The dictionary definitions are straightforward. “Plagiarism occurs when a writer duplicates another writer’s language or ideas and then calls the work his or her own,” according to the Third Edition of The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, published by Houghton Mifflin in 2005.
The list of evidence compiled by The Herald is exhaustive. Keller took numerous citations from newspaper interviews that he did not conduct, and presented them as if they were his own work.
The responses so far from Michael Flamini at St. Martin’s Press, the book’s publisher (“Jon Keller discloses to his readers, throughout his book, that he has occasionally relied on others’ reporting”) [h/t Media Nation], and Jack Williams at WBZ, the plagiarist’s employer (er, what Flamini said …), strike me as laughable in light of the evidence. Not one of those plagiarized passages explains that they are lifted. Indeed, I suspect the Globe and Herald, and perhaps the individual reporters whose work was plundered by Keller, have a fair copyright violation case against St. Martin’s should they choose to pursue it. The literary theft here is so brazen, and the failure to give proper credit so transparent, we are way outside “fair use,” or any similar principle (As an aside, it’s a pity for the Globe that they’ve had to reply on a Herald journalist to document the theft of their own work).
Kudos to Heslam and the Herald. What will the Globe, Keller, St. Martin’s Press, and WBZ do?