Plimer the plagiarist

Eli Rabett has been investigating Ian Plimer’s claim that climate scientists were cooking the books on the CO2 record. Plimer wrote:

The raw data from Mauna Loa is ‘edited’ by an operator who deletes what is considered poor data. Some 82% of the raw data is “edited” leaving just 18% of the raw data measurements for statistical analysis [2902,2903]. With such savage editing of raw data, whatever trend one wants can be shown. [p 416 of Heaven and Earth]

The raw data is an average of 4 samples from hour to hour. In 2004 there were a possible 8784 measurements. Due to instrumental error 1102 samples had no data, 1085 were not used due to up slope winds, 655 had large variability within 1 hour but were used in the official figures and 866 had large hour by hour variability and were not used.[2102] [p 418]

This drew a correction from NOAA’s Pieter Tans:

To illustrate how misleading
Plimer is I made a plot of 3 years of all hourly data, with 2004 in the
middle because Plimer discussed 2004. …
In the plot, “selected” data means that we have used it in constructing
the published monthly mean because those hours satisfy the conditions
for “background” measurements. The red stripes are extremely close to
the published monthly means. …
Also plotted in purple-blue are all non-background data. If one
constructs monthly means from ALL data, incl. non-background, one
obtains the purple-blue stripes. The differences are only slight, with
the seasonal cycle becoming a bit larger due to upslope winds, esp.
during the summer.

Tans concludes that Plimer is a con man, but the story doesn’t end there. Plimer’s reference 2102 is ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/in-situ/. I analyzed the 2004 Mauna Loa data from there and found there were some minor errors in Plimer’s numbers: In fact, due to instrumental error 1103 samples had no data, 1097 were not used due to up slope winds, 655 had large variability within 1 hour and were not used and 881 had large hour by hour variability and were not used.

No big deal, complaining about minor mistakes like this really would be nitpicking. But look at this page, where Ferdinand Engelbeen makes exactly the same mistakes as Plimer and has the numbers in the same order:

For 2004, 8784 hourly average data should have been sampled, but:
1102 have no data, due to instrumental errors (including several weeks in June).
1085 were flagged, due to upslope diurnal winds (which have lower values), not used in daily, monthly and yearly averages.
655 had large variability within one hour, were flagged, but still are used in the official averages.
866 had large hour-by-hour variability > 0.25 ppmv, were flagged and not used.

Now if they both got the numbers right they could have just independently analyzed the same data, but when two people make exactly the same four errors it is proof of copying. The Internet Archive shows that Engelbeen’s page has had those numbers since at least 2007, well before Heaven and Earth was published, so it is Plimer who has copied from Engelbeen. And since Plimer does not cite Engelbeen as his source, that’s plagiarism.

But why plagiarize Engelbeen? All Plimer had to do avoid academic misconduct was cite Engelbeen instead of the NOAA FTP site. Well, directly before the numbers that Plimer copied are two graphs, one showing the raw data and one showing the selected data. And directly after the numbers Engelbeen writes:

As one can see in the trends, despite the exclusion of (in the above second graph) all outliers, the difference in trend with or without flagged data is minimal, only the number of outliers around the seasonal trend is reduced and the overall increase in 2004 in both cases is about 1.5 ppmv.

And to end any doubt on this point, Engelbeen continues:

Does discarding of “contaminated” data influence the trend over a year or several years? I have asked that question to Pieter Tans, responsible for dataprocessing of the Mauna Loa data. His answer:

The data selection method has been described in Thoning et al., J. Geophys. Research, (1989) vol. 94, 8549-8565. Different data selection methods are compared in that paper, including no selection. The methods give annual means differing by a few tenths of 1 ppm. I assume that you have read the README file [4] when downloading the data. The hourly means are NOT pre-processed, but they are flagged when the st.dev. of the minute averages is large.

That’s the same Pieter Tans quoted earlier.

So it seems that the reason why Plimer didn’t cite Engelbeen was that Engelbeen conclusively refuted Plimer’s claims about data selection at Mauna Loa being used to manufacture a trend. (Engelbeen, by the way, is a global warming skeptic and wrote his page in an attempt to end the Keeling-curve denial of folks like Plimer.)

Comments

  1. #1 Orac
    October 25, 2009

    Did you hear Plimer’s latest on the podcast Ockham’s Razor? Normally, it’s a pretty good podcast about science and policy, but geez if it doesn’t have far too much of a liking for AGW denialists. I may have to turn off the feed.

  2. #2 kejr
    October 25, 2009

    Slight tangent, but wonder what Plimer would make of his new best friends at the spectator (which was going to host a debate between plimer & monbiot, until the former for some inexplicable reason was unable to answer 7 straightforward questions about his book). It’s not only AGW they are sceptical of:

    http://www.badscience.net/2009/10/aids-denialism-at-the-spectator/

  3. #3 Eli Rabett
    October 25, 2009

    Eli is too trusting.

  4. #4 sod
    October 25, 2009

    Plimer a plagiarist? i am unsurprised.

    how will he react to this news? well, exactly like he did when called on his “global warming swindle” graph.

    he will deny to give his source.

    Tim should already prepare himself for a new set of completely useless questions, that Plimer will ask him to avoid to have to reply.

    oh, and figuring out that he made the same errors in the exam as his table neighbour did, is of course an ad hominem attack… :)

  5. #5 frankis
    October 25, 2009

    Diabolical. Even were this to be drawn to the attention of Adelaide University which employs Plimer, which has him teaching supposed science to students, I think there’d be no action taken by them. If the university uttered a squeak now about his misconduct, after at least months if not years of complicity, the question would become why it had taken so long. By now they’d feel they’re stuck with “Oh that Ian and his blokey charm – gotta luv him!”

    Did anyone draw to the university’s attention the evidence in writing of his fraudulence in the correspondence published by Monbiot beginning a couple of months back? That would have upset anybody with the slightest respect for the profession of science.

  6. #6 Scribe
    October 25, 2009

    Plimer makes $100,000s a year from his directorships of several mining companies. These same companies are under direct threat from a carbon trading scheme. Plimer’s book agitates against such a scheme in his own financial interest. Is there really any more to be said? It is not science. It is propaganda, it is lobbying for an end. He is a polemicist, a pamphleteer, who talks from his pocket. He abandoned science long ago when he lost all his money in his quixotic attempt to unhorse creationists. Broke, he decided to look after his own interests from then on.

  7. #7 Ezzthetic
    October 25, 2009

    The link to Eli’s site seems to end in a blank page.

  8. #8 Matt Andrews
    October 25, 2009

    Plimer makes $100,000s a year from his directorships of several mining companies.

    That’s interesting. Any more details?

    In combination with the (apparently quite healthy) royalties he’s getting from H+E, that would go a long way towards explaining his bizarre (and anti-scientific, not to mention spectacularly immoral) antics.

  9. #9 taueret
    October 25, 2009

    man, this is disappointing. As an undergrad he made earth science interesting for us, and in those days (cough’80scough) he really did put it all on the line against creation ‘science’. Every time I read something like this it just makes me sad.

  10. #10 John Quiggin
    October 25, 2009

    @5 I’m not so sure he’ll get away with this. Plagiarism is treated far more seriously than other forms of academic dishonesty, partly because of the importance attached to citation and priority and partly because it’s comparatively unambiguous (there are possible defences of innocent error, but they are problematic). And, on the face of it, this looks like a particularly egregious case, where the citation has been deliberately omitted to mislead hte reader. There have been notable cases (up to VC level, IIRC) of academics losing their jobs for this kind of thing.

  11. #11 Jimmy Nightingale
    October 25, 2009

    Tim,

    Is anyone referring this to Plimer’s academic masters? It also makes you wonder whether this is the only example.

    I can just imagine how a possible expulsion would play in the denialosphere – the cries of conspiracy, trying to silence the dissenting voices, and other such nuttery.

    Having said that, the voices are certainly getting loud of late. I’m guessing that they will only get louder (and more desperate) as we get close to Copenhagen (and the CPRS hearing in the Senate here).

  12. #12 Neil
    October 25, 2009

    This story (from Saturday’s Age) mentions Pilmer’s mining interests.

    http://www.watoday.com.au/business/going-against-the-current-climate-20091024-he2t.html

  13. #13 phillip soffermann
    October 25, 2009

    General George S. Patton was the thinking man’s leader who played a highly significant role in the downfall of the Nazi Fascist regime…as we know. Interestingly, he said that for men to initiate war against other men…they must first hate themselves! As you infer…Taueret#9, the vehement ad hominem attacks (by Phillip Adams etc) and certain Deltoid bloggers on Plimer… are characteristic of an SS hated desire to publicly ‘bonfire the books’ and shoot the messenger… warm their hands around the fire whilst wearing sleazy schadenfreude grins. Plimer is simply trying to raise the level of debate about what is new…and what is NOT new… in the intricate and interwoven dynamic history of this planet.
    As Patton said…Either Lead, Follow, or Get Out Of The Bloody Way!

  14. #14 Dirk Hartog
    October 25, 2009

    The fact that the University of Adelaide hasn’t raised a finger against Plimer makes you wonder what is the value of documents such as their [Code of Conduct](http://www.adelaide.edu.au/hr/policies/polbrowse/wkplrelations/code\_of\_conduct.pdf)? Presumably someone with Plimer’s profile can’t be touched. I guess the management at U. Adelaide just want an easy life rather than standing up for integrity.

  15. #15 Bernard J.
    October 25, 2009

    oh, and figuring out that he made the same errors in the exam as his table neighbour did, is of course an ad hominem attack… :)

    Sod, it’s also academic misconduct.

    Back in my undergrad days, Plimer would have failed us for such an egregious example of pliagarism in a piece of work. An academic would have received an official caution – although as [fankis notes](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/plimer_the_plagiarist.php#comment-2022682) the University of Adelaide is probably going to be limper than a leaf of boiled lettuce in protecting the reputation of their academic integrity in this case.

    Oo, and taueret – if it was the mid-80s it is quite likely that we sat in the same lecture theatre together: G08, was it not?

  16. #16 dhogaza
    October 25, 2009

    Taueret#9, the vehement ad hominem attacks (by Phillip Adams etc) and certain Deltoid bloggers on Plimer… are characteristic of an SS

    Oops, Godwin’s law. Epic fail.

  17. #17 Bernard J.
    October 26, 2009

    [Phillip Soffermann](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/plimer_the_plagiarist.php#comment-2023150).

    Can you point out which “ad hominem attacks (by Phillip Adams etc) and certain Deltoid bloggers on Plimer” are not in fact accurate summations of Plimer’s grievous misrepresentations of, and lyings about, the real understanding of the climatology behind global warming?

    Plimer is simply trying to raise the level of debate about what is new…and what is NOT new… in the intricate and interwoven dynamic history of this planet.

    No, silly…

    …Plimer is lying, distorting and misrepresenting science [so perniciously](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/04/the_science_is_missing_from_ia.php#comment-1662002) that he should be disciplined by his employing institutions. His misconduct has been repeatedly listed at Deltoid, as well as on RealClimate and other blogs: had Plimer had the courage to attempt publish his garbage in the scientific literature he would have been skewered at the peer-review stage, and had he tried to circumvent the process by publishing in a rag like Energy and Environment he would have rapidly been dissected in more reputable journals.

    The evidence for Plimer’s breath-taking mishandling of science is plainly laid out in [Ian Enting’s ongoing collation](http://tiny.cc/pAV1F). If this is not enough for you, there are lists of other refutations of Plimer’s nonsense [here](http://tbp.mattandrews.id.au/2009/06/06/debunking-plimer-heaven-and-earth/), and [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/06/lambeck_on_plimer.php#comment-1716962), or you could simply following any of the threads on Deltoid or the other aforementioned blogs.

    If you feel that Plimer has been hard-done-by, then please refer to the rebuttals that you disagree with and show exactly why they are wrong.

    Flapping your wings and clucking about how nasty everyone has been to Poor Ian is not in any way a defence.

  18. #18 Steve Chamberlain
    October 26, 2009

    13 phillip soffermann: As you infer…Taueret#9,

    Come back when you’ve learned the difference between “infer” and “imply”. Dolt.

  19. #19 Steve Chamberlain
    October 26, 2009

    13 phillip soffermann: “… SS hated desire [blah blah blah] shoot the messenger… [blah blah blah] wearing sleazy schadenfreude grins. Plimer is simply trying to raise the level of debate about what is new…and what is NOT new…

    Oh, is that what he’s doing? And here was me thinking all those scientists typing endless webpages cataloguing the innumerable errors, misattributions and sins of omission and comission in H&E were doing it simply to show those of us not schooled in climate science what an appallingly inaccurate (if not dishonest) diatribe his book is. Poor, poor misunderstood Plimer, huh?

  20. #20 Marion Delgado
    October 26, 2009

    Orac:

    Ockham’s Razor also had Lambeck on, Lambasting Plimer’s book. They’ve had Plimer on twice now, but the Science Show (which is connected to that show) and them have had at least 2 severe critiques, and I think one more.

    So don’t give up on them yet, please.

  21. #21 Marion Delgado
    October 26, 2009

    since frank-bi is not here, shorter phillip sofferman:

    You really ought to check out Phillip Adams and Late Night Live if you haven’t already, as the raving lunatics are decidedly unfond of him.

  22. #22 Ken Miles
    October 26, 2009

    This wouldn’t be a first for Plimer. From Jeffrey Shallit’s review of Plimer’s [Telling Lies for God](http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~shallit/plimer.html):

    Even more serious is the lack of attribution for large sections of the book. Here are three instances:

    1. The calculation on page 21, showing that Heaven is hotter than Hell, seems to be based on a tongue-in-cheek article from the journal Applied Optics [2]. However, Plimer treats this lighthearted spoof as a serious critique of a literal interpretation of the Bible, and he does not provide any citation to this article.

    2. Much of the material on pages 53-72 of Telling Lies for God is apparently lifted from Joyce Arthur’s article [4]. (Joyce Arthur kindly brought this to my attention.)

    For example, consider the following passage from Arthur’s article:

    Gish claims that Dubois “concealed the fact that he also discovered at nearby Wadjak and at approximately the same level two human skulls with a cranial capacity … somewhat above the present average.” With this remark, Gish was insinuating that Dubois was hiding evidence that the Homo erectus bones could not be from a “missing link” between modern humans and an ape ancestor. However, as Brace pointed out, Dubois had already published these previous Wadjak finds. They were completely unrelated to his more recent Homo erectus finds, which, incidentally, were found 100 miles away from Wadjak, not nearby.

    Now compare this to what Plimer has to say on the matter, on page 57 of his book:

    Gish claimed that Eugene Dubois, who discovered Homo erectus in Java in 1891, `concealed the fact that he also discovered at nearby Wadjak and at approximately the same level two human skulls with a cranial capacity … somewhat above the present average’. Gish was implying that Dubois was hiding evidence that the Homo erectus find could not be a transitional form between modern humans and apes. However, Gish does not inform his readers that Dubois had previously published his Wadjak finds, that they were unrelated to his Homo erectus finds and that Wadjak was not nearby but more than 150 kilometers away.

    If this is not plagiarism, it is awfully close to it. Arthur’s article does get a mention in Plimer’s bibliography, but Plimer does not acknowledge Arthur once on pages 53-72.

    3. Chapter 4, which is a critique of a literal interpretation of the Noah’s Ark story, is one of the best parts of the book. Unfortunately, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, what is good about Plimer’s book is not original, and what is original is not good. As Jim Lippard has brought to my attention, much of Chapter 4 is taken almost verbatim from a 1983 article of Robert Moore [3].

    To give just one example, Moore says

    …the cages for horned animals must have bars spaced properly to prevent their horns from getting stuck… Even the flooring is important, for, if it is too hard, hooves may be injured, if too soft, they may grow to quickly and permanently damage ankles… ungulates must have a cleated surface or they will slip and fall …

    while on page 106, Plimer says

    Cage bar spacing would have been variable depending upon the size of the animal and whether the animal had horns which were likely to get stuck……Flooring just could not have been all `gopher wood’ as hard floors damage hooves, soft floors stimulate hoof growth and ungulates must have a slip-proof cleated surface.

    Despite these similarities, Moore’s article is not acknowledged; nor is it even referenced in Plimer’s bibliography. This is very poor scholarly practice, even in a popular treatment like Telling Lies for God.

  23. #23 phillip soffermann
    October 26, 2009

    doghaza#16… Just what is ‘Godwin’s Law’?…never heard of it. Does he work for the creationists or ‘intelligent design’ mob?
    Bernard J#17 Read Phillip Adams’ column (W/End Australian~4 weeks ago) for his bloated blathering blasphemy of Ian Plimer…similar to the tripe often found in above posts! You are the one doing all the clapping and flucking.
    Steve Chamberlain#18…infer(colloq.) means to hint or imply..Didn’t you know? Or are you just another doltoid?
    Congratulation fellahs…you are all now honorary junior members (under 16yrs) of RARANS (Ranters and Ravers and Nitpickers Society). Let me know when you capable of civil debate.

  24. #24 Donald Oats
    October 26, 2009

    Plagiarism, or at the least very sloppy note-taking and lazy paraphrasing, doesn’t tend to worry the general public. Among professional scientists, especially those that make claims of how rigorous their field is, plagiarism is treated as a grave misdeed – as it should be. Plimer has repeatedly claimed that his scientific field of geology is fact based, as opposed to a lot of climate science in his opinion. In any case, I reckon he’ll just shrug it off and say he misplaced the references, forgot it was from someone else’s article, and/or that the book is for the general public, not for scientists, and so it is okay to miss the odd reference.

    If a lot more such misappropriations are detected and are sufficiently close in wording to the original sources to be considered plagiarism, well in that case I think he would be in a bit of trouble. However, if the university were to chuck him out on that basis you can bet that the media would pounce on it as persecution (rather than prosecution).

  25. #25 Dave
    October 26, 2009

    Shorter phillip soffermann:

    Lalalala I’m not listening lalalala, you’re all nitpickers, I can just assert evidence is tripe with no justification and magically win an argument lalalala counter-arguments are for fools. And because I just dismissed all your work without any evidence and with lots of insults, you’re all uncivil. Oh and I [can’t use google](http://lmgtfy.com/?q=godwin%27s+law&l=1).

  26. #26 Mark Byrne
    October 26, 2009

    Phillip Sofferman,

    You have been asked directley, “If you feel that Plimer has been hard-done-by, then please refer to the rebuttals that you disagree with and show exactly why they are wrong.”

    Your lack of response to this is starting to look like a hole in your argument.

    The criticism of Plimer have been documented in detail. It is interesting that the defense of Plimer is so weak.

  27. #27 Janet Akerman
    October 26, 2009

    Phillip Soffermann, [here](http://lmgtfy.com/?q=phillip+soffermann+epic+fail&l=1) is an contemporary example of Goodwin’s Law.

  28. #28 Janet Akerman
    October 26, 2009

    In fact, goggling [your name alone](http://lmgtfy.com/?q=phillip+soffermann&l=1) is enough show the association with Goodwin’s Law.

  29. #29 sod
    October 26, 2009

    well, Plimer is falling apart quickly.

    but basically all heroes of the denilaist crowd have close to zero credentials left.

    it doesn t matter to their audience. errors are explained by a consensus conspiracy. or simply ignored.

    the scientific illiteracy of their audience and their utterly un-sceptic approach to any denialist material is a massive advantage.

  30. #30 Steve Chamberlain
    October 26, 2009

    Sofferman #23: “Steve Chamberlain#18…infer(colloq.) means to hint or imply..Didn’t you know?”

    I’m perfectly well aware, thank you. Now, run along. Come back when you can tell the difference between “infer” and “imply”. Obviously you still think they’re the same. Dolt.

  31. #31 lord_sidcup
    October 26, 2009

    Apologies for being off-topic, but exiled Australian commentator Clive James has published a very silly article, courtesy of the BBC, supposedly in “praise of scepticism”. The article is light-hearted, but recycles many denialist classics and, most galling of all, characterises them as the mistreated scientific sceptics, and the rest of us as believers who alter facts to “suit the theory”:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8322513.stm

    I’ve sent my response (still in moderation), and invite others to do the same.

  32. #32 Jim Eager
    October 26, 2009

    phillip soffermann asks @23 “Just what is ‘Godwin’s Law’?”

    Try getting off your lazy slacker arse and look it up.

  33. #33 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    > Let me know when you capable of civil debate.

    > Posted by: phillip soffermann

    Let us know when you’re going to debate, civilly or not.

    Making blank statements isn’t a debate. It’s just talking.

  34. #34 Katharine
    October 26, 2009

    Oh, ad hominem attacks.

    That’s all Phillip Soffermann and his crazy bunch can do when they don’t bring the facts.

    Inference is making a conclusion from a set of facts; hinting or implying has very little to do with inference. They are sort of the opposite process; someone making a statement may hint or imply whereas someone seeing a statement may infer.

    Aside from that little bit of mangling of your language, you haven’t even brought a cogent argument, merely been all wharrgarbl and compared anyone who criticizes your dear Plimer to the Luftwaffe, or some other Nazi-affiliated bunch.

  35. #35 Jim Eager
    October 26, 2009

    soffermann also writes: “Plimer is simply trying to raise the level of debate about what is new…and what is NOT new”

    On the contrary, Plimer is simply trying to distract and mislead his readers, and thus obstruct any effort to address the problem of global warming/climate change resulting from the burning of fossil carbon fuels, by presenting irrelevant and straw-man arguments, misrepresenting facts and data, and outright lying. Moreover, he is apparently perfectly willing to plagiarise other peoples’ ideas while doing so.

    Do let us know when you capable of intelligent debate.

  36. #36 Thomas Huld
    October 26, 2009

    Quite apart from the plagiarism, isn’t Plimers argument just plain wrong?

    Even if you edit your daily data to throw away 80% of the data, you CAN’T make a trend where none exists. If you consistently edit your data and throw away the low points, all you will get is a constant positive bias. The trend over the years will remain.

    Only if you edited all the many years of data in one go and removed the high points in the beginning and the low ones in the end could you do this. Since these data are published at regular intervals, that’s not possible.

    It’s amazing that denialists harp on what should be the least controversial bit of evidence in AGW. But then again, it’s like the creationists droning on about Piltdown man, 56 years later.

  37. #37 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    A good point, Thomas.

    Unless We in the New World Order knew how long we’d have to keep the tale going before forcing all the rich people into our nut mines…

  38. #38 carrot eater
    October 26, 2009

    Any plagiarism here is besides the point. What’s worth noting is that somebody in the chain (possibly Plimer, possibly somebody else) looked at the page of Engelbeen (himself a sceptic) and knowingly cherry-picked what they wanted from it, leaving out everything else, which was inconvenient to them.

    Unless Engelbeen is also not the original source, and he himself took those numbers from somewhere without citing them.

    In any case, this sort of non-analysis pops up among the denial camp. “Oh no, the raw data at Mauna Loa is processed somehow; they might be massaging it to get what they want!” Well, did you bother to see what they’re doing, and what effect it has? Or would that require too much work or curiosity? “Look, here are a few poorly sited weather stations! Or, it’s all due to urban heat!” Well, did you bother to see how that’s dealt with, or whether it makes any difference at all?

  39. #39 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    > Any plagiarism here is besides the point.

    No, it’s very much the point.

    Copyright crime costs the industry thousands of billions a year. Some people breeching copyright for no monetary gain are being sued for millions of dollars.

    Therefore this sort of criminal activity which is done in a work sold for profit is a heinous crime and not only should all the profit go to the injured party (the scientists whose work was plagiarised) but millions should be paid to the distributor of the plagiarised work.

    Needless to say the perpetrator of this modern day piratical crime should be jailed.

  40. #40 carrot eater
    October 26, 2009

    39, @Mark:

    That’s quite the overreaction, I think. I don’t know where you live, but in the US, at least, there is nothing criminal about plagiarism or copyright infringement; you cannot be jailed for it. If this Engelbeen really wants to bring a civil lawsuit, that’s up to him.

    I stand by my opinion. It isn’t all that interesting that Plimer used material from the webpage of some obscure sceptic without citing it. Yes, he should have cited his source, but that has no bearing on whether or not Plimer is making any sort of valid point.

    What’s interesting is that Plimer’s conclusion, “With such savage editing of raw data, whatever trend one wants can be shown” is easily shown to be wrong. And while I wouldn’t use some random person’s website as a primary source, Plimer seems to have done so, and in so doing ignored the rest of what was written on that page.

    Again, we’re also all assuming that it was this Engelbeen who sat there and counted up the numbers. If this topic is interesting, shouldn’t somebody ask him if he is actually the original source?

  41. #41 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    > That’s quite the overreaction, I think.

    RIAA, MPAA, BPI, ASCAP and many, many more react just that way, carrot.

    And the courts are buying it.

    So as far as de-facto law is concerned, it is no overreaction.

    > I stand by my opinion.

    Which is fine. You are entitled to any number of incorrect opinions.

    > Again, we’re also all assuming that it was this Engelbeen who sat there and counted up the numbers.

    Well, he made the earliest known copyrighted statement, so this doesn’t make Plimer’s work not a copyright crime, does it. Even if it’s taken from another source which is a common source for the two, it’s still a criminal copyright infringement.

    We have plenty of evidence that Engelbeen wrote it first and no evidence that Plimer got it from someone else and an astronomically unlikely scenario that they just both “happened” to get it wrong.

  42. #42 William
    October 26, 2009

    “coking” the books it a bit literal. *[I was tempted to leave it, but I fixed it. Tim]*

  43. #43 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    I shoud clarify the “incorrect opinion”. The opinion is incorrect that plagiarism is not pertinent. Plimer is a criminal.

    Copyright infringement for commercial gain is piracy and has criminal sanctions.

    I think that ignoring this level of criminality is horrendous and damaging our society and these criminals must be punished.

    Try copying a few pages of the script for “Alladin” by Disney and sell the play thereby created. See how Disney and the court consider it unimportant…

  44. #44 tharanga
    October 26, 2009

    Mark: You missed my point. Copyright infringement is (at least in the US) generally a civil matter, not criminal, and as such, is not punishable by jail time. That is why I said you overreacted. OK, there is such a thing as criminal copyright infringement, but I rather doubt it applies here. You can look that up for yourself.

    As for Engelbeen having made the “earliest known copyrighted statement”, I have my doubts on that, as well. It’s a personal webpage; I don’t see any sign that he’s registered a copyright on his webpage material. Can you sue somebody for copying your website, if you haven’t obtained any copyright? I wouldn’t have thought so, but I’m not a lawyer.

    Also, in the academic world, I’ve never heard of authors call for jail time when they feel they weren’t cited when they should have been.

    In the end, what’s of highest relevance for climate science is that Plimer is wrong – not that he’s sloppy with citations.

  45. #45 carrot eater
    October 26, 2009

    @Mark: Oops, I used a name I use elsewhere; that last comment was me. In any case, I think you should review what falls under civil law, and what falls under criminal law.

    And really, if say James Annan should have cited Hansen in some paper but didn’t, would you be reacting in this way?

  46. #46 Phila
    October 26, 2009

    Can you sue somebody for copying your website, if you haven’t obtained any copyright?

    Copyright exists from the moment a work is put in tangible form, so yes. Notice of copyright is not necessary.

    No offense, but if you don’t know the answer to a question as basic as this one, you probably shouldn’t be making this argument.

  47. #47 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    > In any case, I think you should review what falls under civil law, and what falls under criminal law.

    And one thing that makes it criminal rather than civil law is commercial copyright infringement.

    Please note: the US now has statutes that make personal copying a crime too. The preponderance of evidence isn’t good enough for a criminal case, but the copyright cartels use the criminal statute to file a “John Doe” criminal lawsuit which requires the ISP give up information about the customer (which isn’t required in a civil case) then when they have the name, drop the criminal case and create a civil case with the name found (which cannot be done with a John Doe as the defendant in a civil case).

    And Plimers theft is criminal.

  48. #48 Phila
    October 26, 2009

    Re: jail time, here’s what Plagiarism.org has to say on the matter:

    Most cases of plagiarism are considered misdemeanors, punishable by fines of anywhere between $100 and $50,000 — and up to one year in jail.

    Plagiarism can also be considered a felony under certain state and federal laws. For example, if a plagiarist copies and earns more than $2,500 from copyrighted material, he or she may face up to $250,000 in fines and up to ten years in jail.

    Of course, there’s little chance Plimer is going to jail over this. But claiming that he should, if found guilty, is not outrageous by any means.

  49. #49 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    > Also, in the academic world, I’ve never heard of authors call for jail time when they feel they weren’t cited when they should have been.

    In the academic world, you don’t have people lying like Plimer does in his non-academic-world commercial book.

    Two reasons for the price of one!

    Copyright law IS ridiculous, but we aren’t going to make it non-ridiculous by not using it. The most likely way is to hurt those who benefit from its brokenness. And that requires using it in its abusive form.

  50. #50 sod
    October 26, 2009

    the problem with Plimer is, that we have shown countless errors in his output. an additional error doesn t really matter.

    plagiarism is something new.

    but i don t think either a lawsuit or even only an academic penalty will follow.

    it is just another problem with the guy, and an additional fact to point to.

  51. #51 carrot eater
    October 26, 2009

    @Phila, 46: Yes, you are right. You should register the copyright if you want to bring a lawsuit, but that can be done after the fact. My apologies.

    We can argue over whether any of this fits the criminal statute (or look up the laws in Belgium or Australia), or whether similar cases have ever been prosecuted before, but I think we all know the chances of criminal proceedings or extradition are rather slim.

    But I still think the response here is disproportionate. OK, let’s make it a commercial example – if James Annan wrote a book, and should have cited Hansen for the analysis given in a couple sentences, would you really be calling for jail time?

  52. #52 dhogaza
    October 26, 2009

    But I still think the response here is disproportionate. OK, let’s make it a commercial example – if James Annan wrote a book, and should have cited Hansen for the analysis given in a couple sentences, would you really be calling for jail time?

    Keep in mind that Mark greatly exaggerates his understanding of the practical application of US copyright law.

  53. #53 carrot eater
    October 26, 2009

    Before we go too far with this, somebody should go to that database and make sure Lambert’s counts are correct. It’s good to double-check these things.

    sod, 50:

    If somebody who doesn’t know much about climate science read Plimer’s book and came to you, saying “hey, I read this and it seems pretty convincing, what about all this?”, what would you do?

    I think the most effective thing would be simply to show those countless errors. A missing footnote, in itself, won’t have any impression on that person. A missing footnote that hides the fact that the source rather disagrees with Plimer: sure, that’d have some impression.

  54. #54 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    > Keep in mind that Mark greatly exaggerates his understanding of the practical application of US copyright law.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    Ah, let’s look at the historical records:

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1984277>

    >No. Please, people, STFU when you don’t know what the F U are talking about.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1984714>

    > Is it possible, Dhogaza, that while facts are not copyrightable, the work of gathering and composing them in ways that make them intelligible is.

    > Posted by: Fran Barlow

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1984801>

    > I’m sorry, but when someone makes a mistaken claim then insults me when I point out they’re wrong, I’m not letting them off the hook.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1985836>

    > I posted the relevant US Civil Code section.

    > Readers can decide for themselves: which source is more authoritative?

    > 1. Mark.
    > 2. US Civil Code

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    > As I said, readers can decide for themselves whether Mark or the US Civil Code is a more authoritative source.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    > Trrll, thanks for the clarification, you’re right, I was mistaken in this instance.

    > As Mark is wrong regarding many other claims he’s making about copyright.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1986189>

    > Oh, and dog, the US is a common law country.

    > Case law trumps the law text if case law disagrees.

    > Posted by: Mark

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1986239>

    > Yawn. #248 proves you’re not always wrong.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    NOTE: couldn’t even say “Ok, you’re right on this one”. Had to say “not always wrong” leaving the implication that I’m almost always wrong.

    And now, having got all that completely wrong, he’s now spouting the same penny-ante “he’s wrong ‘cos he’s always wrong” BS. And forgotten how little he knows about copyright.

    What a pissant.

  55. #55 Eric L
    October 26, 2009

    This would also seem to suggest that Plimer has read Engelbeen, which tells us he is not the clueless crank I thought he was but rather knows he is peddling BS. That is useful to know.

  56. #56 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    > Keep in mind that Mark greatly exaggerates his understanding of the practical application of US copyright law.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    Ah, let’s look at the historical records:

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1984277>

    >No. Please, people, ST FU when you don’t know what the F U are talking about.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1984714>

    > Is it possible, Dhogaza, that while facts are not copyrightable, the work of gathering and composing them in ways that make them intelligible is.

    > Posted by: Fran Barlow

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1984801>

    > I’m sorry, but when someone makes a mistaken claim then insults me when I point out they’re wrong, I’m not letting them off the hook.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1985836>

    > I posted the relevant US Civil Code section.

    > Readers can decide for themselves: which source is more authoritative?

    > 1. Mark.
    > 2. US Civil Code

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    > As I said, readers can decide for themselves whether Mark or the US Civil Code is a more authoritative source.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    > Trrll, thanks for the clarification, you’re right, I was mistaken in this instance.

    > As Mark is wrong regarding many other claims he’s making about copyright.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1986189>

    > Oh, and dog, the US is a common law country.

    > Case law trumps the law text if case law disagrees.

    > Posted by: Mark

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1986239>

    > Yawn. #248 proves you’re not always wrong.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    NOTE: couldn’t even say “Ok, you’re right on this one”. Had to say “not always wrong” leaving the implication that I’m almost always wrong.

    And now, having got all that completely wrong, he’s now spouting the same penny-ante “he’s wrong ‘cos he’s always wrong” BS. And forgotten how little he knows about copyright.

    What a twonk.

  57. #57 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    Remember dog peddled this same line about me knowing nothing last time.

    Turned out he knew nothing and was wrong.

    Still peddles the lie, though.

  58. #58 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    > If somebody who doesn’t know much about climate science read Plimer’s book and came to you, saying “hey, I read this and it seems pretty convincing, what about all this?”, what would you do?

    I don’t know about sod, but I’d laugh.

    Really, it’s that bad.

    I’d probably send them to a flat-earther site or organza.org and see what they think. If they don’t think THAT is pretty convincing, I’d ask why. The level of science in it is about the same.

  59. #59 dhogaza
    October 26, 2009

    Remember dog peddled this same line about me knowing nothing last time.

    Well, actually, I quit posting on that thread when you cited a court case in support of your misunderstanding THAT THE FEDERAL JUDGE THREW OUT OF COURT BEFORE IT CAME TO TRIAL.

    Whatever.

  60. #61 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    > THAT THE FEDERAL JUDGE THREW OUT OF COURT BEFORE IT CAME TO TRIAL.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    And plenty of other cases where they didn’t were also brought up.

    Another case of plagiarism which you INSISTED had nothing to do with copyright, despite copyrighted works being the only works you can plagiarise. But you never noticed that, did you.

    You epic failed on it and still splutter and stamp your little feet doing *”he’s wrong ‘cos he’s wrong and I’m right and he’s wrong and he never admits it and he’s wrong and I’m right, whatever”*

  61. #63 Dave R
    October 26, 2009

    carrot eater @ 53:

    Before we go too far with this, somebody should go to that database and make sure Lambert’s counts are correct. It’s good to double-check these things.

    The difference is due to Engelbeen and Plimer not counting the rows where there is a * in the comment field (the readme file doesn’t say what that means). I think that’s an easy enough mistake to make that it wouldn’t necessarily be proof of copying. Here are the counts…

    $ egrep ‘ (I..|.[UVD].)$’ mlo2004_01C0_hr.co2 | awk ‘{print $8;}’ |
    sort | uniq -c
    15 .D*
    866 .D.
    12 .U*
    1085 .U.
    655 .V.
    1 I.*
    1102 I..

  62. #64 Dave R
    October 26, 2009

    BTW, it looks like there’s a bug that cuts off the end of long lines if you use preformatted code blocks (by indenting with 4 spaces). It was all visible in the preview.

    *[I edited it to break the line. Tim]*

  63. #65 Phila
    October 26, 2009

    OK, let’s make it a commercial example – if James Annan wrote a book, and should have cited Hansen for the analysis given in a couple sentences, would you really be calling for jail time?

    Posted by: carrot eater | October 26, 2009 3:21 PM[kill]​[hide comment]

    I’m not calling for it here. All I’m saying is that since jail time is an available legal response to plagiarism, recommending it in a specific case is not obviously “disproportionate.” It’s unrealistic, sure, but that’s a different argument.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and I don’t see any reason to downplay it. In particular, claiming that there’s nothing criminal about it is simply wrong. That said, I’m much more interested in how his employers and colleagues will respond, assuming he’s actually guilty.

  64. #66 Mark
    October 26, 2009

    Dave, you DO realise that that code you wrote is copyrighted!

    If they both did that, one could accuse the other of stealing their software!

    Net change: nil.

    It is a little strange that both got the same numbers wrong the same way when it relies on a bug on the code being the same, so again I think that (like George Harrison’s unintended copying of four notes), if it went to court, there would still be a case found against Plimer.

    Remember: source code wasn’t copyrightable at one point. A lot of the law didn’t change, though.

    > That said, I’m much more interested in how his employers and colleagues will respond, assuming he’s actually guilty.

    > Posted by: Phila

    Me too.

    Which may be why nobody’s bothered. As long as he keeps his predations on those other denialists (like the EPA guy did), he won’t be taken to task, since a court case against a fellow denier would harm the cause.

    Either Plimer would have to be disowned or his pals have to show they don’t care about intellectual property if they are the ones taking it.

    But wouldn’t it be great to see it happen?

  65. #67 Dave Andrews
    October 26, 2009

    Just a question, because I truly don’t know the answer.

    Is it possible to plagiarise a blog post?

  66. #68 trrll
    October 26, 2009

    Another case of plagiarism which you INSISTED had nothing to do with copyright, despite copyrighted works being the only works you can plagiarise. But you never noticed that, did you.

    No, this is incorrect. Plagiarism is a form of academic/intellectual misconduct. It is dishonest, but not a crime. If you take some text that is in the public domain (a Shakespeare sonnet, for example), and list yourself as author, you are committing plagiarism, but not copyright violation.

    Of course, in the process of committing plagiarism, an individual may commit violation of copyright or other crimes, but these are separate matters. For example, if you then sell that sonnet to a publisher, representing it as your own work, you are committing fraud.

    Here’s a question that I don’t know the answer to: are the courts more likely to deny a “fair use” defense for reproduction of copyrighted material if the material in question is plagiarized rather than properly credited? Perhaps somebody with greater knowledge of the law can comment.

  67. #69 dhogaza
    October 26, 2009

    Another case of plagiarism which you INSISTED had nothing to do with copyright, despite copyrighted works being the only works you can plagiarise. But you never noticed that, did you.

    Actually, i said that I was wrong about that point. I learned something.

    Maybe, someday, you’ll learn something, too. First, though, you have to understand that you don’t know everything.

    Anyway, I’m just messing with you. I’ve decided that rather than be annoyed by you, I’ll treat you as being an entertaining creature I can set off by yanking your chain. Sort of like tossing kittens in front of a pit bull. You’re behavior is predictably ugly. Might as well take advantage and enjoy it.

    Cheers, dude.

  68. #70 dhogaza
    October 26, 2009

    Another case of plagiarism which you INSISTED had nothing to do with copyright, despite copyrighted works being the only works you can plagiarise. But you never noticed that, did you.

    Trrll did a much better job of explaining the relationship between plagiarism and copyright than I did in our previous go-around. Maybe you’ll figure it out, now.

    Meanwhile, go for the throat, dude! Rip that kitten to bits!

  69. #71 dhogaza
    October 26, 2009

    Here’s a question that I don’t know the answer to: are the courts more likely to deny a “fair use” defense for reproduction of copyrighted material if the material in question is plagiarized rather than properly credited? Perhaps somebody with greater knowledge of the law can comment.

    That’s a genuinely interesting question, and while I don’t know the answer, I have a glimmering as to why it’s interesting.

    Fair use doctrine allows one to use pieces of a copyrighted work for the purpose of criticism or parody. Typically the point of either is to target the creator of the work, so the work’s properly cited. Think book reviews etc.

    Fair use doctrine never allows you to copy a piece of a work and to claim it as your own.

    So I think the answer to your question might be “yes” but … IANAL and this is just a blog post.

  70. #72 dhogaza
    October 26, 2009

    Shit, can’t resist:

    Do you think if either defendant had not paid up, they WOULDN’T be looking at jail time?

    Yes. We don’t have debtor’s prison in the United States any more, and I don’t believe you do in England, either.

  71. #73 Connor
    October 26, 2009

    Mark wrote:
    ———————————————————
    I don’t know about sod, but I’d laugh.

    Really, it’s that bad.

    I’d probably send them to a flat-earther site or organza.org and see what they think. If they don’t think THAT is pretty convincing, I’d ask why. The level of science in it is about the same.
    ———————————————————-

    Weren’t you the guy having a go at me for asking this question in the Open Thread 33? Obviously some people DO take people like Plimer seriously and when they bring up his fraudulent claims then we can either counter them or let them stand and let the denier crowd think that they are winning the argument.

    I took the the advice of Marco in the open thread and emailed Pieter Tans, the whole thing ended up with two posts over at Eli’s blog and this subsequent post. I think asking questions about claims by hacks like Plimer is quite important. Especially if asking such questions can bring things like this issue of plagiarism to light.

  72. #74 Craig Allen
    October 26, 2009

    I studied biological sciences at Adelaide University . I remember an incidence where several academics came into a lecture theatre, identified a student and frog-marched him out. Turns out that he was in deep trouble for either cheating or plagerism! In made a big impression on us all. Seems that the university’s standards have slipped somewhat.

  73. #75 CapitalClimate
    October 26, 2009

    Plimer’s directorships, courtesy of wikipedia:
    Ivanhoe Australia
    CBH Resources
    Kefi Minerals

  74. #76 Scribe
    October 26, 2009
    Plimer makes $100,000s a year from his directorships of several mining companies.

    That’s interesting. Any more details?

    More details at SourceWatch.

  75. #77 carrot eater
    October 26, 2009

    Mark, 60: You aren’t doing anything useful. You’ve googled up a few cases of criminal infringement (post 58), and now a couple cases of (the much, much more common) civil proceeding (post 60). None of them bear any resemblance to this topic, beyond the superficial fact that copyright is involved.

    “Do you think if either defendant had not paid up, they WOULDN’T be looking at jail time?” No, they wouldn’t have, as those music cases (in post 60) were civil proceedings. If any DA were inclined to bring a criminal case, they would have. But they didn’t.

    You need to find some example that actually bears some resemblance to the current situation. Running websites for pirated music: not even remotely a relevant precedent.

    61, Dave R: Thank you for looking into it. The comments say that “An alphanumeric other than a period (.) in the THIRD column provides additional information about the collection or analysis of the sample.” So the “*” has some meaning, but I don’t see what.

    64, Mark: I think you misunderstand the confusion. The difference between Plimer’s 1102 and Lambert’s 1103 is that Lambert lumped “I.*” together with “I..”.

    I agree with Dave that this is an error that could plausibly be made by two independent workers. However, the similarity in language and order does make it look like Plimer paraphrased the Engelbeen page.

    Realistically, assuming these two acted as normal people do: if Engelbeen cared, he’d write to Plimer, and Plimer would add a footnote for the next edition. And that would be the end of it.

  76. #78 dhogaza
    October 27, 2009

    Mark, 60: You aren’t doing anything useful

    Succinct, to the point, and over the über-genius’s head.

    Sad, really.

  77. #79 dhogaza
    October 27, 2009

    No, they wouldn’t have, as those music cases (in post 60) were civil proceedings.

    The basis, of course, for my (admittedly) snarky post that we don’t have debtor’s prison in the US anymore, and AFAIK, nor does the UK.

    With Mark, being explicit isn’t necessary, he’s an unprejudiced denier of all logic …

  78. #80 carrot eater
    October 27, 2009

    Dave, 67: Plagiarism is an ethical term more than it is a legal one; it is possible to plagiarise any source, including a blog.

    For the legal question, website material is protected by copyright.
    http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html#website
    http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#mywork

  79. #81 Donald Oats
    October 27, 2009

    Once money via student fees (HECS and full fee paying) became a big contributor to the university funding, universities underwent a profound change in attitudes towards plagiarism. They still publicly declare it to be a breach of ethics by scholars (ie both student and research staff), but their private behaviour towards the offence doesn’t generally match the rhetoric. In fact, there are some well known cases of universities severely punishing the discoverer of the plagiarism, rather than the perpetrator. Sad but true.

    Having had roughly two decades of fees, the universities are now very much like other for-profit corporations. It isn’t all bad of course; however it is a barrier to acting against (rainmaker) professionals who are discovered to have plagiarised a bit. Only if the university employee has thoroughly trashed the university’s reputation internationally would I be confident of action against that person.

  80. #82 Mark
    October 27, 2009

    Donald, where they DO still come down on students like a ton of rectangular building things is when the students don’t buy the approved books and instead get older copies and mark out where the new copy changes the book/question order.

    And other stuff like that.

    There’s not just a two-faced attitude, it’s a freaking legion.

  81. #83 Mark
    October 27, 2009

    > With Mark, being explicit isn’t necessary, he’s an unprejudiced denier of all logic …

    That’s rich coming from the guy who refuses to answer questions, lies about being asked questions and ignores the evidence brought up to show the question was asked.

    When you stop projecting Plimer, maybe you’ll be coherent, dog.

  82. #84 Mark
    October 27, 2009

    > Weren’t you the guy having a go at me for asking this question in the Open Thread 33?

    If you asked this question in Open Thread 33, why are you asking again in Open Thread 34? If anyone answers this time, will you ask again in Open Thread 35? (Or, maybe, having been spotted, you’ll skip one and hope by Open Thread 36 it’ll be forgotten?)

    > However, the similarity in language and order does make it look like Plimer paraphrased the Engelbeen page.

    That was pretty much my take on Dave’s code. If they got the same bug, it’s probably *still* plagiarism and copyright theft.

    > if Engelbeen cared, he’d write to Plimer, and Plimer would add a footnote for the next edition.

    There’s a good reason for Engelbeen not to care as I pointed out, and how many ordinary joes would get a “apologise and we’ll say no more about it”? None.

    This could be because they’re fellow denialists and the cause is too important, or just because Plimer is an important personage. That has happened before: a music exec’s daughter was found to have shared music on P2P. Despite a mother being sued then her children being sued for this, the exec’s daughter was told off and apologised. The RIAA are still suing the kids.

  83. #85 Mark
    October 27, 2009

    > Dave, 67: Plagiarism is an ethical term more than it is a legal one; it is possible to plagiarise any source, including a blog.

    Carrot, a blog has copyrighted content. Breech of copyright alone is enough.

    And for some, making it available on the internet as per protocol is no protection to indexing the content being sued by the website owner:

    < http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20070726152837334>

    So, theoretically, the blog owner can sue even if you say “But they put it on the internet to read!”.

    PS neither link seems to say that plagiarism is a merely ethical act. There are criminal sanctions available.

  84. #86 Mark
    October 27, 2009

    > The basis, of course, for my (admittedly) snarky post that we don’t have debtor’s prison in the US anymore, and AFAIK, nor does the UK

    We do still have jails. A grandmother and pensioner was sent into one for not paying the council tax.

    This is different from debtors prison_how_?

  85. #87 Mark
    October 27, 2009

    > Trrll did a much better job of explaining the relationship between plagiarism and copyright than I did in our previous go-around.

    Well that’s mostly because Trrll got it more right and you still got it wrong, dog.

    You repeated again and again, despite many posts from others and myself showing examples where the law as you quoted wasn’t used as quoted in a copyright infringement case.

    Your response was to quote the law and say “who are you going to trust: the law I quoted or Mark” when that is a false choice. One presented not to make the correct point but to avoid admitting you were wrong. Something you accused me of within all the swearing you did. Projection: accuse others of what you’re doing and do it first.

  86. #88 Mark
    October 27, 2009

    > No, this is incorrect. Plagiarism is a form of academic/intellectual misconduct.

    This is incorrect. Not that it is not a form of misconduct but that it isn’t a copyright offense. You cannot plagiarise content that is not copyrightable.

    It is.

    And for commercial gain is a criminal one.

    Free speech controls what you write and can only be rescinded in the terms of IP law and the laws of libel.

    1) Trademark. You cannot pass yourself off in words or pictures as another company to the confusion of the customer.

    2) Copyright. You cannot pass yourself off in words or pictures of an owner of words if the words belong under copyright to another.

    3) You cannot incite violence or libel with criminal intent.

  87. #89 Mark
    October 27, 2009

    > Here’s a question that I don’t know the answer to: are the courts more likely to deny a “fair use” defense for reproduction of copyrighted material if the material in question is plagiarized rather than properly credited? Perhaps somebody with greater knowledge of the law can comment.

    > Posted by: trrll

    You cannot be sued for abuse of copyright by the plagiarist.

    The copyright owner or the courts themselves (if the courts consider it a criminal offense, which is only persued by the courts and government) can persue and in the US the fair use rights are elements where copyright is not supposed to control free speech.

    They are often claimed affirmative rights, but this is because in the US under civil prosecution you can be sued for copyright infringement even when it hasn’t happened.

    If your use falls under fair use, then neither the original owner or the plagiarist has a case against you. If it doesn’t fall under fair use, then the plagiarist has no case against you, but the real copyright owner does.

    But this is the same result for the plagiarist: they have no claim on those words.

  88. #90 ScaredAmoeba
    October 27, 2009

    As much as I detest Plimer for his deceitful book H+E and his numerous anti-scientific talks and interviews, now available via YouTube, I’m not sure that the references to his mining interests are entirely fair.

    So far as I can see: the source ‘The Age’ lists ‘North Broken Hill’ and ‘two ASX listed stocks, CBH Resources and Ivanhoe Mines.’ These mines are listed on Plimer’s Wikipedia page.

    Now unless I have missed something [quite possibly], these are metal ore mine outfits, not fossil-fuel related; i.e. coal etc. Clearly all industrial-scale mining relies upon plentiful energy and that is commonly sourced from fossil-fuels. But it would seem that’s it, as far as I can tell.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am no apologist for Plimer. It seems quite clear to me from what I have read that Plimer has lied, dissembled and distorted the truth regarding climate science. As I have children and believe that we should pass the planet to the next generation in the same state as it was when we inherited it, my opinion of Plimer and his ilk is utterly unrepeatable in polite company.

  89. #91 WotWot
    October 27, 2009

    Mark & dhogza:

    Your petty pointless personal feud is getting real boring, and is making this blog very unrewarding to read.

    Make your peace, or take it elsewhere.

  90. #92 Michael Pyshnov
    October 27, 2009

    This is my definition of plagiarism: Plagiarism is a falsification of the fact of authorship.

    I did some research on the law of plagiarism because of this:
    http://www.universitytorontofraud.com

  91. #93 Mark Byrne
    October 27, 2009

    >*Clearly all industrial-scale mining relies upon plentiful energy and that is commonly sourced from fossil-fuels. But it would seem that’s it, as far as I can tell.*

    As you’d imagine this means no small interest in carbon pricing. In Australia miners get a diesil fuel tax break, which changes the economics of what is profitable to extract. (Eg Olympic Dam expansion – to create the biggest hole in the world-, will be subsidised by a fuel tax credit that will equal all government Royalties. A Carbon price will likewise change the economics of extraction.

    A Board Member of an extractive industry would be hit hard by a carbon price.

    In addition miners come under several ‘banners’ together such as the Minerals Council of Australia, which is campaigning loudly to water down any carbon price and maximise compensation to big polluters

  92. #94 TrueSceptic
    October 27, 2009

    91 WotWot,

    Quite. Can I suggest that Tim bang their heads together?

  93. #95 Mark
    October 27, 2009

    > This is my definition of plagiarism: Plagiarism is a falsification of the fact of authorship.

    And authorship is the one who retains copyright until they pass it on via contract.

  94. #96 Marco
    October 27, 2009

    @ScaredAmoeba, £90:
    Ivanhoe Mines mentions that it also controls exploration rights in Mongolia, which include coal:
    http://www.ivanhoemines.com/s/NariinSukhait.asp
    That’s as far as I got.

  95. #97 Mark
    October 27, 2009

    > Make your peace, or take it elsewhere.

    > Posted by: WotWot

    Why?

    Really.

    Why?

    Dog makes a statement, I say “it’s wrong” and dog goes all apeshit.

    Then after being found wrong he jumps straight to the same old “you’r always wrong” schtick.

    Hell, we don’t even treat Ducky or Grima or Fatty that way. Anyone got a link where someone says “El gordo is always overstating what he knows” and nothing else to say WHY the statement this was in response to was overstated or wrong?

    No, I don’t think that has ever happened.

    But dog doesn’t want to be wrong and will do anything to avoid it. And he’s got a boner on every chance he’s got to just jump straight in and diss me.

    We all diss ducky, but we tell him why we’re dissing him, not just “You’re wrong. Whatever”.

    dog has a problem.

    I’m fucked if I know what, but he’s pretty damn nutso.

  96. #98 Bernard J.
    October 27, 2009

    There is so much that I would like to say, but the pace of comment has moved faster than I can type, so I will simply restrict myself to several observations…

    1)

    It seems to me that ‘fair use’ would, in colloquial terms, occur where reproduction may occur without permission, but with some form of attribution. In Plimer’s case with respect to Englebeen’s paragraph, and as an assessor of undergraduate essays and reports, I would give a Big Red Cross for inadequate attribution: without attribution, I would not recognise fair use, and I would recognise pliagarism.

    This is something that Plimer himself, amongst other academics, taught me.

    2)

    Whether or not Plimer is in criminal breach of copyright, and whether or not he is prosecuted for any such breach, is irrelevant to his academic/’scientific’ pliagarism of another’s work. I was taught, and I myself have taught my own students, to attribute, attribute, attribute at every instance: it is no poor reflection upon one’s self to do so, and it is, indeed, an indication of a properly trained scientific professional.

    Plimer has not attributed the clearly a priori copyright of Englebeen, and even if Englebeen makes no claim against Plimer for breach of copyright, the matter of pliagarism, and thus of scientific misconduct, remains unchanged against Plimer. His supervising institution should act against him whether any criminal/civil proceeedings are brought against him or not: quite simply, it appears that there is a prima facie case that he has breached the ethical guidelines for scientific conduct, and that he has done so in a very obvious and egregious way – a way that, in my experience with academia, would not be tolerated in any undergraduate essay or report.

    You do the crime, you do the time.

    If U of A administrators would rather turn a blind eye to Plimer’s indiscretions, where they wouldn’t accept the same behaviour from a less experienced undergraduate… well, that’s all well and good, and it’s their prerogative. However, it still does not change the fact that Plimer engaged in academic misconduct: it simply means that the University chose to ignore such an instance where they may have otherwise acted.

    All-in-all, it is a sad reflection on both Plimer and (if no action is taken to investigate) on his employers. I know that if I or any of my colleagues had behaved as Plimer has, my own employing institutions would have commissioned an investigating committe at the very least.

    From all outward appearances the guy is guilty, and the shit will stick to his shoes. If the host chooses to let him remain in the room, so be it, but he still stinks, and no amount of deordorant will change the fact.

    When I think back to the standards he hammered us with as undergraduates, I can only muse on how far it is that he has fallen.

  97. #99 sod
    October 27, 2009

    well, multiple errors in the book. this part taken from Engelbeen (the error about being NOT included is pretty telling..), again with multiple errors and no quotation. and his interests in the mining industry.

    no sane person would accept what he says.

    but denialists are not sane persons…

  98. #100 dhogaza
    October 27, 2009

    We do still have jails. A grandmother and pensioner was sent into one for not paying the council tax.
    This is different from debtors prisonhow?

    It’s tax evasion, not failure to pay a debt. In the US, at least.

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