5 Famous Plagiarism Cases You Might Not Know About

5 Famous Plagiarism Cases You Might Not Know About

"There is much difference between imitating a man and counterfeiting him" — Benjamin Franklin
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It seems like ever since one enters middle school, one gets acquainted with plagiarism. We’ve all been there, on websites such as noodlebib.com. From a young age, we’re taught right from wrong, and plagiarism has been one of those things that carries great consequences. So if we’ve learned this lesson from such a young age, why do some feel it's acceptable to cut corners and succumb to the misdeed of plagiarism?

It seems as though all types of public figures from poets to politicians (as seen last week in Cleveland) have stepped away from being a role model and plagiarized. Some famous examples of plagiarism include:

1. Senator Rand Paul

As a Republican Senator of Kentucky, Rand Paul allegedly plagiarized in both his book and his speeches. Senator Paul’s plagiarism consisted of lifting lines from the Wikipedia page for a futuristic movie, “Gattaca,” which focuses on a genetically engineered population. Furthermore, according to Buzzfeed.com, Paul’s book included almost matching passages from a story on Forbes. The aftermath of the accusation resulted in Paul admitting that he was mistaken in not giving credit to his sources. Additionally, some lost some trust in Paul, which in large quantities can be detrimental to a politician’s career.

2. Helen Keller

Keller proves that although the internet makes it easier to plagiarize, it isn’t the only source of plagiarism. Having been in the spotlight from an early age, Keller went on to write about the incident in her autobiography, The Story of My Life. At the age of 11, Keller wrote "The Frost King," a short story that had significant similarities with another short story, The "Frost Fairies." Although Keller reiterated that she had never been exposed to "The Frost Fairies," it was later confirmed that Keller had previously had The Frost Fairies read to her. The aftermath of the accusation resulted in no significant action and no tarnish on Helen Keller’s legacy.

3. George Harrison



Similarly to Keller’s plagiarism case, Harrison was involved in a “subconscious plagiarism” case involving the two songs, “My Sweet Lord” and “He’s So Fine.” Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” was his first solo single and less than a month following its release, Bright Tunes filed a suit. Five years later, the judge announced that he believed that the plagiarism wasn’t on purpose. The aftermath of this case had a rather significant financial impact. With George Harrison’s fan-base being stronger than ever, he paid $587,000.

4. Vice President Joe Biden

Although Joe Biden made it through two terms as the Vice President of the United States of America, his past has involved plagiarism. In June of 1987, Biden had announced his presidential candidacy for the 1988 election. Three months following his announcement, Biden was alleged to have plagiarized British politician Neil Kinnock’s speech. He was also accused of plagiarizing other content from Robert Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, and John F. Kennedy. Unlike some of the other famous plagiarism cases, plagiarism plagued Biden’s campaign and resulted in Biden dropping out of the presidential race the same month as the allegations. But, he is our current Vice President, so plagiarism wasn't totally detrimental to his political career!

5. Melania Trump

The elephant in the RNC and political stage last week was Donald Trump’s nomination and, moreover, Melania Trump’s speech. If you’ve been on Facebook over the past few days, you’ve seen the side-by-side footage of Trump’s speech and Michelle Obama’s. Trump claimed that she had tried to write the speech with less help, but maybe that help is what could’ve saved this entire debacle! The Trump campaign had drastically changed a speech drafted by Matthew Scully and John McConnell, who are most known for writing President Bush’s speech following the 9/11 attacks. The extent to which the aftermath will affect the course of events from here are unknown, but this has really stirred up the pot this past week!

So there it is. Students aren’t the only ones who have been nervous as they scramble together a paper at 11:50pm before the 12:00am deadline! Plagiarism still isn’t right, but it seems that it happens on public scales more often than many expect.

Cover Image Credit: AIT Library Libguides

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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According to Merriam Webster, social control is "the rules and standards of society that circumscribe individual action through the inculcation of conventional sanctions and the imposition of formalized mechanisms." Social norms, rules, laws, and structures within a society are just a few of the methods that keep our society "in-line".

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Informal vs Formal

There are two types of social control. There is informal social control which is enforced by family, peers, teachers, etc. and is often referred to as "socialization". Informal social control refers to values, norms, and belief systems of a society. Then there is formal social control which is enforced by the government through police and military. Formal social control refers to laws of society and topics such as terrorism.

For more information regarding informal and formal social control, check out: Definition of Social Control


Positive Social Control

Positive social control is related to the idea of getting rewarded for good work, rather than be hurt for doing something wrong.

For example, you will be given a raise at work if you prove you deserve it, but you will not be tortured if you don't take that extra step. Socialization is the primary way that social order is kept, and is a perfect example of positive social control. There is also a physical organization to society that keeps everything in harmony. Traffic signals, paved roads, and crosswalks are just a few examples of how physical additions to our everyday lives work together to avoid conflict.

There are many benefits that come along with positive social control as well. Raises, bonuses, and praise are all rewards that come along with following rules and norms.


Negative Social Control

Negative social control is related to the idea of discrimination and/or shame. It uses harsh punishment, torture, pressure, and/or threats to keep the peace and order rather than rewarding good behavior.

For example, Hitler used violence and discrimination to keep the Jews "under control" during the Holocaust.

For more information regarding positive and negative social control, check out: Types of Social Control Formal & Informal, Positive & Negative


Examples of Social Control

Religious Social Control

People who follow a religion tend to develop morals and behavior patterns based on what their religion preaches. These people will avoid committing crimes, hate-speech, or anything else their religion deems as "sinful" in order to avoid punishment during or after their death. Many people tend to believe that religion was created with the sole purpose to control people and keep the social order, while dedicated followers beg to differ.


Economic Social Control

Economic social control is attainable by controlling production or controlling an entire society through their economics (cutting off food supplies, stealing from the poor, etc.) Richer people and industrialists tend to control the lower class and their consumers through status and money.

Wealth = Power


Political Social Control

Political social control is the most influential type of social control. The government regulates money, sources and supplies, the laws, police forces, and many more which when put all together becomes social control. The government balances every aspect of what creates harmony and peace within a society, protecting the people from anarchy.

For more information regarding examples of social control, check out:: Social Control: Meaning, Types and Unfavourable Effect

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