19 Jan 2011

French law limit stifles court action in Tahiti plagiarism case

5:10 pm on 19 January 2011

The publisher of the Tahiti Pacifique magazine says a French law stopped plans to take legal action for alleged plagiarism by the president of the University of French Polynesia, Louise Peltzer.

It was discovered by academics that she had published a study in 2000 which was in essence taken from a book written by the Italian author, Umberto Eco.

The publisher, Alex du Prel, says he was asked by them to write about the case but declined to do so because under French law there is a 10-year limit for prosecuting plagiarism.

He says that gave the academics two options.

"Either you get Umberto Eco to file a complaint and then it's in Italian or international justice where the ten-year limit doesn't count, or you make an open letter. So what they did was make an open letter."

Louise Peltzer has dismissed the letter, saying it's an attempt to denigrate her because they oppose university reforms.