chysn (898420)
      While I was in seventh grade, I missed a week of school due to an illness. My first day back in English class, we were told spend the hour writing an essay about the evils of plagiarism. In retrospect, it's obvious what happened in my absence, but at the time I didn't know what the word meant, just that it was bad. So, I wrote an essay on the evils of satanism, substituting the word plagiarism throughout. Yes, I discussed the possibility of godless satanists taking over the country and forcing a satanist re
  • I remember other stories like this with congresscritters and senator types putting up copyrighted songs or text on their websites and being surprised when it's pointed out. It seems that they generally have a subconscious understanding of fair usage and consider it common-sense... thinking that copyright law is the realm of printed book and pirated movies being sold on street corners. It would explain a lot if they're pushing for harsher penalties without understanding the frequency that common people unk

  • New word (Score:3, Funny)

    by identity0 (77976) on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:14PM (#32209140) Journal

    I propose a new word to describe this - wikiflagarism, the flagrant plagarism of wikipedia.

    It is an portmanteau of a malapropism with a neologism, or a Malamanteau. [xkcd.com]

  • Remember when employment discrimination due to gender and race was outlawed? Not for Congress, as they excluded themselves! As far as copyrights and patents go, most governments that enforce such rules write exemptions for "public use." For example, the US government can implement any patent as long as the patent holder is reasonably compensated. The fact that Representatives act irresponsibly in regard to handling such exemptions is just another proof that power corrupts.
  • Politicians never use [cnn.com] copyrighted [mediainstitute.org] material [freedomproject.us] without [kwikablog.com] permission! [mtv.com]
  • Plagiarizing Wikipedia is like singing Happy Birthday without paying royalties.
  • by baldusi (139651) on Friday May 14, 2010 @02:06PM (#32210186)

    I live in Argentina and have read the original proposal. In fact he's proposing to up the penalties for misrepresenting, selling fake property as the original or selling property without that you don't own. Basically, you could sell fake goods, but you'd have to state it, thus, you'll be infringing on copyright. It's not so much about plagiarism as about misrepresentation and selling of fake goods as originals.
    Having said that, I still think what he did was despicable and I seriously doubt his wits to be a representative. But which country is proud of its politicians? I would seriously consider moving there!

    • by Renraku (518261)

      Isn't Argentina the place where you can go on vacation and come home to find that your house has been sold and the courts will tell you to fuck off because the new owners didn't do anything wrong and so shouldn't have to give you your house back? Where you have to spraypaint NOT FOR SALE on your house to keep people from selling it when you go out overnight?

  • Pass the bill, with a rider that makes the law effective retroactively to the date of the bill was written.
  • In Soviet Russia, law plagiarizes you!

  • by Protoslo (752870) on Friday May 14, 2010 @06:43PM (#32214286)
    When I read this article, I immediately thought, what if he edited wikipedia (with a sockpuppet) to coincide with his bill before he introduced it? He can't be said to plagiarize his own text, after all.

    The revision history [wikipedia.org] of the article reveals that the current first three paragraphs were written [wikipedia.org] on 19 April 2010 by Andreasmperu [wikipedia.org], who has been a prolific spanish wikipedia user for some years, is certainly not a sock puppet, is probably a woman, and may be from Peru.

    Since I have disposed with the sock puppet theory, I feel comfortable embracing the much more humorous prevailing theory (pleasantly reinforcing my preconceptions about politicians) that Gerónimo Vargas Aignasse did in fact plagiarize the text of his plagiarism bill.

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