Sunday, March 26, 2006


I Propose A Summit With Joe Biden

What does plagiarism get you? Shame, expulsion from school, copyright infringement lawsuits.... Well, either that, or a presidential palace and a sweet dacha.

From today's Times of London:

A new study of an economics thesis written by Putin in the mid-1990s has revealed that large chunks of it were copied from an American text. Putin was labelled a plagiarist yesterday after a pair of researchers at the Brookings Institution, a Washington DC think tank, established that the Russian president’s academic credentials were based on a dissertation he had lifted in part verbatim from the Russian translation of a management study written by two professors at the University of Pittsburgh in 1978.

... According to Clifford G Gaddy, a senior fellow at Brookings, 16 of the 20 pages that open a key section of Putin’s work were copied either word for word or with minute alterations from a management study, Strategic Planning and Policy, written by US professors William King and David Cleland. The study was translated into Russian by a KGB-related institute in the early 1990s.

What's more, Putin's claim to have a PhD doesn't appear to hold water either.

A Google news search shows that this story has barely any traction yet -- aside from the Times of London, only a couple of Australian papers, an Indian paper, and a couple Russian sites have picked it up. It probably didn't help that the Brookings folks broke this story in The Washington Times, which is a little like giving your big scoop to The Pennysaver.

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