Any student can tell you that plagiarism is the number one taboo in one’s studies. However, plagiarism is a problem that goes far beyond the academic world and may be spotted in media, cinema, music, and even business.
- A case of nearly classic academic indecency is found in regard to influential cancer researcher, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch. The investigation of his work took two years to conclude that Welch used a plagiarized graph in the paper he published in a reputable scholarly journal. This case unravelled into a scandal and made Welch resign from Dartmouth College, for the plagiarism in his paper undermined not only his own reputation, but the credibility of the very journal he published his work in.
- A reputable newspaper reporter, Anne Blythe, was accused of plagiarism. The journalist failed to credit the sources and the characters of her stories. Furthermore, the investigation of a single case of Blythe’s plagiarism revealed the same indecency in her previous work. The author quoted phrases or full passages from third-party sources with no credit or reference to the source, which resulted in her losing her job.
The case with the Oscars
- The best-known creative plagiarism allegation opened the year 2018 right before the Academy Awards ceremony. Guillermo del Toro, the director of one of this year’s most nominated and discussed film, The Shape of Water, was accused of plagiarizing the plot of the film from the play Let Me Hear You Whisper by Paul Zindel. Despite the similarity of the events in the pieces, the director denied any resemblance with Zindel’s work. Remarkably, the plagiarism scandal before the Oscars did not undermine del Toro chances in taking the main Academy Award.
- The most horrendous case of musical plagiarism this year was attributed to Ed Sheeran for a country song that he co-wrote for US country musicians. His music for The Rest of Our Life turned out to be nearly a perfect match with the work When I Found You performed by Jasmine Rae. Although Sheeran did not perform the song, he received plagiarism allegations for claiming its authorship.
- One of the most prominent examples here is the blockchain project TRON. According to the experts’ investigation, TRON’s white paper contained borrowings from the white papers by IPFSbot and Filecoin projects concerning the algorithms of user identification. Even though the scandal was not resolved officially, it seriously damaged the rate of TRON’s cryptocurrency.
These are only several cases when plagiarism was revealed. We don’t know how many of those remain unnoticed. Nonetheless, each plagiarism case proved to cost the copycat his or her reputation or even career.