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25 Dec 2016

Pakistan President House officials sued by a sixth grader

Officials at Pakistan's President House were accused of plagiarism and sued at the Islamabad High Court by a sixth grader through his father.

Islamabad Model College for Boys' eleven-year-old Mohammad Sabeel Haider accused the officials of plagiarizing and using his speech without consent.

His speech was supposed to be recorded and broadcast on TV on Quaid-e-Azam Day marking Mohammad Ali Jinnah's 141st birth anniversary.

In context

Plagiarists - "Stealers" of the show!

Sabeel chosen for delivering the speech

Sabeel was initially chosen for delivering the speech and had a full-dress rehearsal on 21 Dec. He was supposed to deliver it on 22 Dec for recording, when he realized another student, a tenth grader, Ayesha Ishtiaq was delivering his speech.

A literary piece cannot be used by a third party


A literary piece cannot be used by a third party

According to Sabeel's petition, after his full-dress rehearsal on 21 Dec, he arrived at the President's House on 22 Dec only to find out that he would no longer be delivering the speech.

Sabeel's lawyer said Intellectual Property and Copyrights Ordinance 1967's Section 3 states, "a literary piece that the person has produced themselves cannot be used by a third party without their consent."

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Sabeel challenges President House's decision

Sabeel challenged the President House's decision to hand over the speech he prepared to another senior student for marking Quaid-e-Azam's 141st birthday. Speaking to a news channel, he said, "If the President is watching this, I request him to take notice of this unjust act."

Illegal Act

Secretary President House should be declared illegal: Sabeel

Sabeel, in his application, appealed to the Islamabad High Court the act by Secretary President House should be declared illegal.

He also appealed the tenth grader's recorded speech should be stopped from being broadcast on national television on 25 Dec'16.

He had submitted the speech to the President House for approval, which the speech had gained after a few amendments.

Sabeel had to miss two examinations for the speech


Sabeel had to miss two examinations for the speech

Sabeel also said he had to miss two of his examinations for the sake of the speech.

In his application, he said the move by the President House is absolutely unfair.

The High Court's judgment regarding the plea has been reserved.

Sabeel had previously delivered a speech at the President House on 23 Mar'16 and received a certificate for the same.

Other Incidents

Other similar incidents of plagiarized speeches

In 1988, US Vice-President Joe Biden, the then-presidential candidate, was accused of plagiarizing British Labour Party's Neil Kinnock's speech.

In 2006, the Brookings Institute accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of stealing 16 pages of a 20-year-old University of Pittsburgh's paper for his economics dissertation.

In 2008, Hillary Clinton campaign's spokesman Howard Wolfson said President Barack Obama had "lifted rhetoric" from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Melania Trump

Melania Trump accused of plagiarism, twice!

US President-elect Donald Trump's wife Melania's speech on the opening night of the Republican National Convention in Jul'16 was also accused of plagiarism.

Some portions of her speech were remarkably similar to first lady Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Melania was accused of plagiarism in her Nov'16 campaign address, which was similar to Donald's ex-wife Marla Maples's 2011 interview.

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