Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Plagiarism vs. Entrapment.

This case is creating quite the buzz in the corner of the blogosphere I've been frequenting. And, it's been getting quite a mixed reaction. (See the comments here and here.)

In a nutshell: a comedian/blogger gets an instant message from a stranger soliciting a 5 page paper (with about 3 references per page) on Hinduism that she would then turn in for a college course. She names a price (but sounds an awful lot like she might stiff the stranger she's soliciting to create the paper). He does the standard Google-enabled cut and paste (with some bits thrown in for humor value, although opinions vary about how successful they are). He delivers the paper. He figures out her full name and the name of her college, and emails the appropriate authorities that this piece of work is about to be turned in under false pretenses.

It seems pretty indisputable to me that this student was WRONG. She's the Mayor of the municipality of Bad Call. The trickier question, ethically speaking, is whether he is in the wrong.

Assuming any of this really happened, of course ...


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