Conference Board Plagiarism Story Front Page News, Gov’t Says It Contributed $15K To Report

The mainstream media has picked up on the story involving Conference Board of Canada's Digital Economy report and concerns about plagiarism and inaccuracies.  The Ottawa Citizen features a lengthy piece on the front page of the paper that frames the issue as part of the larger battle over copyright policy (the Vancouver Sun, Victoria Times-Colonist, and National Post pick up the same story).  The Ottawa Citizen's Vito Pilieci includes a screen shot on his blog that demonstrates that the Conference Board is now promoting its inaccurate headline on its front page. 

IT Business also covers the story with the only direct information from the Office of the Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson.  A spokesperson says that the Government paid $15,000 to the Conference Board to support the report and this week's conference.  Spokesperson Grahame Rivers told IT Business that "these are serious allegations. We take any charge of plagiarism seriously. We will be following up and look forward to hear what they [Conference Board of Canada] have to say about this."  The story has also attracted huge attention online, with blog postings here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


  1. Bulte Part Deux?
    This harkens me back to Gesit (and his pro-user zealots) v. Sam Bulte, and we all know how that one ended. Keep on em Michael, can’t wait to see how this one ends. Do they think they can pull the eyes over the Canada’s best academic and intellectual minds, yet alone the occasional, casual observer.

  2. miss information
    What it boils down to is the US lobby groups are attempting to buy as much press as they can. They now have Canadian sources ‘confriming their point of view, sure they are just spewing the same miss information but it is a Candain source.
    They are also pressuring other countries to spew the same crap, so that when the cons or libs push a ‘made in Canada’ (read that as written in a corporate board room) copyright legislation, they can beat down the critics that say it is caving in to american pressure.
    Rest assured the Americans will buy their ‘Made in Canada’ Law one way or the other, after all who better to spin it then the Hollywood machine.

  3. It seems very dishonest to me, but when the government has an agenda that runs contrary to what the voting public wants, they are not above using propoganda and manipulation to attempt to minimize kickback when they force it through anyway. To me, it looks like this is what is happening. Unfortunately, they don’t need to be right or even win the argument, they just need to make sure their isn’t too much stink raised about it in order to further their goals of pushing through the agenda they know is not wanted while minimizing the consequences.

    Our government (especially the current one) seems to be more afraid of the US bullies than they are of the fickle voters. Unfortunately, the US is structured such that politicians are supported by rich corporations through campaign contributions and other thinly veiled bribes so adopting the same policies that they have is highly likely to be good for rich corporations and hard on anyone who is not a rich corporation (thats us).

    What I don’t understand is why they don’t just admit they are caving to US pressure, I would think they would be able to cultivate more support by simply saying “The US has threatened to [insert list of US threats] if we don’t adopt their DRM junk. We (in our infinite wisdom) feel that the consequences if the US carries through on those threats are worse than the damage to our culture and country from the DRM junk, so we have decided to adopt the DRM junk despite knowing that canadians don’t want it”

  4. suport for a IP Tax.
    I would like to suggest a practical way to resolve Intellectual Property issues. Intellectual Property in its definition is property in that it is owned and can be sold. Why not tax it as property in the same way we pay property tax on land. This way it is easily to identify commercial IP the resulting value, the tax can benefit the independent music companies in the industry at large and provide funds to protect the IP of interested party’s. I know the music industry will appose the idea as it will eat into there bottom line, but the truth be told the few corporations riding on the current IP laws are damaging creativity and innovation.

    Thank you,

  5. Add the CBC
    No big surprise there, considering some of the previous reporting on this field from the CBC website, but this hit there about an hour ago:

  6. Dr. Geist is defending the rights of Canadians, 30+ million of us. Government groups and industry seems hell bent on defending the rights of a small group of companies that constantly lies and makes up facts. Dr. Geist essentially does this service, which helps all citizens, for free. The government groups and industry lobbyists get paid extremely well to spread their lies. What is wrong with this picture ? Why isn’t the GOVERNMENT and its groups out defending the peoples rights AGAINST the lobbyist groups ??

  7. DrewWilson says:

    Thanks for the link Michael. 🙂

  8. It is my understanding that the lack of citations was corrected once this was pointed out to them. Plagiarism has a specific definition, and part of that definition requires that one pass off another’s work as one’s own. If one has a citation, they are not claiming that they are the originator of the material cited so it is not plagiarised, even if it is a word-for-word copy, and is used without permission. It *may* be copyright infringement if fair dealing exemptions are not applicable.

    Oh, the irony.

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