Pervasiveness of Plagiarism

There are already many plagiarism instances in the past. Some of these plagiarism acts are done even by famous people. Some of the events are even famous because of the act itself. There are also events that are not famous but are still great example of plagiarism. What follows are list of plagiarism acts done over time.

  • During his 1988 nomination as a Democrat president, Senator Joseph Biden was asked to step down and revoke the nomination because he was found out to commit plagiarism which resulted to failed grades during his years in law school. People also found out that he copied most of his speeches from Senator Robert Kennedy and Niel Kinnock, British Labor leader.
  • During the EuroVision Song Competition on 1973, an entry entitled Eres was found out to be a plagiarized work that was derived from ESC 1966. However, due to political reason, the song was not disqualified.
  • After admitting that most of the passages from his novel “Roots” were derived from Harold Courlander’s The African, Alex Haley settled himself from court with $650,000.
  • It was believed that the famous “I Have A Dream” speech of Martin Luther King, Jr. was plagiarized from the address of Archibald Carey to Republican National Convention in 1952. The Boston University investigation team also found out that one-third of his doctoral thesis is plagiarized.
  • A known author of books and Psychology professor left Leiden university, where he is teaching, in 1997 after accusations of plagiarism. Proceeding against Prof. Rene Diekstra continued until 003.
  • In music, George Harrison was sued of plagiarism when he used in his song “My Sweet Lord” the melody of Chiffon’s “He’s So Fine”.
  • In June 2003, many high ranking officials resigned from New York Times after the information became known that Jayson Blair, a reporter, was faking some quotes and plagiarizing some articles that he submitted. Some of the stories are even high-profile stories.
  • Magnavox accused Pong, a video game by Atari, as a copy of the tennis game by Odyssey.
  • As a child, Helen Keller was accused of plagiarism. To prove her innocence, she had all her compositions after the incident be checked by her classmates before it can be submitted.
  • United Kingdom was accused of copying some text from a post-graduate student of California State University Monterey Bay. The copying of text was for the security report of the government about Iraq.
  • Marks Chabedi was found out to copy word-for-word the doctoral thesis of Kimberly Lanegram. When the latter found this out, she launched an investigation against Chabedi. When the investigation was proven, Chabedi was fired from University of Witwatersrand in South Africa as professor and his Ph.D. title was invalidated by New School where he graduated his doctoral degree.
  • James Cameron was sued by Harlan Ellison and was defeated later after the latter claimed that Cameron’s film “The Terminator” is a plagiarized work from the two episodes of Ellison for “Demon With A Glass Hand” and “Soldier”.
  • The widow of Bram Stoker sued the producers of the 1922 film “Nosferatu”. This is because the widow claimed that the movie is an unauthorized adaption of her husband’s novel “Dracula” Most copies of the film was destroyed yet some copies still exist.
  • Blair Hornstine, a student of Moorestown Township, New Jersey, was not allowed to be admitted in Harvard University on June 2003 when she was found out to submit articles of famous people’s speeches like those of Bill Clinton to a local newspaper and claim it as her own.

There are even more instances that are related to plagiarism that are not mentioned in these list.