Crackdown on the plagiarists
Following attempts to tackle the severe piracy problem in the Middle East, copyright holders are now turning their attention to a new battlefront: that of preventing the wholesale theft of material by plagiarists.
January 19, 2010 3:07 by Ben Flanagan
From dodgy DVDs to illegal satellite TV connections and even fake drugs, it often seems like the Middle East is awash with pirated goods.
Globally, the counterfeit industry is worth billions of dollars a year. But given that it is such a widespread problem in the Middle East – and even a stumbling block in the proposed free trade agreement between the UAE and the US – many organizations have sprung up to help fight this industry.
And now, some copyright holders are fighting on another front, as they attempt to prevent plagiarists from copying their work.
Few pirate DVD vendors actually claim to be James Cameron or Tarantino when they flog you a substandard copy of Avatar or Inglourious Basterds. In this way, they are distinct from plagiarists, who actually attempt to pass off others’ work as their own.
Examples of plagiarism include anything from copying material from newspapers and websites, to stealing design ideas or advertising concepts.
Experts say that there is a severe problem with these intellectual property infringements in the Middle East – but something is, at last, being done about it.
Proof of that is today’s news that the Dubai-based Zawya has received an undisclosed amount in out-of-court settlement with market research firm Proleads, which is also based in the UAE.
According to a groveling message on its website, Proleads engaged in illegal plagiarism by lifting 472 research items from Zawya’s website, 11 of which were copied verbatim. This occurred over a period of five months, and ended in June 2009, when the practice came to the attention of Zawya officials.