Quantum property

Quantum property

Quantum property

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Oct. 2 2007 9:31 PM

Quantum property

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  


It's a funny commercial, in my opinion. It may play into stereotypes, but since I loathe the fashion industry on several (non-degenerate) levels, I am OK with that.

What's very interesting indeed, though, is that the exact lines uttered by the models were directly plagiarized from Scott Aaronson's lecture notes on QM!

He is unsure what to do. I don't think he can sue, which is a shame. It's funny: a lot of the time, what you put up on the intertubes is up for grabs. There are some restrictions, but it's not always clear what is stealing and what isn't.

I get requests from people who want to use what I write for education purposes, or different venues. I almost always allow it, as long as they aren't making money on it, and in general all I ask is for the credit and a link back to the site, if possible.

On the other hand, if they don't ask permission, I'd be ticked. My recourse would be to ask them to give me the credit and the link, but let them use it.

But in Scott's case, we have a major company essentially stealing his lines and using them in a for-profit business. His commenters have lots of suggestions, but I figure a little more publicity can't hurt. Plus, I like the idea of publicly shaming Ricoh.

What say you all? What are his options?