CoJ Case 065

From Wikipedia of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood, an online Star Wars Club
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Chamber of Justice
Cases


DB vs Magik, #14037 was the sixty-fifth case tried by the Chamber of Justice. The sitting Justicar was Dacien Victae, the Left Hand of Justice was DarkHawk, and the Right Hand of Justice was Kalan Amak.

Basic Case Information

Defendant

Charges

  • Four Counts: Violation of Covenant section 7.06(o) - Plagiarism
  • Three Counts: Violation of Covenant section 7.06(d) - Cheating and Exploitation

Verdict

  • GUILTY as to all charges

Sentence

  • Demotion to Equite 1;
  • Disqualification from:
    • [GJW XIV Event Long] Multimedia - Technological Distinctiveness;
    • Tenixir Prison Break: Pirate Logo;
    • [GJW XIII Event Long] Multimedia - The Offering;
    • Phase 2 Fiction/GFX - "Tag";
  • Letter of Reprimand permanently applied to the member’s dossier;
  • Strict Probation for 3 months followed by 3 months General Probation.

Related News Post

Members of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood,

The Chamber of Justice has convened and issued a verdict in the pending case of DB v. Magik. Following an investigation, Magik was charged with three counts of Cheating and four counts of Plagiarism.

The detailed Verdict and Justicar's Opinion for the case can be found in the PDF file linked below. Please note that the written opinion is generally found on the page after announcement of the verdict.

The verdict was as follows:

Case #065 - DB v. Magik - Opinion PDF

  • Three Counts of Cheating: GUILTY
  • Four Counts of Plagiarism: GUILTY
  • Punishment:
    • Demotion to Equite 1;
    • Disqualification from:
      • [GJW XIV Event Long] Multimedia - Technological Distinctiveness;
      • Tenixir Prison Break: Pirate Logo;
      • [GJW XIII Event Long] Multimedia - The Offering;
      • Phase 2 Fiction/GFX - "Tag";
    • Letter of Reprimand permanently applied to the member’s dossier;
    • Strict Probation for 3 months followed by 3 months General Probation.

Comments on CoJ posts are left open for positive comments and words of encouragement to a member that has just gone through this hard process. Please be kind.

Signed and sealed in Justice,

Dacien Victae Justicar of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood

Justicar's Opinion

Facts

This is the second plagiarism and cheating conviction arising from Great Jedi War XIV. During the grading of [GJW XIV Event Long] Multimedia - Technological Distinctiveness, the Dark Council discovered that Battlemaster Magik submitted a graphics entry that appeared to be identical to an entry Magik submitted to a prior, but recent, competition. The Chamber immediately opened an investigation and, with the Seneschal’s assistance, uncovered a total of four matching graphics submissions from Magik over approximately the last year:

  • [GJW XIV Event Long] Multimedia - Technological Distinctiveness
  • Tenixir Prison Break: Pirate Logo
  • [GJW XIII Event Long] Multimedia - The Offering
  • Phase 2 Fiction/GFX - "Tag"

The entries are all nearly identical photos of an embroidered mouse pad. The Chamber considered it highly improbable that Magik had designed and embroidered the mousepad himself. None of the entries identified the mouse pad as a mouse pad or gave any indication that it had been created by someone other than Magik. Some of the entry comments, in fact, suggested the contrary by describing the image as, for example:

   “The Collective Crest/Coat/Suit of Arms
   Seen worn by the highest ranking members of the Collective military.”

The Chamber therefore charged Magik with plagiarism for submitting another’s work as his own without attribution and with cheating for reusing the same competition submission without approval.

Magik responded to the charge notification with, in essence, a confession: that he had customized and purchased the mouse pad from a store, and then submitted pictures of it to multiple competitions.

Analysis

Recent Chamber decisions have dwelled at length on the concept of plagiarism in the context of Brotherhood competitions. The Covenant is clear: “Members must not submit any plagiarized work as his own. Work of others may be used in a member’s work provided that appropriate credit is given to the real author or the sections of the work that are not original are identified and disclosed.” Cov. 7.06(o). In other words, others’ work can be used provided that credit is given where it is due.

In this case, Magik appeared to believe that selecting a design and paying a store to embroider a mouse pad made it acceptable for him to submit photos of that mouse pad as his own work. But it was not. It was akin to a member paying for commissioned artwork based on simple sketches or descriptions and then claiming the finished product as his or her own work and seeking credit for it in the Brotherhood. It is antithetical to the rights of our members enshrined in the Covenant to allow anyone to earn rewards or honors for something they did not create but claim as their own.

As for the cheating charges, the Covenant likewise plainly states that “Unauthorized use of the same submission in two separate competitions is a form of cheating.” Cov. 7.06(d). There is no dispute that Magik used the same mouse pad as the basis of four competition entries. The photos he submitted are of varying quality, and it is apparent that he took four different photos, one for each of the four competitions.

It could be argued that because each of those photos is slightly different, that he did not actually reuse competition entries. This argument, however, misses the forest for the trees: the four entries are, in every material respect, identical; they were all submitted for the same purpose, to show the card suit design. As such, the submissions violated the Covenant’s proscription against reuse of entries without prior approval.

Sentencing

Magik has been an extremely eager and active member of the Brotherhood for the last five and half years. This is his first encounter with the Chamber, and his House and Clan summits submitted character statements in his support. Furthermore, he has admitted guilt and seems to understand that what he did was wrong.

Unfortunately, his misconduct spanned four competitions over the course of year, including two Great Jedi War events and a third DB-wide event. As explained during the current War, in DB v. Soren Leonis, DB 064, “cheating during DB-wide competitions is a more severe crime than cheating in unit-focused competitions, [and] the severity is further amplified during a vendetta.”

The Chamber has crafted a sentence that balances these countervailing factors. Demotion is the common punishment for cheating and is strongly supported by past and recent precedent in similar cases, though the demotion is limited to only a single-grade demotion due to mitigating considerations. Likewise, although Magik is disqualified from [GJW XIV Event Long] Multimedia - Technological Distinctiveness and the other three competitions at issue, the Chamber will permit him to retain whatever medals and credits he might earn from his entries in other Great Jedi War XIV competitions.

Verily,

/s/ Dacien Victae