Harshest Punishments for Plagiarism in History
Plagiarism is considered an offence in most cases. However, the punishment for plagiarism depends on many factors. For example, plagiarism law and policy of various educational institutions differ in most cases. So, some universities have strict laws against plagiarism and may terminate the program of the student for the single instance of plagiarism. Other colleges may send a note of disapproval, but do not apply any serious punishment for plagiarism. When plagiarism occurs in art, the only one who can raise the issue and bring it to the court is the initial holder of the property right (the author). So, it depends on his will of how serious may be the consequence. Plagiarism detection in political or official speeches may lead to the withdrawal from the campaign and the loss of credence. So, what are the harshest punishments for breaking the plagiarism law known in our history?
- A possibility of going to a jail. Usually, plagiarism is a matter of a civil right, property and civil laws. So, people have to pay the compensation or penalties in the form of lost job. However, there is a case of plagiarism that led to a jail. The man was admitted to a Harvard University on the basis of forfeited test scores and received the scholarships and awards for plagiarized essays. The student was placed on probation, however he was noticed in plagiarism again, and as a result, he was expelled from Harvard and was sentenced to two years in prison.
- A discredited reputation. Jonah Lehrer, who worked as a journalist at the prestigious magazine the New Yorker, published his own book under the name “Imagination: How Creativity Works”. He was creative enough to include in his book the fabricated quotations. When the fabrication case was revealed, Lehrer lost the well-paid job and definitely received the black spot on his journalistic career.
- Financial damage. The largest damage that was caused by plagiarism in music world is a case of Michael Bolton. The famous song of Bolton “Love is a Wonderful Thing” was recognized to be plagiarized from the 1966 song from the band Isley Brothers. The lawsuit ended up in a $5.4 million fine for Bolton, which is the most impressive plagiarism financial damage connected with music.
- Reimbursement of royalties. The publishing company of the Australian band “Men at Work” received the reimbursement of the royalties that the band earned on their 1979 song “Down Under” after it was found that the part of the song was stolen from the work of the Australian school teacher.
- Courts and lawsuits take time and money! Megon Walker, a graduate student of the Harvard Law School, was accused of plagiarism in her article that was published in school’s law journal. The women argued that the journal published the unfinished draft which contained the uncited quotes because of the damages at woman’s computer. When the issue became public, Walker has lost the job offer with the promised earnings of $160000 a year. Thus, she was forced to sue the Harvard Law School to clear her name and reimburse the losses.
The only thing to say is that the violation of the laws against plagiarism may end up in very negative and costly consequences to the violators. That is why, is it strongly urged to be original in any type of creative work. As, sometimes, a single case of plagiarism may ruin the entire career or leave you on the brink of survival. Be cautious, and you will never get in trouble!