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‘Baron Cut-and-Paste’ dismisses new plagiarism claims
Photo: DPA

‘Baron Cut-and-Paste’ dismisses new plagiarism claims

Published: 04 Dec 2011 11:50 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Dec 2011 11:50 GMT+01:00

Former Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has defended himself against new plagiarism accusations, this time related to an article he wrote in 2004.

Speaking to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Guttenberg admitted that he had used other texts as sources for the piece. However, he pointed out that it had not been an academic work but a foreign policy paper. “Self evidently existing sources were used, which were simply intended to back up the political opinion,” he said.

However, members of the GuttenPlag platform, a website dedicated to uncovering plagiarism, accused the aristocratic former minister of using similar methods to those he employed in his 2006 doctoral thesis. The plagiarism activists told Welt am Sonntag that they had found passages lifted from newspaper articles, EU papers and parliamentary documents on 13 of the 23 pages of the paper.

The paper entitled “Relations between Turkey and the EU – a ‘privileged partnership’” appeared in a magazine published by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, which has links to Guttenberg’s party, the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union (CSU). Guttenberg said that the essay had been prepared with the help of employees in his parliamentary office and was originally intended as an internal party paper.

Nine months ago Guttenberg, savaged in the press as "zu Googleberg," resigned as defence minister after it emerged that passages of his doctoral thesis were the work of other authors. The University of Bayreuth then rescinded his doctoral title.

Last month he appeared to be staging the beginning of a comeback with a speech in Canada lambasting European politicians, prompting some in his former party to revive calls for his return to the political stage.

German prosecutors had investigated the baron for violating copyright but closed their case against him in November after he donated €20,000 ($26,800) to a children's cancer charity. The disgraced politician has always insisted that he had lost the overview of his dissertation and had not intended to plagiarize.

However, the GuttenPlag activists claim that the latest incident shows a pattern. "It now appears that this text montage principle, which was a mark of the dissertation, had already been shown to be a basic work characteristic in this article," they said in a statement to the Welt am Sonntag.

DPA/The Local/smd

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:06 December 4, 2011 by Loth
Is it because he didn't say a part of his paper was taken from another source that rubs some? Isn't the point he is trying to make as important, maybe more so ,then where he got his ideas? Are the critics more concerned about what he is saying then the source of his material? As far as his opinion goes ,I am not taking sides.
15:15 December 4, 2011 by nemo999
My God a serial Plagiarists. Well at least he is consistent. One must admit that he is well read. It does appear that he has some issues with not attributing the writings or the thoughts of others, and presenting them as if he was the originator.

He is just a guy trying to find a position to which he can retire to and draw a comfortable salary, hopefully that will not require much time or effort to keep.
09:10 December 5, 2011 by authun
More like a position in society as an elitist "superior" with as little effort as possible
01:48 December 10, 2011 by Futurist
Karl "The Baron" is capable to become a Leader and may one day become the Emperor of The European Empire.
06:54 December 10, 2011 by yuri_nahl
He does not give a hoot. Look at him! Anyway, he had to fork over a pile of money to a good cause. That is a good thing. Anyway, everthing is derivative, it has all been said before. Asking a politician to be honest... that is asking a lot!
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