Craig Wright has been accused of plagiarizing a dissertation written in 2008 as part of his law degree and is now allegedly editing the work after being exposed. Wright completed his LL.M degree (Master of Laws) in International Commercial Law at Northumbria University in 2008, part of which was a dissertation entitled The Impact of Internet Intermediary Liability.
However, a post on Medium by the pseudonymous Paintedfrog highlights huge areas of Wright’s text that have been either paraphrased or copied word for word from other texts with no references or citations, giving the impression that that work is his own. Wright is now apparently rushing to edit the work, but once again his reputation has been damaged.
Wright’s Copy and Paste Dissertation
Paintedfrog begins by highlighting a work that Wright borrows from heavily, Liability of Internet Service Providers, a 1996 piece by Hilary E Pearson, stating that “Wright appropriated the majority of the text”, including copying the opening paragraphs word for word, and made no mention of the author:
Paintedfrog then gives a summary of just how bad the plagiarism is:
Pearson’s Liability of Internet Service Providers contains 58 paragraphs. Wright appropriated 45 of them; 25 in full and 20 in large part. This plagiarism is extensive and methodical, and cannot be explained away as an oversight in neglecting to cite the author.
Wright occasionally went to a little more trouble than just simple copying and pasting from existing works, rewriting the text instead:
Wright also “took and reworded” another of Pearson’s works without mentioning it – Intellectual Property and the Internet: A Comparison of U.K. and U.S. Law (1998) – before beefing up his arguments by turning to whole sections of other people’s work, including those of Ronald Mann and Seth Belzley; Heather Harrison Dinniss; and even a Wikipedia article on ‘vicarious liability’. Wright even took to copying and pasting entire swathes of footnotes as well as inline text, showing just how ‘original’ his work must have been.
Wright’s Character Reaffirmed
Wright is well known for trying to pass off fraudulent documents as genuine ones, as he discovered to his cost during his 2019 trial against the estate of Dave Kleiman. The judge in that case stated his belief that Wright “willfully created the fraudulent documents” to back up his case – a practice that seems to have dated back to Wright’s days as a postgraduate.
In an update to the post, Paintedfrog, who presumably is keeping his identity hidden in order to prevent the notably litigious Wright from trying it on in the courtroom, states that Wright has got wind of the exposė and has taken to editing the piece, trying to shore up its integrity by adding citations.
However, the huge amount of plagiarized text added to the fact that he left these references uncited in the first place and is only now, when he has been exposed, rushing to cover his tracks without acknowledging any kind of mistake, says a lot about his character. Sadly, this isn’t anything that we didn’t already know.
Wright is no doubt an intelligent man, but he has a nasty habit of claiming others’ work as his own, and there is only so long you can go on doing that before everyone, including your sycophants, has had enough.