Thursday, March 03, 2005

Gibbons Speech Plagiarized

Elko Daily Free Press:

ELKO - The speech delivered by U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., during Friday night's Lincoln Day Dinner in Elko was largely plagiarized from a copyrighted speech by Alabama State Auditor Beth Chapman.

Chapman told the Elko Daily Free Press this morning Gibbons had not requested permission to use her speech, which she said she delivered Feb. 2, 2003, at a Stand Up for America rally in Alabama.

She said Gibbons apologized today for using large portions of her speech.

"I spoke with him this morning and he has apologized," she said.

Chapman, a Republican, said Gibbons told her he did not realize the speech was copyrighted.

During his speech at Friday night's Lincoln Day Dinner, Gibbons did not mention that the speech had been written and previously delivered by Chapman.

"I don't remember where I got it," Gibbons said this morning. "I had no idea it was copyrighted."

Whether or not it's copyrighted is really not the point. Deliberately passing off the words of others as your own is plagiarism, whether it's Betty Chapman's copyrighted speech or Billy Shakespeare's no longer copyrighted plays.