April 5, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jupiter Scientific a Victim of Biggest Case of Plagiarism
since the Invention of the Internet
High school students do it;
college students been known to do it;
now a professional author has done it: Internet plagiarism, the cutting
and pasting of online text into one's own writing.
The author in question is John Vacca, and the book
is The World's 20
Greatest Unsolved Problems. Jupiter Scientific's staff, using a statistical
analysis, estimates that about 80% of the 651-page book was stolen from
The book's structure was extracted from
Jupiter Scientific's webpage
entitled "The Greatest
Unsolved Problems in Science." Indeed, 18 out of 20 of the book's main
chapter headings were copied verbatim from this site. In addition,
almost every phrase or line of this webpage appears somewhere in the book.
However, the author did not stop there. About 40 pages of the book were
also stolen from Jupiter Scientific's other award-winning webpages.
Distribution of the book has been terminated.
Although Jupiter Scientific was the party most victimized, others also
had their intellectual property violated. Vacca, who has authored 42 books,
worked for NASA until 1995. However, this did not stop him from plagiarizing
the content of NASA's websites.
Material was also copied and pasted from scientific webpages of universities
and research centers, of online scientits and even of a page from the
Encyclopedia Britannica. Wherever good scientific content could be found,
Vacca used it nor did it matter whether the copyright symbol appeared
on a page. In pilfering the Internet of an estimated 150,000 words,
the author showed a blatant disregard for copyright law.
The stolen material is easy to find using a search engine since it was
almost always copied exactly. Now and then, a sentence is rearranged or a
In a few instances, references were "faked." Material extracted from
a webpage was attributed to another publication in what-appears-to-be an
attempt to cover up the plargiarism.
So there you have it: an easy formula to create a book. Find a webpage
with an intriguing subject, turn it into an outline, search the Internet,
and plagiarize away.
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