Canadian think-tank spends tax dollars to plagiarize and regurgitate talking points from US entertainment lobby group

The Conference Board of Canada, a think-tank, took money from the province of Ontario to develop a paper on the "Digital Economy" and then copy-pasted most of the material in it from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (an American lobby group representing the music, film and software industries). Some of the material was plagiarized — copied without attribution.

Michael Geist has some pointed questions for the authors and the funders of the report:

The Digital Ecomomy report raises some deeply troubling questions for the Conference Board of Canada, its board directors, and for Minister John Wilkinson, whose department helped fund it. In particular:

For Anne Golden, the President and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada:

* Is a deceptive, plagiarized report drawn from a U.S. lobby group consistent with an organization that claims that it is non-partisan and that does not lobby?
* How much was the Conference Board of Canada paid to produce this report?
* Does the Conference Board of Canada stand by the report in light of these findings?
* Will the Conference Board of Canada retract the report and the inaccurate press release that accompanied it?

For Stephen Toope, President of UBC, and Indira V. Samarasekera, President of the University of Alberta, both members of the Conference Board of Canada board:

* Do they condone or support the use of plagiarism in this report?
* Will they ask the Conference Board of Canada to review this report and to retract it?

Perhaps most importantly, for Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson:

* How much public money was spent in support of this report?
* Does the government support the use of public money for a report that simply repeats the language of a U.S. lobby group?
* Will the Minister ask the Conference Board of Canada to refund the public money spent on this report?
* Will the Minister publicly disassociate himself from the report in light of these findings?

The Conference Board of Canada's Deceptive, Plagiarized Digital Economy Report