Recently, in connection with certain legal cases of great importance for Bulgarian society, such as the one of private Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), institutions and media offer to the public a variety of opinions, views, and proposals to end the crisis, voiced by people presented as “experts” or “research teams”. Their expertise is imposed on us as an axiom, the last instance of truth that we, the citizens, have to accept almost as honorable and with full trust. The lack of civilian control over the processes occurring in Bulgaria continues to place the country in a leading position in corruption and poverty in the European Union

Let’s look at the potential of some scientific teams. In today’s technological world they maintain websites that provide information about their qualifications, goals and expertise.

What is the use of another’s intellectual property, without permission or without referring to it as a source, called? And what if the new “owner” adds to this the claim of authorship with “all rights reserved”?

Let us compare the definition of risk “DEFINITION OF RISK IN ENGLISH” on the website of the Laboratory for Risk Management (LRM) at New Bulgarian University (NBU) – it is only in English:

http://riskmanagementlab.com/bg/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/Definition_of_RISK.pdf

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and the definition of risk in the most popular academic English Dictionary, published by Oxford University Press.

Oxford Dictionaries “Definition of risk in English” (one of the Top 1000 frequently used words):

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/risk

Capture_2014-09-16_a_08.58.31

LRM’s document uses verbatim the same basic definitions. This is pure copy-paste, as only “phrases” and “origin” have changed places; the format is awkwardly altered and the logo of LRM, with a warning “all rights reserved”, has been added. Not a word about the Oxford Dictionary as the primary source of the definition.

If the definition of risk, which is the main activity of LRM, is plagiarized, what should we think about their other “competences” of the team? And please note – risk is examined only from a linguistic viewpoint, not as an object of economic and political expertise, as are the expectations and claims here.

Let’s remind what happened to Hungarian President Pal Schmitt after the plagiarism scandal and to the German Minister of Defense and the German Minister of Education in such cases. This is how Europe reacts.

But for us, all is not lost. New Bulgarian University, which approved the program of LRM, must issue an opinion on the subject of stolen intellectual property. Under the current Penal Code: “Article 173 (1) (amended. – State Gazette, issue 10 from 1993, amended – State Gazette, issue 92 from 2002) – A person who publishes or uses under his/her name or under a pseudonym others’ works of science, literature or art or a substantial part of such a work, shall be punished with imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of one hundred to three hundred levs and public reprimand.”

It is unlikely that the prosecution or Oxford University Press will launch criminal proceedings against NBU (LRM is not a legal entity). In the honorable academic world, such blunder will lead at least to the end of someone’s scientific career. In Bulgarian reality, we can hardly hope even for an informal public reprimand.

PS We are not commenting here on the apparent nepotism, namely that the site of LRM is maintained by “Antorna” (Powered by Antorna Ltd), owned by the daughter of the director of LRM. She also became notorious recently over the consulting contract with one of the companies under investigation by prosecutors, known as the “mailboxes” of KTB’s majority holder, Tsvetan Vasilev.

* Facebook page LRM – Presentation of the project:

https://www.facebook.com/kostov.dsb/photos/a.10151769864576655.1073741834.41466206654/10151769865061655/?type=3&theater

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