New round Guttenberg scandal

Will Guttenberg use this kind of machines ever again? (2010 in Kunduz; US Gov. PD)

The prosecuting attorney of Hof (Bavaria) made public today that it will drop the charges against Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the former German minister of defense. Guttenberg had to step down from his office in March 2011, after massive plagiarism had been discovered in his PhD thesis. GuttenplagWiki found out that more than 63% of all lines were taken from various sources.

From 199 complains that came in only one was issued by a person whose texts had been plagiarized by Guttenberg. The prosecuting attorney says now that

  • ‘only’ 23 text passages can be considered plagiarism in the strict sence of the law
  • taking over parts of texts provided by the scientific service of the parliament is no embezzlement or fraud to the detriment of the Federal Republic
  • copyright is primarily protecting economic rights, and the economic damage to the plaintiff is minimal
  • the title PhD did not provide essential benefits to Guttenberg

Guttenberg got the complaints cancelled by paying € 20,000 to a charity. Even a party comrade of Guttenberg calls this a second class cessation. After more than seven months we came to know that plagiarism is less than you think, that it causes no damage and that a PhD title isn’t worth anything anyway.

The ex-minister is already busy with his political comeback. Recently he appeared in Canada at a conference on security issues, where he offered abrasive criticism against European politicians. For November 29th he announced his new book ‘Failed for the moment’.


2 thoughts on “New round Guttenberg scandal

  1. A politically-minded deal, without a doubt. But a logical consequence of the principles and the trends in German penal law and prosecution, too, given the „Anprangerungseffekt“ that goes with the media campaign around the scandal, albeit self-inflicted. Penal law is not a tool for solving the problems of the scientific community. No fine would have been high enough for what he did. We have to deal with the scourge of plagiarism ourselves. Beware, this lad is not counted out for all time. His party has offered him to return to politics, and as you mentioned, the Editor-in-chief of German weekly Die Zeit together with the mostly Catholic Herder publishers have just paved zu Guttenberg the way back to center stage. That’s a shame.

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