Ooops. The young, charismatic, German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is in trouble for allegedly plagiarizing parts of his dissertation. He announced that he is temporarily dropping his doctoral title. His defense? — there were mistakes, but nothing plagiarized:

“It was compiled over the course of about seven years while I was at the same time working as a member of parliament and while I was a young father. It contains mistakes, no doubt about it. I am extremely unhappy about every single one of those mistakes.”

Among other things, he apparently he lifted passages from a US Embassy website without attribution (even with attribution, that probably should still be a crime).

The media is having a field day. From the same BBC report:

the ZDF television website dubbing him “Zu Copyberg”, Financial Times Deutschland naming him “Baron Cut-and-Paste”, and Berlin daily Tageszeitung nicknaming him “Zu Googleberg”.

Still the issues are serious and given the increasing frequency of high profile plagiarism allegations, it prompted me to take a look back to Dan’s excellent post and the extensive comments on the topic here at Duck last fall. It’s worth another read if you get a chance.

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