Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On Trial: The Academic Blogger

Today my father, Professor Lawrence Schiffman went to court to testify instead of NYU to teach his regular classes.
A blogger impersonated him and sent out emails in his name to colleagues and students claiming he plagiarized several works. He utilized NYU library computers and created several blogger identities to simulate an online community that was interested in these issues. The goal was to discredit his academic opinions about the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls and point instead to his own father's position on the matter.
The trial opened today and my father was expected to be called to the stand. I am eager to hear the eventual verdict.
For more details on the case see this article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100914/ap_on_re_us/us_dead_sea_scrolls
Please comment and add any thoughts here.


  1. I'm writing a Law Review article on Cyberbullying. This should be very interesting...

  2. There is little to no precedent here as it is only the 3rd non-financial criminal case of identity theft or impersonation. The defense wants to prove that my father did in fact plagiarize in order to claim that the impersonating emails were truthful and warranted. I don't know why that would make a difference in terms of online impersonation.

  3. Truth is an absolute defense (sometimes).


Come again!