Once again, we're seeing a report or person pushing for stronger IP laws that seems to feel that it's fine if they
cut some corners. Michael Geist has the story of a report from The Conference Board of Canada, which describes itself as "the foremost, independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. Objective and non-partisan. We do not lobby for specific interests." Except... when the money's good. It's latest report, backed by a bunch of copyright lobbyists and the gov't of Ontatio (taxpayer money!) isn't just deceptive but appears to plagiarize widely from other already debunked reports
, without a hint of skepticism or independent thought. Instead, it appears to have simply cut & pasted certain sections. While plagiarism and copyright are two separate issues, they are related in some ways -- and it's rather stunning that a report complaining about mass piracy in Canada would plagiarize large sections. But, even worse, of course, is the claim that this is from an independent group with no lobbying interests, when the plagiarized sections were written by lobbyists
. Whatever credibility The Conference Board of Canada had (and apparently it's a well-respected organization), it just lost a bunch of it. Meanwhile, The Conference Board insists that it's standing by the report
and only made a minor mistake in how it cited the info used in its report. Of course, that's not quite true. It didn't clearly quote the sections it copied, nor did it do any work to confirm whether that information was correct or simply repeated what the lobbyists who hired the company had already written elsewhere.