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.)

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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.

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/

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... :)

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.

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.

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

By Ezzthetic (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

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.

@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.

By John Quiggin (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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).

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!

By phillip soffermann (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

By Dirk Hartog (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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#comme…) 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?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

[Phillip Soffermann](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/plimer_the_plagiarist.php#comme…).

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…) 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-ear…), and [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/06/lambeck_on_plimer.php#comment-1…), 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.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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

Come back when you've learned the difference between "infer" and "imply". Dolt.

By Steve Chamberlain (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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?

By Steve Chamberlain (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

By Ken Miles (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

By phillip soffermann (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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).

By Donald Oats (not verified) on 25 Oct 2009 #permalink

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).

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.

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

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.

By Steve Chamberlain (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

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

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

By lord_sidcup (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

phillip soffermann asks @23 "Just what is 'Godwin's Law'?"

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

By Jim Eager (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

> 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.

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.

By Katharine (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

By Jim Eager (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

By Thomas Huld (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

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...

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?

By carrot eater (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

> 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.

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?

By carrot eater (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

> 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.

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

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...

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.

@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?

By carrot eater (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

> 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.

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.

> 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.

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.

@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?

By carrot eater (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

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.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

> 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:

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

> Posted by: dhogaza

> 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

> 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

> 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

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

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

> Posted by: Mark

> 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.

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.

> 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:

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

> Posted by: dhogaza

> 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

> 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

> 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

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

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

> Posted by: Mark

> 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.

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.

> 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.

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.

> but I think we all know the chances of criminal proceedings or extradition are rather slim.

Nah. Plenty of prior on this:

Dimitry Sylkarov and Adobe ebooks

Jon Johansen and DVDDeCSS

Another here too:

The Pirate Bay vs Sweden

Another one here:

And one case of a Belgium company didn't turn up to a Texas court to defend himself against an unwarranted copyright claim and now has a court order for his arrest. Claim not investigated by the court because the defendant didn't turn up.

And here is another extradition to the US case for copyright infringement:

> 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"*

> 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

How about a real example:

Four notes was enough.

Zero notes was enough there!

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

that link above says there are criminal sanctions.

Criminal sanctions have always been available for copyright infringement on commercial instances.

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..

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]*

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]â[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.

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?

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

Is it possible to plagiarise a blog post?

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

By Craig Allen (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

Mark, 60: You aren't doing anything useful

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

Sad, really.

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 ...

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.

By Donald Oats (not verified) on 26 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

> 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.

> 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.

> 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:

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.

> 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_?

> 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.

> 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.

> 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.

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.

By ScaredAmoeba (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

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.

>*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

By Mark Byrne (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

91 WotWot,

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

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> 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.

> 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.

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.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

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...

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.

Oh, how can you people get bored when comments like this are forthcoming:

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

That's friggin' hilarious.

It seems to me that 'fair use' would, in colloquial terms, occur where reproduction may occur without permission, but with some form of attribution.

US law doesn't require it (can't speak for other countries), but the in contexts in which fair use apply - criticism, use of snippets for teaching, parody, etc - attribution is certainly the cultural norm. Even if not attributed, in the context of criticism and parody, at least, it will be clear that it's not your work. Using snippets for teaching and presenting them as your own will get you in trouble due to academic prohibitions against plagiarism.

As far as Mark goes ... I've been working with lawyers and US Copyright law for about forty years, regarding my software, written words, and photography (I've sold all three) and find his arrogant, faux-authoritative posting of absolute misinformation thoroughly offensive.

Having said that, I won't respond to any more of his posts. It's not like anyone here's likely to be dumb enough to accept his pronouncements as gospel and as a result accidently do something illegal or the like.

But it is interesting how a little yank of his chain leads to a long flood of abuse on his part. Baiting him isn't very nice of me, I admit.

> As far as Mark goes ... I've been working with lawyers and US Copyright law for about forty years

then how come you didn't know that the US was a common law system and that just posting the US statute didn't refute the examples given of copyright being persued in a way you said was impossible.

Case law trumps statute in a common law system.

I doubt very much that your perception of copyright is correct and believe that you have been given duff information by your lawyer friends on this subject.

In short: you may believe yourself right, but you are not.

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

> Posted by: dhogaza

If Jammie Thomas doesn't pay anything in the court case and loses her appeal then she will be jailed.

I just caught the channel 7 news. They covered the just released report on the potential cost of sea level rise to coastal properties in Australia.

The piece ended with Plimer having his say about how sea level has always changed and that just a few thousand years ago it was a few meters higher than now, stating that the current rise is not unusual or particularly concerning. Then the reporter concluded that some politicians think that global warming is a problem, others not, and that some scientists think one way and others the other, so therefore the jury is still out.

Despise him or not, Plimer is infuriatingly effective at spreading his disinformation.

By Craig Allen (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> Despise him or not, Plimer is infuriatingly effective at spreading his disinformation.

> Posted by: Craig Allen

Not really.

He's preaching to the converted. He's leaning against the open door.

That he is unable to effectively spread his disinformation is why he didn't agree to Monbiot's conditions for the meeting.

I'd appreciate it if someone could find a cite for the claim in #104 that you can be jailed for failure to pay statutory penalties in the United States.

Dear, dear.

Mark, slow down and read what we're saying. 80/85: The point is that the terms 'plagiarism' and 'copyright infringement' should not be used entirely interchangeably. Trrl also points this out.

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

Where in the link do you even see the word plagiarism?

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html

It's about copyright. Yes, if you plagiarise something, you will often have also committed a copyright violation. But that doesn't mean the words have the exact same usage.

I pointed out in 80 that website material is indeed protected by copyright; that's why I posted those links.

Further, you are obsessed with the RIAA cases, simply because they provide a few examples of criminal copyright prosecution, as opposed to civil. What you have not done is found any precedent similar to this situation. A criminal prosecution of somebody running a huge server for pirated files doesn't have much resemblance to a missing footnote.

And finally, I maintain that if, say, Gavin Schmidt was sloppy and forgot a footnote somewhere in his book, you wouldn't be calling for criminal prosecution.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

Further, you are obsessed with the RIAA cases, simply because they provide a few examples of criminal copyright prosecution, as opposed to civil.

The Thomas case mentioned in #104, though, is civil, not criminal (and in my #107 I meant to say "statutory damages").

> Mark, slow down and read what we're saying. 80/85: The point is that the terms 'plagiarism' and 'copyright infringement' should not be used entirely interchangeably.

I'm not either.

But if it isn't a copyright infringement then it isn't plagiarism either.

> Yes, if you plagiarise something, you will often have also committed a copyright violation. But that doesn't mean the words have the exact same usage.

Yes, so if you plagiarise, you're also committing a copyright breech.

This is what I'm saying.

And commercial copyright infringement is a potentially (and has several times been persued as) a criminal act.

You so far haven't said anything that I've not said, yet managed to add bits implying that I haven't said this myself.

> I pointed out in 80 that website material is indeed protected by copyright; that's why I posted those links.

And I haven't said they weren't. In fact I'd said that they were copyrighted and given more links to even more draconian action taken on the same thing.

> What you have not done is found any precedent similar to this situation

Case law doesn't require that. It requires a case where the law was used in a similar situation.

Commercial? Yup.

Copyright infringement? Yup.

Criminal action pursued? Yup.

Therefore in this case of commercial copyright infringement criminal action can validly be required to be pursued.

It is applicable case law.

> And finally, I maintain that if, say, Gavin Schmidt was sloppy and forgot a footnote somewhere in his book, you wouldn't be calling for criminal prosecution.

So? I'm not on Fox News as a talking head, am I. And so far, this hasn't happened. I'm not going to be held responsible for what YOU think I'd do. I'm not going to be responsible for your paranoia.

> The Thomas case mentioned in #104, though, is civil, not criminal (and in my #107 I meant to say "statutory damages").

> Posted by: dhogaza

This is an example of how, despite there being no debtors prison, someone can be jailed for being in debt.

Not an example of how copyright infringement is a criminal offence.

Please provide a cite that Ms. Thomas faces jail time for failure to pay statutory damages, or that anyone in the US can be jailed for failure to pay statutory damages awarded to a private party in a civil case.

Mark, 84:

I don't understand why you're hung up on this idea of a 'bug' in the code. No 'bug' is necessary, nor even code, really, to make this error.

Somebody could go through the data manually and make the decision to treat '.D*' as something different from '.D.'. It's a matter of judgment: what do you do with entries with a * in the third column. It isn't the fault of whatever code you used to parse the data.

So I could see how two people could independently reach the same counts, based on a similar misunderstanding of what a '*' in the third column means.

2004 data here.
ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/in-situ/mlo/mlo2004_01C0_hr.co2

That said, the two paragraphs very much read like paraphrases of each other, so that would indicate one being the source for the other. At the university level, that is a definite no-no, whether somebody bothers to sue or not.

Perhaps somebody with a lot of time on their hands might look for other instances in the book.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> I don't understand why you're hung up on this idea of a 'bug' in the code. No 'bug' is necessary, nor even code, really, to make this error.

It requires a procedure to be enacted into the code that is incorrect.

It's a bug.

Not even a feature.

> Somebody could go through the data manually and make the decision to treat '.D*' as something different from '.D.'.

Yup, you can match in a grep that is more correct (i.e. doesn't have a bug in it) that doesn't match .D* with .D.

.D.+ matches .D. and not .D, whereas .D* would match both.

> It's a matter of judgment: what do you do with entries with a * in the third column.

You treat them correctly. If the third column with a * in means "no comment" then treat it as no comment. If a third column with a quote mark in it means "ditto" which means "the same comment as above" then you treat it as the same comment above.

You may not be able to do this in a grep statement, but then in that case, the bug is using grep to do the processing.

You wouldn't use a regexp to write a decryption algorithm unless you love obfuscated perl. You'd use something else.

Same here.

If your problem cannot be solved correctly with grep, don't use grep. If two people do and get EXACTLY the same error, then this is an astounding coincidence. There are many ways of writing this program even if you exclude all the wrong ones (which would exclude using grep, making this the null set...). The "hello world" program has a rather more limited set of programming constructs to it so is more likely to get the same answer. However, if you ask your students to write a hello world program and two students come back with a "hellow world" program, you can be pretty sure they shared their result.

> or that anyone in the US can be jailed for failure to pay statutory damages awarded to a private party in a civil case.

> Posted by: dhogaza

Failure to pay even if appeal fails, contempt of court, jail.

> Parking offenses are not criminal offenses, but involve "civil" fines. ... to appear in court as promised (by signing a ticket), and failure to pay a fine without sufficient justification you can end up in jail

That's a contempt of court case, based on ignoring a string of court orders related to a child custody case and associated sanctions and attorney fees awarded due to the filing of a frivolous suit.

Not statutory damages in a civil suit.

Please provide a cite that Ms. Thomas faces jail time for failure to pay statutory damages, or that anyone in the US can be jailed for failure to pay statutory damages awarded to a private party in a civil case.

"Yes, so if you plagiarise, you're also committing a copyright breech."

I can plagiarise Shakespeare without violating copyright, as copyrights don't last forever.

Going the other way, I can start printing and selling unauthorised copies of Plimer's book, while leaving his name as the author. I didn't plagiarise, but I did violate a copyright, and would expect to get sued for it.

"Commercial? Yup.
Copyright infringement? Yup.
Criminal action pursued? Yup."

If you think that's all it takes to demonstrate that a DA would bother prosecuting for a missing footnote or would have a good chance of winning, go ahead.

"So? I'm not on Fox News as a talking head, am I."

I don't care who you are; you should be consistent in what you say. Don't go calling for jail time for somebody you don't like, if you wouldn't do the same if somebody you did like did the same thing.

If you honestly would call for a Gavin Schmidt to be tossed in jail for missing a footnote, then carry on.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

Parking offenses are not criminal offenses, but involve "civil" fines. ... to appear in court as promised (by signing a ticket), and failure to pay a fine without sufficient justification you can end up in jail

Parking fines are not statutory damages awarded in a civil suit between private parties. A parking ticket is a citation to appear in court which (in the US) can be waived if you pay the stated fine instead. Yes, you can go to jail for ignoring the citation to appear in court if you don't pay the fine. It's the failure to answer the citation that gets your ass in jail, though.

Not statutory damages in a civil suit.

Please provide a cite that Ms. Thomas faces jail time for failure to pay statutory damages, or that anyone in the US can be jailed for failure to pay statutory damages awarded to a private party in a civil case.

I think the point's made. If you can find a case that actually shows someone being tossed in jail for failure to pay statutory damages awarded to a private party in a civil case, I'd be surprised but ... I'd also be the first to admit I'd learned something.

Keep looking, but don't waste our time by posting cases that aren't relevant.

> Parking fines are not statutory damages awarded in a civil suit between private parties.

And this is about a civil problem ending in jail time.

If you're going to move the goalposts, do so before I find an example of a pre-goalpost-move event.

Also, I won't bother pointing out why your wrong if you keep posting irrelevant cites.

However, if you find one that actually supports your claim, I'll make an affirmative post.

Otherwise I'll be posting endlessly, I fear ...

If you're going to move the goalposts, do so before I find an example of a pre-goalpost-move event.

#107: "I'd appreciate it if someone could find a cite for the claim in #104 that you can be jailed for failure to pay statutory penalties in the United States"

(#104 is the Thomas case mention)

#109: "The Thomas case mentioned in #104, though, is civil, not criminal (and in my #107 I meant to say "statutory damages")."

#112: "Please provide a cite that Ms. Thomas faces jail time for failure to pay statutory damages, or that anyone in the US can be jailed for failure to pay statutory damages awarded to a private party in a civil case."

No goalpost move. Show us that Ms. Thomas faces jail time ... that was your claim, asking you to support it is not "moving the goalposts".

> That's a contempt of court case, based on ignoring a string of court orders ...

And not paying the court awarded statutory damages is a contempt of court for EXACTLY THE SAME REASON.

> Parking fines are not statutory damages awarded in a civil suit between private parties.

Except where the parking wardens are a private party.

Which is true in 100% of the UK and in many places in the US.

And why is that difference relevant anyway? Please show where the court cases presented to you in these links state that the reason why they apply is because they aren't statutory damages.

(see what I'm doing there, dog? same as you!)

You are impossible.

Looking at the data, I think it's quite reasonable that two independent workers could make the same mistake. This isn't a case of two people both writing 2+2=5.

Either

1) writing code that only looked for '.D.', instead of leaving a wild card for the third column

2) writing code (or heck, going through it manually), properly finding the '.D*' instances, but not understanding what the * meant, and omitting them from the counts.

If you think it's completely unlikely for two people to make this same error, go ahead.

But the similarity in language remains, which would seal the argument.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> No goalpost move. Show us that Ms. Thomas faces jail time ... that was your claim, asking you to support it is not "moving the goalposts".

> Posted by: dhogaza

Please show me where civil infraction is not what this case is about.

Civil copyright case: civil infraction of the law.

The reason why your parking fine can end in jail time is because civil infractions can end in contempt charges and jail time.

Please cite the law that states there's a difference between collection of a debt ordered by the court to the parking office and a corporation.

And not paying the court awarded statutory damages is a contempt of court for EXACTLY THE SAME REASON.

Cite, please. I've googled, and have found no evidence this is true. I've certainly never heard of a case of someone being thrown in jail for failure to pay statutory damages in a civil suit between private parties, i.e. the Thomas scenario you cite.

The reason why your parking fine can end in jail time is because civil infractions can end in contempt charges and jail time.

No, it's because you've signed a ticket promising to appear in court. You go to jail for failing to appear in court. The requirement to appear is waived if you pay the fine.

That's not how civil suits between private parties work, at all, not in the least.

C'mon, go find a relevant cite.

Eh, forget it, carrot eater is right:

"You are impossible."

OK, Mark, you can have the last 10,000 pig-ignorant words.

> Looking at the data, I think it's quite reasonable that two independent workers could make the same mistake.

David's point was it was possible to get the same error because a grep would have to be written correctly for that corner case and grep isn't really designed to do that. Therefore rather than steal his copyrighted words, Plimer could have written the same program.

But why write it with grep?

And the program isn't "two independent workers looking at the data". It's two programmers making the same mistake.

You wouldn't use grep on such poorly structured information.

Perl maybe.

Not grep.

Going through it manually you get the correct counts or a wrong count that is randomly wrong.

This is the ENTIRE point that Tim's making. If this were two independent people going through the table and totalling up the number of entries, each entry has several values that could be counted incorrectly and not noticed as wrong (i.e. close enough to the real value to be counted as the real value without ringing warning bells). But each number so counted not only has a range of incorrect values, but also the combinatorial effect of having each number counted incorrectly IN THE SAME ORDER and to the same value.

Add to this, each has to recount to check their figures and still not see a need for change, or get a new incorrect value that is the same as each other.

The chance of this isn't one-in-a-million, but it's pretty damn small.

And therefore if this were not a program (i.e. not Dave's buggy program) but were two independent and inept scientists counting by hand, then the chances of happenstance giving the same result is so small as to be negligible and the only option left is plagiarism.

Which is Tim's point.

Which is copyright theft.

The point I make.

> No, it's because you've signed a ticket promising to appear in court.

No, a parking ticket is issued in your absence.

It is a fine for a civil infraction.

And you can get jailed for it if you don't pay.

It's not often used, but it is available.

Despite there being no debtors prison.

> I've certainly never heard of a case of someone being thrown in jail for failure to pay statutory damages in a civil suit between private parties, i.e. the Thomas scenario you cite.

> Posted by: dhogaza

Please cite law stating a civil infraction between you and the government is different from a civil infraction between you and a private party such as a RIAA member.

Both are civil infractions.

And you still insist on bringing it away from the original point which was:

YOU: There is no debtors prison!
ME: You can get thrown in jail for civil debt

No, a parking ticket is issued in your absence.

Oh, yeah, parking ticket, not a signed citation.

However, it's still a citation to appear, and it's failure to appear that gets you arrested.

I know this well, as I was once issued a bench warrant for failure to appear on a jaywalking ticket, as I chose to not pay the fine (the issuing cop gave me some inaccurate information, and in the end I neither went to jail nor paid the fine).

The bench warrant threatening jail was not written "for failure to pay fine", it was written "for failure to appear".

"And you still insist on bringing it away from the original point which was:"

No, the original point is that you can't get thrown in jail as the direct result of a civil lawsuit. If, along the way, you do something else wrong, maybe, but not due to the lawsuit itself.

And why do you think you have to use grep to miss or misinterpret the .D* instances? You can make that error, whatever code platform you use, or if you do it manually, and it does not seem an unlikely error to make. That isn't one-in-a-million. It's not a random error.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> However, it's still a citation to appear, and it's failure to appear that gets you arrested.

So you said

> No, it's because you've signed a ticket promising to appear in court

And now you've gone "doh!" you now say

> However, it's still a citation to appear, and it's failure to appear that gets you arrested.

No.

Failure to pay the fine can put you in jail.

Where did you get it was the "not turning up" that got you jail?

Read the link in #106:

> failure to pay a fine without sufficient justification you can end up in jail

> No, the original point is that you can't get thrown in jail as the direct result of a civil lawsuit.

Between you and me, but dog's only citation was "impossible because we don't have debtors prison".

Yes, you may not have debtors prison, but you'll still go to jail for not paying. And worse: when you leave you still owe.

And post 106 shows that failure to pay a fine awarded by the court for a civil infraction can land you in jail.

Which is a citation to counter your assertion.

Yes, you can end up in jail for a civil infraction.

Though since Plimers work is a commercial infringement this doesn't have to be a civil infraction anyway.

No.
Failure to pay the fine can put you in jail.
Where did you get it was the "not turning up" that got you jail?

From the fact that Oregon law states that failure to appear when issued a citation is a Class A Misdemeanor.

And from the fact that bench warrants (for one's arrest, just in case you're not aware of what a warrant is) are issued "for failure to appear", not "for failure to pay fine in lieu of appearing".

In Oregon, that is. I imagine it's the same in most, if not all, US states.

Good Lord.

You can't got to jail because you lost a civil lawsuit.

You need to do something else wrong, to end up with jail time.

As for not paying damages: If the person is able to pay but won't, then the money can be basically seized via garnishment. I don't know when/if jail time is possible in that case. You cannot go to jail if you are too poor to pay.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

I don't know when/if jail time is possible in that case.

No, not in the US. No jail. Assets can be seized, liens placed, wages garnished, etc, and unlike other debts, bankruptcy might not cause the debt to go away:

Addressing the issue of discharging debts under bankruptcy laws, the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court's decision holding that statutory damages based on willful copyright infringement are not dischargeable when the infringer had the requisite intent to injure another's property interest.

In the Thomas case, lawyers are discussing bankruptcy as a possible "out" apparently based on an argument that she didn't intend to injure the RIAA's property interest. Will it fly? Don't ask me, I'm just the messenger.

> Will it fly? Don't ask me, I'm just the messenger.

And if it doesn't (note the "if the appeals fail") then jail time is possible.

. I don't know when/if jail time is possible in that case.

Clarification, no jail for that, but yes jail for (as you said earlier):

You need to do something else wrong, to end up with jail time.

OK, lets get right back to basics.

Plimer's work if taken from anothers' paper: Is this a copyright breech?

Yes
or
No
?

In the Thomas case, lawyers are discussing bankruptcy...Will it fly?

And if it doesn't (note the "if the appeals fail")

Filing for bankruptcy is a separate action from appealing the ruling of the court.

Plimer's work if taken from anothers' paper: Is this a copyright breech?
Yes or No ?

Yes, of course, and my IANAL opinion is that it's possibly actionable, though in the hardcopy world you still have to prove actual damages.

AFAIK at least in the US there's not this weird split between actual and statutory damages as with digital copyright violations (thanks to the truly evil DCMA). The DCMA's evilness not lies in redefining copyright as you think but in

a) outlining statutory damages that can be orders of magnitude (literally) greater than the actual damages (non-digital copyright violations can get you triple actual damages as punitory damages - 1 + 3 = 4x actual damages, not orders of magnitudes).

b) makes it illegal to crack digital protection code even if you don't make an illegal copy of the protected creative work (this isn't a *copyright* issue - the DCMA is about more than copyright, it outright bans such reverse engineering).

And probably many other lesser sins I'm forgetting at the moment. The two above are greatly evil, though.

a) is why Thomas is in court - if she'd photocopied a library copy of a book in order to avoid buying it she'd be liable for at the very most 4x the price of one copy of the book, not nearly enough to motivate a publisher to take someone to court.

However under the DCMA such a violation can be assigned a statutory damage of (say) 10,000 times the price of a digital copy of the same book. Thus, motivation to sue, and possibly destitution for the defendant.

Yes, of course, and my IANAL opinion is that it's possibly actionable, though in the hardcopy world you still have to prove actual damages.

Let me expand a bit - what's the financial damage to those whose snippets were plagiarized? Probably zero or close to it, IMO, from what I understand of the what was plagiarized. No or little actual damages, since it's published hardcopy - no motivation to sue unless you just like to spend money suing (there is also the possibility of getting attorney's fees, but that's by no means a given).

For non-DCMA violations, no statutory damages for each count regardless of actual damages (DCMA allows you to ask for the greater of the two), little motivation.

So while it would seem to be actionable, I doubt you'll see action (in the context of US copyright law). Criminal cases outside the digital realm are so unusual here that I find it hard to imagine you'd see anything like that, either.

Just IMO.

"Plimer's work if taken from anothers' paper: Is this a copyright breech?"

Not obviously. That he closely paraphrased the paragraph, perhaps. If he hadn't closely paraphrased, but did adopt the other author's counts of things in a database published by the US government... I'm not sure. Not sure at all. In the academic world, you cite as a professional courtesy, not because you are worried about being sued.

One would need an actual lawyer at this point, not non-lawyers googling things and probably misunderstanding them.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

I agree with carrot eater that it is possible (though very unlikely) that Plimer could have made the same mistake as Engelbeen and not counted the observations with an asterisk in the comment field. But Plimer also repeated Engelbeen's other mistake: saying that large variabilty observations were included. Add that to the fact that Plimer's description is close paraphrase of Englebeen's and that they both analysed 2004 instead of any other year and it is conclusive.

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> Yes, of course,

Good. I think so too.

Anyone for a no?

> and my IANAL opinion is that it's possibly actionable, though in the hardcopy world you still have to prove actual damages.

You don't have to. Statutory damages and the more recent court ruling in the US that damages don't have to be monetary loss, not even monetary gain for the perpetrator (else P2P copying would be damageless and therefore unactionable).

> a) outlining statutory damages that can be orders of magnitude (literally) greater than the actual damage

No, the statutory damages were insane to begin with.

Well, not really insane: they were written to counter the "empty warehouse with three copies left" problem of *commercial* piracy. One copy was "one product copied where we don't know how many were sold before we got there".

And $150,000 wasn't insane.

But the insanity came when 24 tracks (2 CDs which WOULD have been 2 copies = 300k) was counted as 24 copies for the full whack when ABSOLUTELY NOTHING was paid to her.

DMCA's evil came from making attempting fair use provisions illegal (your right to back up your DVD in the US, the right for a turning copy in the UK). Not the statutory damages.

I think this is where your lawyer friends have led you sadly astray. "It's not our fault, it's that pesky DMCA". No, it was piracy legislation before DMCA. And that was their fault. Statutory damages should NEVER have been applied to non-commercial copying.

Full Stop.

You don't have to. Statutory damages and the more recent court ruling in the US that damages don't have to be monetary loss, not even monetary gain for the perpetrator (else P2P copying would be damageless and therefore unactionable)

Peer-to-peer copying falls under the DCMA. I SPECIFICALLY stated IN THE HARDCOPY WORLD. Please re-read what I wrote regarding the distinction between damages under standard copyright law, and statutory damages under the DCMA.

Really, if you'd pay more attention, 90% of these posts would disappear.

Carrot, 147, I take it that you are saying it's not taken from Engelbeen's paper.

We don't require 100% proof for copyright infringement.

George Harrison was done for 4 notes that could have been unknowing copying (you've heard a song, and it sticks in your head in fragments), but it was still considered *legally* copyright infringement.

Given that you do agree it's unlikely and that even criminal isn't 100% proof but beyond reasonable doubt, where is the reasonable doubt here?

Read Tim's post after yours and read the actual article at the top.

Then explain how the reasonable doubt comes in.

OK, I checked, statutory damages can be selected in non-DCMA cases as well.

We all make mistakes at times, and some of us are even willing to admit to them.

George Harrison was done for 4 notes that could have been unknowing copying (you've heard a song, and it sticks in your head in fragments), but it was still considered legally copyright infringement.

Copyright infringement doesn't rest on whether it's willful or not - but damages, criminality, etc might.

Since this thread's already a mess, I don't feel bad jumping into this.

Case law trumps statute in a common law system.

As stated, this is not really true as applied to the US. First, the US is not completely a common law system -- 49 of the state judicial systems are common law (Louisiana is civil law). According to the Supreme Court "[t]here is no Federal common law", as per Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938). Though that's not completely true, and has more to do with choice of law in federal district courts.

Second, statutes always override preceding conflicting case decisions in the US. Decisions following a statute's passage cannot contradict it (unless to declare it unconstitutional), though courts can work around this by interpreting the language broadly or referring to legislative history and purpose. These sorts of decisions tend not to stand with the current strength of the textualist judicial philosophy in the federal courts.

Third, case law in the US is only binding if it comes from a court directly above the one in question. So California District Court is not bound by decisions in New York District Court (or even Second Circuit Court of Appeals decisions), but it is bound by Ninth Circuit decisions. The Ninth Circuit is not bound by California District Court decisions, though. And Supreme Court decisions are binding on all other courts, but no court's decision binds on the Supreme Court (though the stare decisis makes S.C. opinions functionally binding on itself, often).

Agreed with Tim. The close paraphrase and the common choice of 2004 pretty much seal it.

Plimer should have cited it.

Maybe the close paraphrase can cause a viable civil lawsuit, but what's more interesting is that Plimer would have looked at the Engelbeen website, clearly seen what it was saying, and then cherry-picked a bit of it to try to show the opposite. It's the intellectual dishonesty therein that's troubling, more than anything else.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

Also, in Harrison's case, he admitted to being familiar with the song (or at least, didn't contest it).

And the case was a bit stronger than "just four notes":

The Court noted that HSF incorporated two basic musical phrases, which were called "motif A" and "motif B". Motif A consisted of four repetitions of the notes "G-E-D" or "sol-mi- re"; B was "G-A-C-A-C" or "sol-la-do-la-do", and in the second use of motif B, a grace note was inserted after the second A, making the phrase "sol-la-do-la-re-do". The experts for each party agreed that this was a highly unusual pattern.

Harrison's own expert testified that although the individual motifs were common enough to be in the public domain, the combination here was so unique that he had never come across another piece of music that used this particular sequence, and certainly not one that inserted a grace note as described above.

It was the pattern of use, the insertion of a grace note, etc that made it unique enough to be considered copying ...

David, I may come back to you, but I'm trying to get the basics done first 'cos we're running round in circles with new demands for citations and new interpretations of what's been asked.

> Maybe the close paraphrase can cause a viable civil lawsuit,

Um, the only maybe is that the copyright holder doesn't have to raise a lawsuit and can let it slide.

A civil lawsuit brought up WILL be viable.

Copyright is "all rights reserved" including the one about "suing someone for it". And not suing Plimer doesn't mean they can't sue Tim.

> It's the intellectual dishonesty therein that's troubling, more than anything else.

It's also the disrespect for the law.

Plimer has engendered copyright infringement. If the feds were of a mind, they could persue criminal sanction against him without Engelbeen's wishes being considered. In fact a law that they want to pass in the senate would make this available for even civil cases (so that Sony and the rest of the cartel don't have to do the expensive court work, they can get the taxpayer to do it, while outsourcing all their revenue so they don't pay tax...).

151: If you read what I've been saying the whole time, it's the close paraphrase that makes it likely that one is the source for the other - and the choice of 2004, as Tim points out.

If the above factors were absent, then I would not take the common wrong analysis to be proof of anything, though it would be suggestive.

Now go find a single case of criminal prosecution for a closely paraphrased paragraph found in a book. Not for running a huge server with nothing but pirated files on it. I don't see how the issue here fits in with this:
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html#506

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> We all make mistakes at times, and some of us are even willing to admit to them.

> Posted by: dhogaza

I have copped the plea of "mea culpa" myself several times in the past, dog, so don't try to snark an unwarranted slam, even though you can't help yourself it seems.

What you've wanted me to do is agree that I'm wrong when I'm not. Or say I'm mistaken when you're mistaken. And it's taken, what? 20 posts to get you to go "Oh, OK, I was wrong".

If I hadn't (as you want to cast it) refused to admit I'm wrong, you would never have gotten to the stage of admitting you're wrong.

THIS is why I take you to task: you make claims that are just as applicable to yourself and cast them as only the fault of others then when caught out, try and turn that into an angelic action on your part that you admit it.

> If the above factors were absent, then I would not take the common wrong analysis to be proof of anything, though it would be suggestive.

So it would be a copyright infringement suit under the civil requirements if the other factors were absent.

Statutory damages would still result and if unpaid jail time to coerce payments is possible.

WITH those factors in place as they are, it would be a copyright infringement under criminal requirements.

Statutory damages, punishable fines and even jail time is therefore possible.

But it remains a copyright infringement case.

Do you disagree? If so to what and why.

(let's get whether this is a copyright case or not closed before we turn to whether it is criminal: the above is whether the evidence would convict at the preponderance of the evidence that a civil court requires or the beyond reasonable doubt that a criminal case would require).

What you've wanted me to do is agree that I'm wrong when I'm not. Or say I'm mistaken when you're mistaken. And it's taken, what? 20 posts to get you to go "Oh, OK, I was wrong".

Perhaps, then, since you've not come up with any evidence whatsoever that Thomas faces jail time, you might consider admitting you're wrong, then?

Statutory damages would still result and if unpaid jail time to coerce payments is possible.

This is simply *wrong* regarding the US, Mark. You're asserting it without a shred of supporting evidence, and your attempts to support it have involved irrelevant cases.

WITH those factors in place as they are, it would be a copyright infringement under criminal requirements.
Statutory damages, punishable fines and even jail time is therefore possible.

Well, sure, criminal cases can result in jail time. No one would argue otherwise.

> You're asserting it without a shred of supporting evidence, and your attempts to support it have involved irrelevant cases.

Nope, they involve civil actions that have been ignored and led to a contempt charge that has led to jail time.

Without the civil case, there would be no contempt charge.

Please show where it says contempt charges are not possible in a case like Jammie's. The law that is stated in the links shown have no such caveat.

And it's taken, what? 20 posts to get you to go "Oh, OK, I was wrong".

It took me eleven minutes after your post re-asserting that statutory damages can be applied to non-DCMA cases to acknowledge my mistake.

I didn't read it until a few minutes after you posted, and at that point I 1) googled and 2) immediately copped to my error.

Total process of your posting, my reading, my googling, my recanting: eleven (11) minutes.

Wish you could be as honest, dude.

PS I can't show jail time until after she ignores the court and gets contempt.

If you have a time machine I can use, I'll pop along and get the evidence.

I AM answering your demands, you just aren't seeing it and therefore making assumptions that I'm wrong that aren't supported because you aren't countering my evidence you're countering what you think the evidence should be.

Please show where it says contempt charges are not possible in a case like Jammie's. The law that is stated in the links shown have no such caveat

No need to. The cases aren't remotely related. You can swear otherwise until you're blue in the face, but getting busted for failing to appear after being cited is different than not paying a civil judgement between two individual parties. You can swear otherwise until you're blue in the face that someone bitch-slapped by a judge for repeatedly ignoring court orders, for filing frivolous suits, etc is equivalent to not paying the winning party in a civil suit, but that doesn't make it true, Mark.

You've made the assertion that Thomas faces jail time. Prove it.

> It took me eleven minutes after your post re-asserting that statutory damages can be applied to non-DCMA cases to acknowledge my mistake.

re-asserting

a point of importance.

And notice that your fault on DMCA is fine for someone who just googles and reads some things.

But not for someone who asserts they are an authority because they've had forty years dealing with copyright issues:

PS I can't show jail time until after she ignores the court and gets contempt.

However, you'd be able to find *other* cases where someone has gone to jail for failure to pay off a judgement resulting from a civil suit between two private parties.

While wikipedia is not infallible (cough) on many matters it's reasonably accurate. The following regarding enforcement of civil suit awards is accurate as far as I know in the US (and I can attest that it *is* accurate in small claims courts in the state of Oregon):

Enforcement

If the judgment is for the plaintiff, then the defendant must comply under penalty of law with the judgment, which will usually be a monetary award. If the defendant fails to pay, the court has various powers to seize any of the defendant's assets located within its jurisdiction, such as:

Bank account garnishment
Liens
Wage garnishment

No mention of imprisonment.

From a lawyer who handles judgement enforcement - no imprisonment.

Unless the defendant commits another crime, i.e. fraud.

Salient point:

If the judgment debtor does not voluntarily pay the judgment, however, it is up to the judgment creditor to enforce. A judgment is not self-enforcing. The judgment creditor does now have the âaide of the courtâ and the ability to use various judgment enforcement techniques such as attachments and garnishments.

All enforcement techniques involve locating assets of the debtor, attaching the judgment as a lien on those assets, and then liquidating or selling those assets for cash to satisfy the judgment.

The greatest success in enforcing judgments is always when a client can identify assets of the judgment debtor to attach. This is not legal work and many private vendors provide this service. It is legal work to enforce a judgment through attachments, foreclosures, debtorâs interrogatories, or other techniques.

The key point in the US, at least, is that the *court* does not enforce judgements in civil cases between two private parties, it is up to the winning plaintiff to do so.

The court *assists* but only in collection by various means of grabbing assets and income.

Not jail time. Civil lawsuits are not criminal cases.

But not for someone who asserts they are an authority because they've had forty years dealing with copyright issues

I don't claim to know everything about copyright law, and I've never sued anyone for violation of my own copyright in software (I've threatened over license violations, though), words, or photographs. The cases involving photographers where I've been familiar with the cases have involved actual rather than statutory damages.

So my knowledge is imperfect. It's not non-existent, and I don't continue to insist I'm right when research shows I'm wrong.

Anyway, presumably the jail vs. debt references I've posted won't convince you, but I kinda imagine others who care might find them convincing.

re-asserting
a point of importance.

Your re-assertion algorithm lacks a verification step, making the re-assertion itself useless.

I've done some of Mark's research and have found two instances in which, in Illinois, you can be jailed as part of the judgement enforcement process. Neither are due to not paying the debt, but are interesting:

1. If you fail to appear in court when given a Citation to Discover Assets. No surprise here, any failure to appear for any citation can land your ass in the joint.

2. If you agree to a court-ordered payment plan and fail to make payments, then you can be held in contempt of court. Note: you can't be forced to agree to such a plan (in Illinois, where the lawyer I'm citing practices), and (surprise!) one is well-advised to not do so unless you're absolutely certain you can pay it off. What's happening in this case is that by entering into an agreement with the court, you're moving enforcement from the creditor to the court, meaning you can be held in contempt. Obviously you'll only take this if you're getting something out of it - low payments, a reduction of the debt, etc.

OK, so you're beginning to actually come back with answers rather than "that's not proof"

> Note: you can't be forced to agree to such a plan (in Illinois, where the lawyer I'm citing practices)

And back to the parking ticket or traffic violation: failure to pay the fine can land you in jail despite being a civil infraction.

Also note that this whole pissing contest

> I don't claim to know everything about copyright law,

However you DID say that you have 40 years experience of copyright intimately. Yet you didn't know that statutory damages were available?

You stated the 40 years of experience as proof of your authority. When Grima did that and then bollixed it up big time he had a new one ripped for him.

Is a demand for rigour in a debate only for "the other side"? Do we IPCC-accepting AGW acceptors demand rigour in those who deny AGW and ignore it on people who believe in the IPCC reported results? That is what denialists do. And it's anti-science. That anti-science is why we call them denialists.

So explain why you should be given a bye when Grima does something just as ball-breakingly wrong as set themselves up as a false authority then argue FROM that authority as you just did?

This really should be in the open thread but it's central to why the AGW argument wins: it is as rigorous with itself as it demands of challengers.

And you and some other pro-IPCC posters diss me for pointing out and arguing against a bad argument just because I'm doing it to "one of us".

Epically wrong.

> Not jail time. Civil lawsuits are not criminal cases.

> Posted by: dhogaza

Lets get whether this is a copyright case agreed. We still have carrot to answer.

Next comes whether Plimers piracy is criminal copyright infringement.

Then we can work on whether copyright infringement in a civil lawsuit can end in jail time or not.

What is the point of all this nonsense?

Mark made, in my opinion, a somewhat overblown and emotional call for Plimer to land in jail.

The majority of copyright cases are handled as civil lawsuits, where you simply do not go to jail because you lost. If you do something else along the way, like punch the judge in the face, maybe you'd go to jail, but that's another matter altogether, and as such is irrelevant, as it requires something more than the copyright violation.

As for criminal copyright prosecutions, they seem pretty rare and so far, possibly limited to people running mass clearinghouses for illegally copied music. Even if, by the letter of the law, Plimer's close paraphrase would qualify for prosecution in the US (and who knows about Australia), and that's still an if, we see zero sign that any prosecutor has ever brought charges in such a case. Which alone would make the call for jail time seem overblown.

Calling for your opponent to be jailed, when he didn't do anything that generally results in jail time, is something I'd expect to see in the comments section of WUWT or some place like that. I'd hope we can do better than that.

And finally, I don't know about any of you, but I'm more interested in the science. If somebody is an occasional plagiariser, but he makes strong contributions to his field, that reflects very poorly on him and he should be sanctioned, but the contributions remain valid. It's those contributions that we build on, and understand. Plimer, on the other hand, is peddling nonsense, so if a scientifically illiterate person came to me, asking about Plimer's ideas, I'd first use science to discredit Plimer's arguments, not an uncited paraphrase to discredit the man.

And that's all I have to say on the matter.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> A. In addition to any other remedy provided by law, including a writ of execution or other civil enforcement, if a defendant who is sentenced to pay a fine, a fee or incarceration costs defaults in the payment of the fine, fee or incarceration costs or of any installment as ordered, the clerk of the court imposing the fine, fee or incarceration costs shall notify the prosecutor and the sentencing court. The court, on motion of the prosecuting attorney or on its own motion, shall require the defendant to show cause why the defendant's default should not be treated as contempt and may issue a summons or a warrant of arrest for the defendant's appearance.

PS Can Jammie just keep out of jail by refusing to pay (by not agreeing to the judgement of $2.4M)?

I don't think so.

Mark cites criminal code, seemingly unaware that the Thomas case is a civil one.

> Mark made, in my opinion, a somewhat overblown and emotional call for Plimer to land in jail.

And I said you were allowed that opinion, however wrong it is.

An infinite number of wrong opinons is available for your delectation.

And several right ones.

> As for criminal copyright prosecutions, they seem pretty rare and so far, possibly limited to people running mass clearinghouses for illegally copied music

Wrong.

Didn't you read that link I gave to the australian being deported to the US for copyright crimes?

Dimitry Sylkarov was committed for copyright offences in the US.

> , Plimer's close paraphrase would qualify for prosecution in the US (and who knows about Australia),

Yes, and remember that australian?

Where was the case he was being deported to answer?

The US.

You're wrong in saying that Plimers criminal actions are not important.

They are probably more important than the tripe in his book, because there's no law against writing garbage, as long as you're careful or are Fox News...

Denialists all over continue to spout that the IPCC are fraudsters making up AGW just so they can get money. This is fraud. Criminal.

So when one of their own is caught fraudulently stealing the property of another, they should be adamant in bringing this miscreant to justice.

Until they produce proof that the IPCC is committing fraud, the IPCC have no case to answer.

But while Plimer is not cited for criminal copyright infringement, the denialopshere have a case to answer.

> Mark cites criminal code, seemingly unaware that the Thomas case is a civil one.

> Posted by: dhogaza

dog likewise forgets that this is a fine and that this is how a civil case CAN turn into a criminal one by becoming a scofflaw.

Which can happen by refusing to pay a civil fine imposed by the court.

Which leads to ... CRIMINAL LAW!

A civil case where the defendent is not paying can be raised for enforcement to the civil court and, if the right bonds paid (which is why it is hardly ever used, since it's usually too easy to bancrupt and get away, though this is changing) the court orders payments to be taken from the defendant by court enforcement. And avoiding them is a criminal matter since this is the state vs Doe.

Read deeper, dog.

Plimer is out there doing real damage.

Last night he was interviewed on the 6 pm WIN TV News, in an item about the parliamentary report about coastal erosion, mocking climate scientists (hand to forehead moaning theatrically) and mugging stupidly about how "this sort of this has ALWAYS happened" (in geological time).

This allowed the junior "reporter" to cheerily sign off with "the scientists can't agree, and the pollies can't agree...."[so let's all have a good laugh and bury our heads in the sand}.

This TV station should be publicly shamed for this sort of irresponsible reporting, which is deliberately feeding ignorance and contempt for science in the public domain, and Plimer is clearly now a loose cannon with possible mental problems who probably needs professional help.

If not, his enormous and pathetic vanity has overtaken his senses and he should be constantly and publicly nailed on his lies, distortions and misrepresentations.

Thanks for this blog, and the internet at large. The MSM is failing us dismally.

By grace pettigrew (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> Default orders, in which the noncustodial parent or alleged father fails to appear ..... Although the t_ime spent in jail_ for _civil contempt_ is particularly hard to track,

And note: Plimer's case is liable to criminal prosecution, so civil sanction is a sidetrack at the moment.

Now canadian law DOES say that civil enforcement of fines by court is only available to fines levvied and owing to the province or the monarch.

If you can find one of those for the US, dog, THEN I'll say I was wrong.

I don't have access to a US solicitor and don't know which section I'd look for that. Google comes up with a lot of japanese law.

You see 'copyright' and some commercial relevance in a case, and you think all those cases are the same. They are not.

The Sklyarov case: nothing remotely resembling an uncited close paraphrase of a paragraph.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sklyarov

The Aussie extradition: oh, sorry, he was running a network for pirating software, not music. My error, I suppose. Still nothing resembling a paraphrased paragraph.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hew_Raymond_Griffiths

By your standards, Stephen Ambrose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Ambrose) would probably be spending life in prison. Rather, I don't think he's even been sued, though he most likely could have been.

Find me a case of criminal prosecution for sloppy footnoting or use of quotation marks in one paragraph of a book. If you can't show that this is somewhat normal, then you are engaging in fantasy - wanting to see Plimer jailed, for any reason at all. Don't stoop to the histrionics of the denier movement.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

Now mark cites failure to pay child support, possibly unaware that for years they were considered simple defaults of civil judgements and therefore not strongly enforced by the courts (certainly not by jail time).

Since this is such a common occurrence and since it often causes severe hardship for the offender's own children, in recent years laws have been passed making the penalties much more severe in many states.

dog likewise forgets that this is a fine and that this is how a civil case CAN turn into a criminal one by becoming a scofflaw. This is flat-out false
Which can happen by refusing to pay a civil fine imposed by the court.

A judgement for the plaintiff in a civil suit between two private parties is not a fine, Mark.

Why do you keep citing law and cases which don't apply to civil suits between two private parties?

It makes no sense.

Skylarov isn't really a copyright case, as I mentioned above the DCMA goes far beyond copyright and forbids reverse engineering of protective code.

He was charged with distributing a product designed to circumvent copyright protection measures, under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and arrested by the FBI as he was about to return to Moscow.

Not for making illegal copies, but for distributing code that other could use to make an illegal copy.

Now, this is among the most insidiously horrible aspects of the DMCA (as I mentioned above) but it doesn't involve illegal copying itself.

It's common for US laws to bear titles that don't accurately reflect their true content, and the DMCA flew under the radar for many non-tech types who'd normally be on the lookout for such things because too many thought all it did was strengthen copyright protections and didn't realize it was creating an entirely new category of crime not related to actual copying activity at all.

Also:

The charges against Sklyarov were later dropped in exchange for his testimony. He was allowed to return to Russia on December 13, 2001.

On December 18, 2002 following a two-week trial in San Jose, California, a jury found that Elcomsoft had not wilfully violated the U.S. law.

Citing victorious cases rather than losses would better support your arguments, Mark.

SCO didn't win, either (nor have they lost yet, they're bankrupt and it's all in limbo)

Why do you guys persist in arguing over whether a civil lawsuit can result in criminal charges, if you happen to commit an additional offense along the way? It has nothing to do with anything. You simply do not go to jail for civil copyright infringement. End of story.

"Denialists all over continue to spout that the IPCC are fraudsters making up AGW just so they can get money. "

So? You think a lawsuit against Plimer for a closely paraphrased paragraph would somehow make the denialists stop saying that climate scientists are only chasing the grant money? You really think that? You think the fact that Plimer may have paraphrased something will change any of the denialist's talking points? Really? Which one?

Maybe you think ad hominem attacks are important or useful. I do not.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

"Skylarov isn't really a copyright case"

Whatever it is, it bears no resemblance to what we're accusing Plimer of.

I'd love to see a number of criminal cases in which the defendant did something even remotely similar to what Plimer did. An uncited, unquoted close paraphrase in one paragraph.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> Why do you guys persist in arguing over whether a civil lawsuit can result in criminal charges, if you happen to commit an additional offense along the way?

Because Jammie's case is ridiculous and the fine insane.

Given how the Judge has handled it, it's entirely likely that Jammie will not be able to pay, will declare bankrupcy but still be ordered to pay some of the money. And there's no "agreement" there: the avoidance of a civil penalty cannot be voided by not agreeing to pay.

Therefore, again based on how badly this case went, the judge will find in contempt.

Therefore she can face jail.

Reason: copyright.

Her only out is the appeal that says, in lawyer-speak "That court order is batshit nuts!".

Failing that, bancrupcy doesn't have to be given. Failing that, jail time IS an option.

If the copyright crime had been pursued as you think it is by going "only damages shown" (both you and carrot have said that in one fashion or another) then Jammie would owe $30 tops, plus court costs.

Copyright case leads to jail time.

An additional case can be made that paying the court to collect then turns failure to pay into a criminal act which is what the arizona statute link was all about.

> "Skylarov isn't really a copyright case"

> Whatever it is, it bears no resemblance to what we're accusing Plimer of.

Yes it is a copyright case.

The removal of the copyright protection was a copyright issue.

DMCA.

What's the C stand for?

And it doesn't matter, carrot, what Plimers' case resembles, it shows that you can get jail time for copyright. It wasn't proof of squat with Plimer, it was a counter to the claim that was issued for.

Go back and read the post and the post it was responding to.

> Maybe you think ad hominem attacks are important or useful. I do not.

> Posted by: carrot eater

Where did this one come from?

Please show where this assumption was pulled from.

> Citing victorious cases rather than losses would better support your arguments, Mark.

> SCO didn't win, either (nor have they lost yet, they're bankrupt and it's all in limbo)

> Posted by: dhogaza

SCO's "Negative knowledge" copyright is not in ANY law book. Nor most of their other flannel.

But it wasn't thrown out, was it.

It's an example of how quoting the law isn't showing what would happen.

Now if you'd been on the receiving end of SCO, you would now be bankrupt. And in the genuine sense of "no money" rather than "gave it to the wife and declared bankruptcy".

> Skylarov isn't really a copyright case, as I mentioned above the DCMA goes far beyond copyright and forbids reverse engineering of protective code.

Its power comes from the more recent idea of " you can't crack a copyrighted work without making a derivative, which you need a license".

It's still copyright bourne.

Remove copyright, DMCA dies.

"Copyright case leads to jail time."

For the love of God. The penalty for losing a civil case is never jail time. You might be asked to pay damages, but the penalty is NEVER jail time.

End of story.

And you don't go to jail if you can't afford to pay the damages. Dhogoza is correct in that: there are no debtor's prisons.

I don't know how Jammie Thomas can somehow end up in jail out of this; you've not shown a single article saying she would. Not a one. But even if she did, she had to do something else wrong to get in jail - like punching the judge in the face. She wouldn't be going to jail for the copyright issue itself.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> So? You think a lawsuit against Plimer for a closely paraphrased paragraph would somehow make the denialists stop saying that climate scientists are only chasing the grant money?

> Posted by: carrot eater

No.

But leaving him out and free without sanction gives sanction to the others to break the law with impunity.

And his book is rubbish. Those who WANT to believe it will believe it no matter what is said about it.

But the court will look at the case and if he goes to jail, it's not something that the denialosphere can ignore.

193: "Where did this one come from?

Please show where this assumption was pulled from."

Because you are consumed by wanting to discredit Plimer by sending him to jail. You find this more important than debunking his scientific arguments.

Hence, attacking the man is more important to you than disputing his ideas.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> For the love of God. The penalty for losing a civil case is never jail time.

So Jammie can ignore the court because any demand they put on her is a civil case.

I don't think so.

I think that if Jammie says "no I won't pay" the court will find her in contempt. It's perfectly on the cards and you haven't yet found out a law that says it isn't.

Contempt doesn't say "unless it's a civil matter".

> Because you are consumed by wanting to discredit Plimer by sending him to jail.

That is not ad hominem.

Please feel free to look it up.

If you commit a crime you should be tried in a court of law and if found guilty, jailed if the judge believes it appropriate.

Plenty of case law shows that copyright infringement for monetary gain is treated very seriously.

"And it doesn't matter, carrot, what Plimers' case resembles, it shows that you can get jail time for copyright. "

If this is how you think, I see no point in continuing with you. First off, it's legally poor thinking - just because one commercial copyright case is criminal doesn't mean they all are. Second, even if by the letter of the law (of whichever country), one could prosecute Plimer, you cannot show that anybody has ever prosecuted anybody for a similar transgression.

If similar cases have never been prosecuted before, then you are being unreasonable in demanding that this one should be. It is a disproportionate demand, pretty much by definition.

"But leaving him out and free without sanction gives sanction to the others to break the law with impunity."

Do you really think this is the first time somebody has paraphrased too closely in a part of a book?

For the others to do what, paraphrase too much? Civil lawsuits, academic censure and public shame are good enough deterrence. It really isn't something the state needs to bother with, and clearly the state agrees.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> Hence, attacking the man is more important to you than disputing his ideas.

> Posted by: carrot eater

PS that's not ad hom either.

If I were to say "he's wrong because he's a criminal" then that would be ad hom.

Saying "he's a criminal and should be in jail" is not.

> First off, it's legally poor thinking - just because one commercial copyright case is criminal doesn't mean they all are.

No, all commercial copyright infringement is a criminal copyright offence.

Just like every time someone goes over the speed limit is a crime.

ALL of them.

Every single one, every single time.

> Do you really think this is the first time somebody has paraphrased too closely in a part of a book?

This isn't paraphrasing. It's plagiarism. Copyright infringement. For commercial gain. Commercial copyright infringement.

> For the others to do what, paraphrase too much?

If other paraphrase too much, then that's not plagiarism. So what they do doesn't pertain.

Plimer didn't paraphrase.

Even if contempt of court in a civil case can somehow lead to criminal penalties like jailtime, it does NOT matter.

It's the contempt that gets you in jail, not the original offense. And you definitely, absolutely, are not jailed if you don't pay because you are too poor. If you don't pay because you don't feel like it, I don't know. But that's all besides the point.

Why do I have to keep saying that?

Civil copyright infringement does not get you in jail. Something else along the way, maybe, but not the infringement itself.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

"No, all commercial copyright infringement is a criminal copyright offence."

That does not appear to be the case; the standards are higher than that. And in any event, you've not shown any case where it's been enforced in a case like this, where one author too closely paraphrased another for a paragraph and didn't cite it.

"This isn't paraphrasing. It's plagiarism. "

Too close a paraphrase is plagiarism. If you want to be really close, then keep the original wording, toss quotes around it, and cite it. (well, you should cite it, either way). Like Ambrose should have done.

"Plimer didn't paraphrase."

Seriously? I'm not wasting my time with this anymore.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> That does not appear to be the case; the standards are higher than that.

No they aren't.

Commercial copyright infringement is criminal.

Where do you think the FBI warming "could result in criminal sanction and even jail" comes from?

The law making it criminal for commercial copyright infringement.

> Too close a paraphrase is plagiarism.

No, too close a paraphrase is dodgy. But it isn't plagiarism.

> Plagiarise:

> * a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work

> * the act of plagiarizing; taking someone's words or ideas as if they were your own

cf

> paraphrase:

> 1. A restatement of a text or passage in another form or other words, often to clarify meaning.

> 2. The restatement of texts in other words as a studying or teaching device.

Paraphrasing is not plagiarism.

And this is plagiarism.

> Even if contempt of court in a civil case can somehow lead to criminal penalties like jailtime, it does NOT matter.

Why?

> It's the contempt that gets you in jail, not the original offense.

This isn't a why.

It's a how.

Mind you, I hope carrot is a judge.

"Sorry your honour, I didn't copy that CD, I just closely paraphrased".

carrot: "Case dismissed!".

So Jammie can ignore the court because any demand they put on her is a civil case.

> If similar cases have never been prosecuted before, then you are being unreasonable in demanding that this one should be. It is a disproportionate demand, pretty much by definition.

Yeah, so this is godwinning, but nobody had ever been tried for waging an aggressive war.

So were the requests for the Hague War Crimes tribunal disproportionate?

And given your previous inability to work out the definition of words like "ad hominem", "plagiarism" and "paraphrase",

> pretty much by definition

doesn't have a lot of weight behind it without a linky.

But it wasn't thrown out, was it.

I never said it was. I said they didn't win, and that it's in limbo, because they're bankrupt. As far as their chances of winning ... the gravy train financing the company, based solely on the expectations of huge damages in their lawsuit-driven licensing racket, has dried up. If anyone has sufficient believe that they'll win, they can finance the company out of bankruptcy and fire up the suit. Apparently thus far no one has that confidence.

So I'd say your citing this case in support of your position is premature.

Its power comes from the more recent idea of " you can't crack a copyrighted work without making a derivative, which you need a license".

Not exactly, it's the crack itself, even if you don't have any copyrighted material that's protected by it.

It's unlawful to âcircumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to copyrighted works.â (that's an actual quote)

That's the horridness of it. If you have DRM software on your machine, and no copyrighted bits protected by that DRM software on your machine, and you reverse engineer the DRM software - you're in violation. Even if you never use it.

Remove copyright, DMCA dies.

Never said otherwise, mark.

"Commercial copyright infringement is criminal."

There are additional criteria. Maybe they're met here, but there are other criteria.
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html#506

"No, too close a paraphrase is dodgy. But it isn't plagiarism."

Too close a paraphrase falls into your definition. It need not be word-for-word. If you change too little, and/or don't cite it, it's plagiarism. Even if you do cite it, it's plagiarism.

Plimer used a close paraphrase, and didn't cite it. Plagiarism, both ways.

"This isn't a why.

It's a how."

You've got to be kidding me. The penalty in a civil offense is never jail time.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> Actually what I would like would be for the RIAA to be RICOd, but that's another story (and I know they're exploiting bad law, not breaking it).

> Posted by: dhogaza

They *nearly* got it when Texas stewed them over unlicensed investigators.

And the court reversal of the "making available" theory (a complete and utter nut-crusher of a bonheaded move by the judge who instructed the jury incorrectly in the first place) is showing that maybe the judges are getting hacked off being played for patsies.

Problem is that having outsourced so much of their manufacturing, the US is now an "IP economy" and so the artificial scarcity idea is entrenched in the entire fabric of the US political structure.

It's expensive to run a country.

But maybe at least the abuse of the system is getting reeled back in.
Hence the moves to make all copyright infringeent a federal criminal offense, the bringing of three-strikes laws on not convictions but accusations, and so on.

It's killing the average USian and completely against the free market ideals and "essential liberty" they otherwise promote so vigorously.

To some value, in general.

Now if you'd been on the receiving end of SCO, you would now be bankrupt.

Odd, then, that the biggest company on the receiving end (IBM) is healthy, while the company on the dishing-it-out end (SCO), is bankrupt.

Yes, I'm aware of SCO's licensing scam, but intimidating companies into paying a license fee which hinges on a future court determination doesn't have any relevance for statutory or case law.

> You've got to be kidding me. The penalty in a civil offense is never jail time.

> Posted by: carrot eater

But the contempt is from a civil action.

The civil action annulled and there is no contempt.

How much simpler can I make it?

> Plimer used a close paraphrase, and didn't cite it

No, it was a word-for-word copy.

You even agreed it was in post 158.

> You've got to be kidding me. The penalty in a civil offense is never jail time.

> Posted by: carrot eater

But the contempt is from a civil action.

The civil action annulled and there is no contempt.

How much simpler can I make it?

> Plimer used a close paraphrase, and didn't cite it

No, it was a word-for-word copy. Read the flipping article.

> Not for making illegal copies, but for distributing code that other could use to make an illegal copy.

dog, it wasn't distributed to the US. It was available in the USSR where due to disabled access laws the Adobe product was illegal.

It was for a short while available but when informed that US citizens could not legally buy, the US purchases were refused.

AFTER THAT Dimitry went to the US and was arrested by the FBI.

That version is what *Adobe* said happened to get the FBI involved.

> Odd, then, that the biggest company on the receiving end (IBM) is healthy, while the company on the dishing-it-out end (SCO), is bankrupt.

Now this is irrelevant.

It was a pump-and-dump scheme and SCO were tiny compared to IBM, though IBM paid millions (where do you think they got that money from?).

Now DMcB and Ralph Norda both made out like bandits, as did lots of large shareholders in SCO stock.

Those who STARTED this have indeed done better than any IBM executive over the period.

And SCO didn't just scare licenses.

They demanded insanities (a complete CM dump of ALL Novell and IBM code on IBM hardware at their expense), lied (millions of lines of code/a briefcase full of copied code/etc), and made shit up in court (negative know-how and the "WE OWN UNIX!" chart).

They made a lot of money selling other products WITH a "free SCO license" and upgrades with free SCO Linux licenses, but they got very little payment for their $699 Linux license. MS bought a bunch and a MS Valued Partner paid a wodge. Lots of shady emails about that...

It was a scam, but the licenses were merely a way to pump the stock up, which was the real scam.

And Brent Hatch being Orrin Hatch's son (wasn't it?) helped make sure the judge didn't just fling their insanities out of court.

GRoklaw has reams on it, including all the paraphrased court cases SCO used to bolster their arguments that, if you read the court cases, said something completely different.

Again because the US (apart from Louisiana, but only at the state level: so sue me, Dave, you're right, but I can hardly be considered all that wrong to miss one state of 50...!) is case law led.

And whatever you have the money to sue for you can grind someone down for it. All you need is something vaguely right, a lack of conscience and pots more money than the one you want to bury. Lacking the pots more money, you can syphon off lawyers fees to your brother (Mc Brides bro was one of their lawyers) and, until the company collapses, raid the drawers for anything not nailed down.

Gotta love that limited liability!!!

"But the contempt is from a civil action.
The civil action annulled and there is no contempt.
How much simpler can I make it?"

So what? What point are you trying to make? We keep telling you that this is not relevant.

Nowhere civilised can you go to jail if you are too poor to pay, in a civil case between two private parties. If you are able to pay but don't, you'll get liens and garnishments. Somewhere in the world, maybe you might get jailed then. Maybe; you have yet to document it, but maybe there is a state or country somewhere that does that. But how does it matter?

If you said Plimer should go to jail because of a civil copyright violation, that would be a nonsensical statement. It cannot happen.

If you said Plimer should be sued for a civil copyright violation, AND then he should refuse to pay even though he could pay, AND that all this should happen in a state where jail time is recourse in that situation.. I'd just shake my head and ignore you.

So what you're saying, even if true in some state or country, is not relevant.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

It was for a short while available

It only takes one instance.

AFTER THAT Dimitry went to the US and was arrested by the FBI.

Yes, I know. We also extradite foreign nationals who conspire to sell narcotics in the United States, even if they've never actually set foot in the United States. The mexicans have been shipping us a steadily growing trickle of higher-end traffickers over the last couple of years.

Nothing unusual here.

He wasn't convicted, though he was certainly persecuted and I assume banned from reentering the country. And the company won in court.

Don't confuse attempts to apply the law with successfully getting a court to agree with you.

I'm not saying any of this is right. The DMCA is horrible. The arrest of the Russian and coerced testimony was horrible.

But it wasn't for illegal copying of copyrighted material.

gain because the US (apart from Louisiana, but only at the state level: so sue me, Dave, you're right, but I can hardly be considered all that wrong to miss one state of 50...!) is case law led.

Yet, despite your huffing and puffing - SCO has not won its case. Its claims have not become part of case law.

Yes, it's a particularly good example of how a well-heeled charlatan can abuse the court system and the threat of legal action to extort money from people. Normal people don't claim that such actions are part of case or statutory law.

> If you said Plimer should go to jail because of a civil copyright violation, that would be a nonsensical statement. It cannot happen.

It can.

Plimer is done for civil copyright abuse.

He refuses.

He gets considered in contempt.

He gets jailed.

And anyway, this is commercial copyright infringement, so the "if" is irrelevant.

This would be criminal copyright infringement. Jail time, crown fines (and the criminal statutes to get those fines AND jail you for hiding) and all that criminal stuff.

So the "if" doesn't exist.

This is a criminal copyright case.

"No, it was a word-for-word copy. Read the flipping article."

Perhaps you need to look up at Plimer's and Engelbeen's passages again, there. It isn't word-for-word. It's close, but it isn't word-for-word. Plimer both neglected to credit Engelbeen for doing the counts, and closely paraphrased his language. Both would count as plagiarism under the academic codes I've seen.

In any event, you can't escape it. You're calling for a prosecution and sentencing response that, so far as we can tell, is unprecedented for similar cases. No, you simply involving copyright does not make all your links similar. Being sloppy with a citation and paraphrase in an allegedly scholarly book is not even close to being similar to running a computer server for music or software piracy, or somehow enabling such piracy. Hence, your call is disproportionate.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> Yet, despite your huffing and puffing - SCO has not won its case. Its claims have not become part of case law.

Yet Novell have no money that SCO kept and said that it was theirs because they own unix.

IBM will get no court costs back.

SCO won everything it wanted.

SCO were on death-spiral and the pump-and-dump got everything they wanted.

And five years and more down the line, the court STILL hasn't thrown out many of the SCO theories. If it goes into receivership, it never will.

> Perhaps you need to look up at Plimer's and Engelbeen's passages again, there.

Yeah, the books had more words that weren't in the paper and vice versa.

This doesn't mean it wasn't plagiarism and copyright theft.

Four notes is enough.

Zero notes even, if they last long enough.

Read the links I've given.

Plimer stole the IP from another, criminally.

Saying so isn't an ad hominem attack.

Saying he should be jailed is appropriate and proportionate claim to commercial copyright infringement.

It;s not like he or the Heartland Institute are going to be required to pay $150,000 per copy of the book in recompense.

"It can."

You don't even see the silliness of your statement. Yes, we demand that he be sued with a civil lawsuit, and that he lose, and that he doesn't pay a sum he can reasonably pay, and that all this happen in whatever state or country (yet to be identified) where somehow that can result in jail time - Yes - We demand that all this happen, just so we can call for him to be jailed!

"This is a criminal copyright case."

Only if a DA someplace wants to press it. You've been unable to show any similar case where one has done so.

I'm done wasting my time.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

OK, so Plimer is tried and convicted under civil law. If he doesn't pay ($2.4M x the relative size of a book vs two cd's) you can ask the court to get the money.

And at that stage (except in Canada) you can be jailed for failing to pay.

Plenty of examples with child support: a civil action with jail time for real.

Just show me where it says this can only happen for child support cases in civil law or like canada, that the law states that only fines owing to the state can be punished for avoidance in this manner.

> Only if a DA someplace wants to press it.

Nope, it can happen when a company asks it. Adobe. Got the FBI involved.

> You've been unable to show any similar case where one has done so.

I just put that there for the irony effect.

"Yeah, the books had more words that weren't in the paper and vice versa."

That's what I'm saying - it's a close paraphrase. Somehow you thought it wasn't a paraphrase, and it was a word-for-word copy. I don't know why you thought that.

"This doesn't mean it wasn't plagiarism"

? I've said all along a close paraphrase was plagiarism - cited or uncited, doesn't matter. If you're going to be really close, just quote it directly. You're the one who thought a close paraphrase wasn't plagiarism, 206.

"Four notes is enough.

Zero notes even, if they last long enough.

Read the links I've given."

And those were civil cases. Commercial, and yet not treated as criminal. What does that tell you?

"Saying he should be jailed is appropriate and proportionate claim to commercial copyright infringement."

Demonstrate that this is normally how such cases are treated. Do it. Show me the Stephen Ambroses of the world being jailed.

If you can't, it's disproportionate.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> That's what I'm saying - it's a close paraphrase.

That's what you're saying. I'm not saying you're not saying it.

You could say it's a tuna sandwich. No problem there.

But it isn't a tuna sandwich and it isn't close paraphrasing.

It's plagiarism, copyright infringement, for monetary gain and therefore piracy. The genuine one, which existed since about 1830: the exploitation of copyrighted works for unwarranted enrichment to the detriment of the copyright holder, as opposed to the current version: sharing it for free.

226: I don't trust wikipedia, but under debtor's prison:

"In 1833 the United States reduced the practice of imprisonment for debts at the federal level.[clarification needed] Most states followed suit. It is still possible, however, to be incarcerated for debt, but only in those circumstances in which the court finds that the debtor actually possesses the money or means available to pay the debt, however, in the case of child support, if you are unable to pay the amount set by child support enforcement you will be incarcerated even though you may not have the actual means to pay it through no fault of your own. The constitutions of the U.S. states of Tennessee and Oklahoma forbid civil imprisonment for debts.[3]"

"Nope, it can happen when a company asks it. Adobe. Got the FBI involved."

The FBI has to think it worth investigating, and then a prosecutor has to think it worth prosecuting. If not, then no criminal case. And you can't find one for a missing footnote or closely paraphrased paragraph.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> Demonstrate that this is normally how such cases are treated. Do it. Show me the Stephen Ambroses of the world being jailed.

I don't have to.

You have to show that Ambrose committed plagiarism.

Tim's done Plimer.

And it doesn't matter if he is or isn't: copyright doesn't require a robust defense or lose the rights, that's trademarks require that.

It's a close paraphrase, and close paraphrasing is a form of plagiarism. Whether it is cited, or not. That's what I've said all along.

You can't seem to make up your mind what it is. First it's a word-for-word copy. Then it isn't. Well, if it isn't, then it's a close paraphrase. But it isn't that, either? I give up.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> 226: I don't trust wikipedia, but under debtor's prison:

And if you can get arrested for not paying a civil fine, what's the difference?

It's like saying "we don't have the death penalty, we just have euthanasia for criminals".

> It's a close paraphrase, and close paraphrasing is a form of plagiarism.

No, I've already answered that one.

> First it's a word-for-word copy.

It is of the words that were copied.

If I add fifteen chapters to "The Half-Blood Prince" chapters 6,7 and 8, I've still plagiarised JK Rowling's work.

Not paraphrased.

If I'd paraphrased, that would fall under "fair use":

reporting

de minimis

quotation

And five years and more down the line, the court STILL hasn't thrown out many of the SCO theories. If it goes into receivership, it never will.

Nor have those theories been established as part of case law.

I'm well aware that the perps made out well on their scam. It's irrelevant to your rather unique understanding of copyright law.

Although if it were a quotation, of course it shouldn't be a paraphrase, else you'd be misquoting.

Then again, if you're quoting you have to say who you're quoting, so it's still not plagiarism.

Four notes is enough.

I pointed out above that it was far more than "four notes". I don't think you even bother to read before spewing ...

Zero notes even, if they last long enough.

Settled out of court, so we'll never know.

> Nor have those theories been established as part of case law.

They DO, however (which is the point of my use of them) show that what the law says and what the law allows doesn't necessarily follow.

After all, that belgian company tried and convicted in absentia was convicted under copyright by someone who didn't have the copyrights. And that can be used as case law if you have no case but the judge doesn't summarily dismiss (in which case you can use it as case law to appeal the dismissal).

I'm not saying this is what the law says, but just saying that this is what the law is allowing.

And SCO's actions are a good example of non-law is being allowed by the law, so quoting law really doesn't prove anything in defacto justice.

More's the pity.

> Settled out of court, so we'll never know.

No, we DO know.

We know you can be sued for copying zero notes and lose.

Defacto "justice".

Sigh ...

#177carrot eater... you summarised your case with reasonable civility here. Mark...yours is a convoluted and compulsive ramble... case dismissed! Both of you should now re-read Ockham's Razor~Oct 18 2009.

By phillip soffermann (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

As fascinating as the mark vs. dhogaza bickering is, any chance it could move to the open thread?

The only plagiarism I'm really interested in is Plimer's.

Further to Michael at #241:
Mark you've posted something like 88 of 241 comments to this thread - more than a third of the comments in total. In truth I don't look forward to what's most likely your forthcoming 89th.

Can you tell us how an innocent reader not expert in copyright law, who might for some reason find him/herself wading through the 240+ comments here, should be able to tell with any degree of confidence that you're a serious person not (pardon me) a troll? You agree that the best contributions to a discussion normally come from people with either expertise or at least a good deal of personal experience in the subject, and that it's preferable to shed light rather than heat?

I sympathise with WotWot and Truesceptic; by this stage you've pretty much ruined for me what was an excellent piece of original work by Tim.

Mark you've posted something like 88 of 241 comments to this thread - more than a third of the comments in total

Makes me wonder what my number is. Hopefully not so high.

I sympathise with WotWot and Truesceptic; by this stage you've pretty much ruined for me what was an excellent piece of original work by Tim.

If I (and more recently, carrot eater) had simply ignored Mark, how would that have altered your opinion?

Because truly, I'm only interested in setting facts straight (including when I'm caught out being wrong, which I admit happens at times).

As fascinating as the mark vs. dhogaza bickering is, any chance it could move to the open thread?

The only plagiarism I'm really interested in is Plimer's.

Does this mean you have no interest in Mark's claims that it should be treated as a serious criminal, rather than civil, case, even if it's not clear that even a civil case might hold water?

In my above post, I'm quoting two separate people, I didn't point it out because from context, it should be apparent.

But I'm feeling paranoid at this point ...

Bringing in SCO here is like bringing in Jarndyce and Jarndyce in an attempt to illuminate something.

Parts of this thread are why people complain about the internet. At least this argument in "real life" would most places involve some sort of alcohol or at least snacks. I don't want to name names, but somebody start passing out cheetos or booze because this is bringing me down.

Marco @ 96 - Thanks!

coal site:www.ivanhoemines.com turned up 133 references - face palm!

None of his other interests seem linked to coal. I didn't search for oil or LNG.

So accusing Plimer of having vested interests in being dishonest about fossil fuels is entirely justified!

By ScaredAmoeba (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

philip sofferman (13, 23):
As you would by now know if you had bothered to do any work, or at least read Katherine's post "imply" is not the same as "infer". Perhaps English isn't your native language. Perhaps it is, and you are mutatis mutandis the sort of dolt who casts words about, in the hope you sound enlightened, without ever really understanding what the words mean. Whichever, read this simple explanation.

Once you've mastered simple English, perhaps then you can move on to science, and thence to climate science, on completion of which I might start taking your (thus far mindless, witless and clueless) comments seriously. I look forward to hearing from you in 30 years' time...

By Steve Chamberlain (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

dhogaza, how about we just read between the lines of the fact that you didn't get a mention at #242? If you insist, then no I'm not complaining about you.

#247 Steve Chamberlain...you are inhabiting an infernal region just like your mesmerising mate, Mark. I may be a man of few words, but I mean what I say and say what I mean. Bye!

By phillip soffermann (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

> Mark you've posted something like 88 of 241 comments to this thread - more than a third of the comments in total

Oh, sorry. Didn't know there was a limit.

Am I using up all the numbers?

I'll go make some more. Back in a tick.

> Does this mean you have no interest in Mark's claims that it should be treated as a serious criminal, rather than civil, case, even if it's not clear that even a civil case might hold water?

> Posted by: dhogaza

First half is a query I'd like seen answered.

the second half we haven't even started on, because carrot doesn't think this IS a copyright infringement case.

But it is copyright infringement for commercial gain. This is criminal.

Are you or your other interlocutor careless of a crime going unpunished?

Copyright crimes for money are not a problem?

(PS I hope that some people are happy: I've made another few numbers, hope there's some more to spare).

> Mark...yours is a convoluted and compulsive ramble... case dismissed!

Is it?

Where and why?

I've rambled on but the case of Plimer rests on this being copyright infringement for commercial gain and this is a criminal copyright infringement.

Which can result in jail time.

In what way is that wrong?

Or do you just not want a scofflaw to be punished for their misdemeanors because you like him?

Could trolls baiters have done better in making this tread unreadable?

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 28 Oct 2009 #permalink

Janet Akerman "Could trolls baiters have done better in making this tread unreadable?"

Janet, if this is directed at me, sorry. My sole defence is that I find the temptation to pick at scabs irresistible. Off back to my box now :)

By Steve Chamberlain (not verified) on 28 Oct 2009 #permalink

Criminal charges?

Nah.

Confession is what Plimer needs. Admit the error and move on. Then his garbage could not be exploited by the denier crowd and he might achieve a measure of redemption.

Skip

#252 Mark...with respect...my last post on this thread. Read and understand the logic of #177 carot eater's summary...even though I don't agree with either of you! Please also read and understand Gen. George S. Patton's dictum;

" If everybody is thinking alike...then somebody isn't thinking!"

By phillip soffermann (not verified) on 28 Oct 2009 #permalink

#256

what was the point of that. It boils down to "read and understand someone's logic". I do understand and have read it.

It's wrong.

Do you think I just said "it's wrong" because I don't understand it?

And your Patton quote has no value either. It doesn't say anything pertinent.

Remember: "I wandered lonely as a cloud"

> Could trolls baiters have done better in making this tread unreadable?

> Posted by: Janet Akerman

read #252

if that hasn't cleared away the detritus of side avenues of claim and counter, let me know where you're still unable to read it and I'll clarify.

(note: proclaiming like you did is actually adding more detritus, therefore counterproductive)

Guys, guys, guys, have your argument, but ignore the climate denialist retard who doesn't know English worth shit.

By Katharine (not verified) on 28 Oct 2009 #permalink

[Phillip Soffermann](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/plimer_the_plagiarist.php#comme…).

As you were unable to address the question the first time I posed it to you, I will repeat it, and hope that you reply with at least a modicum of an attempt to provide a response based in science.

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?

Seriously... pick a point with which you have any degree of contention, and put your case forward. Any point at all.

And for your advance information, red herrings, strawmen, and sundry other distractions will not be accepted as making a case.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 28 Oct 2009 #permalink

@Mark #226:

(IAAL)

OK, so Plimer is tried and convicted under civil law. If he doesn't pay ($2.4M x the relative size of a book vs two cd's) you can ask the court to get the money.

(NB - "tried and convicted" ain't possible in a civil suit)

Not in England and Wales, you can't. You can use Court procedures to enforce - such as by getting an order imposing a charge on property, getting an attachment of earnings, instructing the bailiffs to go in and seize property for sale etc etc. The Court does not however take over conduct of the enforcement.

And at that stage (except in Canada) you can be jailed for failing to pay.

Not in England and Wales you can't. Failure to pay a civil judgment for money is not contempt. Failure to obey a Court order to do (or abstain from doing) something - like cease distribution in breach of copyright - is contempt, but debtor's prisons no longer exist.

In the UK, a parking fine is not a "civil" fine, whatever you mean by that. A parking ticket gives the unlawful parker the opportunity to avoid prosecution by paying a fixed penalty - that's why it's called a fixed penalty notice. If you don't pay the fixed penalty, you are prosecuted for the original offence of parking in breach of bylaw. If you are convicted and fined, and fail to pay the fine, you can be imprisoned for non-payment of the fine.

Again, imprisonment for non-payment of Council Tax is not imprisonment for civil debt; it is under specific statutory provision for protection of the revenue.

Again, imprisonment for non-payment of child support isn't imprisonment for civil debt; again, the state takes a particular interest in not having to pay to bring up the children of a defaulting spouse, and coerces where it thinks necessary.

Find a case of imprisonment for civil debt since (in the UK at least)1869, and you may make a case requiring answer. In the meantime, in England and Wales the Debtors Act 1869 abolished imprisonment for debt as a principle. Section 11 of the 1970 Administration of Justice Act restricted the remaining jurisdiction to commit to maintenance orders on the one hand and certain taxes and similar imposts on the other.

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 28 Oct 2009 #permalink

Robin ...

(IAAL)

You're obviously unqualified to comment - just wait, you'll see what I mean by that! :)

> Not in England and Wales, you can't.

OK, you can't be jailed for a civil offence (I take it there's some link...?). Can contempt charges be levied because you aren't paying? Because it doesn't really make a difference if we don't have a debtors prison if you can still be jailed for not paying. That's basically what debtors prison was. About the only difference is that I don't think you could avoid debtors prison by going chapter 11.

And still nothing about proving this in the US.

> In the UK, a parking fine is not a "civil" fine, whatever you mean by that.

No, in the UK it is collected and paid to a private company. Local councils are now thinking this wasn't a good idea, but it's still the case.

Parking offences are civil offences.

Same with car clamping firms, though I don't know if that one gives you jail time.

PS about the IAAL, though dog smears as usual, I know a couple of solicitors myself. Having problems with a plumber (before I had to learn about the law, which this incident started me off on) I was talking to one solicitor about it. I'd mentioned what I'd found and he said, and I quote "Huh. Well you know more about it than me!".

Hell, there are COPYRIGHT lawyers who still insist that the GPL is viral and that using GPL software will infect other software on the system.

Another solicitor was paid for by a friend who had a corn operation. Unhappy with the poor result (it was oversold in what it would do), he complained and the NHS said that it wasn't their fault, they just paid the surgeon. The surgeon said that he'd done the procedure correctly.

He had paid the NHS and was advised by the NHS consultation what the operation would do which wasn't what the operation did. The NHS refused to be responsible for it not having as great an effect as they said it would because they merely paid the surgeon so were a third party.

Talking to a *medical lawsuit* practising lawyer, he was told he had no chance of recompense.

I told my friend this was bull and that if the NHS were defending with "we merely paid the surgeon" alone, he had them by the short and curlies.

He took my advice and won 50% of the cost of the surgery back.

If he'd taken the solicitor's advice, he would have had nothing.

Note: it wasn't only myself who noticed that the NHS's defence was worthless, another friend spotted that right off.

So "IAAL" gives *some* credence to statements, but to accept without question is a false appeal to authority.

Note too that dog had "forty years experience with copyright lawyers" and yet didn't know that statutory damages existed before the DMCA. If the solicitors he worked with didn't let him know about this, they weren't very thorough.

Can contempt charges be levied because you aren't paying? Because it doesn't really make a difference if we don't have a debtors prison if you can still be jailed for not paying.

He said you can't.

You've been told some dozen+ times that you can't be in the US either.

Mark, let me make it easy for you, from Robin's post:

Failure to pay a civil judgment for money is not contempt.

Why do you even ask this: "Can contempt charges be levied because you aren't paying?"

I really do wonder if you read before you post.

> He said you can't.

Did he?

Where?

> (NB - "tried and convicted" ain't possible in a civil suit)

> Not in England and Wales, you can't.

But as has been pointed out even by yourself is that a contempt charge isn't the original civil suit.

> You've been told some dozen+ times that you can't be in the US either.

> Posted by: dhogaza

and you've been told some donzen+ times you can.

Please.
> Why do you even ask this: "Can contempt charges be levied because you aren't paying?"

> I really do wonder if you read before you post.

> Posted by: dhogaza |

Well he said this:
> Again, imprisonment for non-payment of child support isn't imprisonment for civil debt;

But this is DEFINITELY not true in the US. I did give links. Did you read them?

Mark, you're just playing stupid games.

But as has been pointed out even by yourself is that a contempt charge isn't the original civil suit.

He was correcting a statement you made. His correction was correct. Just effing admit it.