[This post has been authored by Gopika and is being posted on her behalf].
[Update: We have an update to the post, as described at the bottom of the post].
The heights of irony! What do you do when an IP lawyer copies an IP lawyer – on the topic of copying?
A few days ago, Ms. Leila Amineddoleh, partner and co-founder of Galluzzo & Amineddoleh LLP and a specialist in art and IP law, alleged plagiarism (see here) of her paper entitled ‘Purchasing Art in a market full of forgeries: Risks and Remedies for buyers’ by an Indian copyright lawyer. Ms. Amineddoleh alleged that many parts of her article had been lifted verbatim and included in the article entitled ‘ The Rise of Fakes and False Attribution in the Art World’ published by Tehelka on April 19, 2016. The two pieces are here and here respectively.
Ms. Amineddoleh on her website specifically noted the irony of this situation where copyright lawyers writing on the area of art forgery and false attribution had resorted to plagiarism.
There were further developments in this matter yesterday. The concerned author wrote back to Ms. Amineddoleh acknowledging the oversight and error of judgment on her part. She explained the circumstances that led to the same in her response and apologized. You can see her full response letter here. As a resolution to the same, she offered either to have the essay jointly attributed to Ms. Amineddoleh and herself or to take the essay down, as per Ms. Amineddoleh’s preference. She also proposed to organize a seminar on plagiarism in 2016 at her personal cost and invited Ms. Amineddoleh to be the Keynote speaker at the seminar. Presently, we are not aware of whether Ms. Amineddoleh has responded to this letter.
In this context, it would be appropriate for us to think seriously about the issue of academic plagiarism. Just in the past year, we at SpicyIP have had many instances of plagiarism to report and discuss, ranging from the DIPP and the Delhi High Court to several academicians in our top universities. While measures to remedy this situation were undertaken in many of these instances, this clearly shows a deep malaise in our academic approach. The only solution to this is an attitudinal change, to adopt a no-tolerance policy towards plagiarism. It is highly imperative that such a no- tolerance policy is not only adopted presently but also inculcated from the school level and continuously stressed at every subsequent stage. Failure to do the same would only result in denuded respect for Indian research and scholarly writing.
[Editor’s note: We’ll be carrying a more detailed post on plagiarism and issues surrounding it very soon]