The Conference Board Of Canada Recalls Three IP Reports; Admits Plagiarism

from the wow dept

Earlier this week, we noted the massive problems with a recent set of reports put out by The Conference Board of Canada about intellectual property in Canada. Based on highly questionable research with parts of it apparently copy/pasted from lobbyist reports, the whole thing was a mess, and a significant drain on The Conference Board of Canada's credibility as an impartial analyst on these sorts of issues. Michael Geist has been leading the charge in exposing these reports for what they are, and I recently agreed to team up with Geist (really: back him up by saying "yeah, what he said!" over and over again) in a debate with the Conference Board organized by the Mesh guys. Except... while waiting for The Conference Board to respond to the offer to debate, something quite surprising happened: the Conference Board of Canada has recalled all three IP reports and put out a statement reading:
The Conference Board of Canada has recalled three reports: Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Economy; National Innovation Performance and Intellectual Property Rights: A Comparative Analysis; and Intellectual Property Rights--Creating Value and Stimulating Investment. An internal review has determined that these reports did not follow the high quality research standards of The Conference Board of Canada.
Separately, the CEO of The Conference Board of Canada has supposedly admitted the report was plagiarized. Kudos to Michael Geist for his relentless following of this story, and making sure it got the attention it deserved... and kudos to The Conference Board of Canada for actually backing down (despite first defending the credibility of the report) once it realized how problematic it was. However, it is disappointing that it took massive publicity to get the company to recognize and admit the mistake. It's troubling that it would have put out lobbyist talking points in cut-and-paste fashion in the first place... and it makes you wonder if it's happened with other reports from The Conference Board of Canada. In the meantime, I guess this means I'm not flying to Toronto any time soon...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    mobiGeek, May 28th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Wrong capital

    I guess this means I'm not flying to Toronto any time soon...

    Except that the Mesh debate was to be held in Ottawa...

    ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Wrong capital

    Heh. Oops. Well, wouldn't that have been embarrassing if I ended up in the wrong city? Don't blame me, though, we Americans know nothing about Canadian geography. Toronto? That's right next to Calgary, right? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    mobiGeek, May 28th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Wrong capital

    *This* American knows lots about Canadian geography ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Jaybarti, May 28th, 2009 @ 2:35pm

    Canadian Travel made easy

    Toronto Eh!

    Its just up the road from Buffalo/Detroit between Vancouver and St Johns. You know you are there when you see the huge pointy tower. If you see a large central canal traveling through the city, you have gone to far north and somehow made it to Ottawa.

     

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  5.  
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    Tgeigs (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Canadian Travel made easy

    When do you hit the long line of people waiting to see the Dr.? Dick Cheney told me it'd be there...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 3:17pm

    This is an interesting variation on the theme of plagiarism. More usually, an inferior writer plagiarizes from a better one to appear to be better than they are. The better one doesn't like his or her work being used uncredited.

    Here, instead, we have an organization with superior credibility using biased industry reports uncredited perhaps in a scheme to launder them. In that case, the true authors of the reports probably want them to be credited to the neutral association instead, because they don't care about credit, but rather want what's in the reports to be believed, which is more likely if the true source remains unknown.

    Either way, it's intellectually dishonest behavior by the plagiarist. "Bias laundering" of industry propaganda is perhaps the worse of the two, since it is more likely to have broad implications for policy and thereby affect a large number of people than some kid getting an undeserved A in English Lit.

     

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  7.  
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    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, May 28th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Help!!

    (Seen on a fortune)

    "Help!! I'm being held hostage in a Canadian Bias Launderette!"

    CBMHB

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 4:59pm

    Thanks again to the investigative journalism made by professional newspapers, someone uncovered this fraud. It was a blog, you say? By a really knowledgeable expert on copyright issues? Sorry, my bad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    JustMe, May 29th, 2009 @ 4:30am

    Actually, there are few direct flights to Ottawa

    Unless you live in a border city, so I can see how Mike would need to fly to Toronto. Not that he didn't make a mistake, just pointing out that it wasn't entirely incorrect.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Greek Island Cruises, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    Exactly the same happened to me with a game account. I`ve been the victim of a deadly virus that copied all my data from the computer as well as everything I was typing. They could of take money from my credit card and other things like this ones.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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