Techdirt reported recently that a politician in Argentina who introduced an anti-plagiarism bill has come under fire for apparently copying some of the language he used without crediting the source, a practice some have called "plagiarism."
The language of the proposed legislation itself may be original, but the bill's explanation of what "plagiarism" is appears to be copied straight out of the Wikipedia page for that term. Specifically, the first three paragraphs of the explanation match Wikipedia material exactly. (The bill was introduced well after the last time the Wikipedia page was edited, which seems to show the copying was not the other way around.)
The bill explains:
Desde el punto de vista legal, el plagio es una infracción del derecho de autor sobre una obra artística o intelectual de cualquier tipo, que se produce cuando se presenta una obra ajena como propia u original. Así pues, una persona comete plagio cuando copia o imita algo que no le pertenece haciéndose pasar por el autor de ello. En el caso de documentos escritos, por ejemplo, se comete plagio al no citar la fuente original de la información incluyéndo la idea, párrafo o frase dentro del documento sin comillas o sin indicar explícitamente su origen.
From the legal standpoint, plagiarism is an infringement of copyright on an intellectual or artistic work of any kind, which occurs when [one presents] another person's work as their own or original. Thus, a person commits plagiarism when you copy or imitate something that does not belong[,] posing as the author of it. In the case of written documents, for example, plagiarism [is committed] by failing to cite the original source of the information, including the idea, paragraph or sentence in the document without quotation marks or without explicitly indicat[ing] its origin.
Since the bill itself does exactly that, its sponsor could be jailed de tres a ocho años for violating his own bill if it passes, assuming it applied retroactively. I am not sure if copying from open-source Wikipedia really should qualify as plagiarism, but hey -- it's his bill.
As the report points out, while the copied material explains what plagiarism is (more or less -- it appears to confuse that concept with copyright), the bill doesn't explain why it is such a problem in Argentina that plagiarists need to be imprisoned. But then maybe this incident shows that plagiarism is so entrenched there that strong measures need to be taken to root it out.
Link (to the original source of this information): Techdirt
Paragraph translated by Google Translate (edits by me as shown)
Languages used in this post: English (a West Germanic language originally developed by the Anglo-Saxons in collaboration with Vikings and Normans) and Spanish (to which the Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Alans, Arabs, Castilians and God knows who else contributed).