Models Stealing Quantum Notes Leads To Science!
A YouTube video featuring Australian models talking quantum physics turned out to have plagiarized Scott Aaronson’s lecture on "Quantum Computing Since Democritus," and he has reached a settlement over this usage.
In October 2007, Aaronson picked up global notice after pointing out on his blog the word for word similarity between an advertisement for Ricoh and his notes.
"More intelligent, or simply more shameless?" Aaronson quipped. He openly wondered what to do from a legal standpoint about this.
Unlike most of our fast-draw litigation society here in America, the MIT-based assistant professor took a more measured approach to resolving the issue, even though under Australian law he could have tossed Ricoh’s ad agency, Love Communications, onto the proverbial barbie.
Aaronson described the settlement he reached with Love on a new blog post:
Disregarding the pleas of my relatives — who at this point were begging me to sue — I instead wrote to Love Communications directly, proposing a settlement to be donated (for example) to a mutually-agreed-upon Australian science outreach organization. We eventually agreed to a settlement of AUS$5,000.
Joel (Gilmore, BrisScience’s current director) proposed that we donate $2,000 of the settlement to BrisScience and $3,000 to the Physics Demo Troupe, the latter supporting a visit to the Torres Strait Islands in North Queensland. I agreed, and Love Communications agreed as well.
So ends the "sordid southern-hemisphere tale of sex, plagiarism, quantum mechanics, and printers" for Aaronson, who summarized the experience in brief: "That’s interesting." Science receives the benefits, and no court dockets were harmed in the reaching of the settlement.