OLD Media Moves

Oil industry book lifted passage from Wikipedia

November 20, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Noam Cohen of The New York Times writes that a book by George Orwel on the oil industry lifted five paragraphs almsot verbatim from a Wikipedia entry.

Orwel, who has been a senior writer for Oil Daily and Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, declined to talk to The Times.

Black GoldCohen wrote, “Copying from Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia produced by tens of thousands of contributors, does not raise the same legal complications as copying from a copyrighted book. According to Mike Godwin, the lead lawyer at the Wikimedia Foundation, under Wikipedia’s license anyone can reprint material found there as long as Wikipedia is given credit and the license itself is reprinted, assuring that the material continues to roam free.

“‘Wiley’s concern is not over copyright trouble,’ Mr. Godwin said. ‘They want to represent their work as scholarly work. Their name is on the line in terms of scholarly ethics, more than the copyright issue.’

“A Wiley spokeswoman said in a statement that the publisher would ‘provide corrections to all future reprints of this book.’ In its statement, Wiley, which is based in Hoboken, N.J., said the passages were ‘inadvertently added by our author to the text without attribution.'”

Read more here.

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