IP lawyer/plagiarist’s PhD thesis under review

Dr Angela Adrian
Dr Angela Adrian

The Queen Mary University of London has withdrawn the PhD thesis of an intellectual property lawyer who was previously accused of plagiarism.

We first covered Angela Adrian last year, when she lost three papers on how to apply intellectual property laws and ideas in the age of the internet. (The irony did not escape Adam, who linked to Alanis Morissette’s ballad “Ironic.”) She is now the chief knowledge officer for reputation management firm Icondia, which helps the rich and famous “protect their unique and priceless individuality in the 21st century.”

It’s not clear what the investigation entails; a spokesperson for the school declined to give details “at this stage.” The thesis — about strengthening personality and property rights in the world of online gaming — is unavailable on the university website. Instead, this message is displayed when you try to access it at Queen Mary Research Online (QMRO):  

The item you are trying to access has been withdrawn from QMRO. If have any questions, please contact the administrators.

You can still access the thesis, “Property rights and personality rights in a virtual world,” via the British Library’s database.

Here’s the statement Queen Mary University of London provided to Retraction Watch:

The work has been removed pending an investigation, but has not at the present time been retracted. The investigation is currently in process and we therefore cannot comment further at this stage.

We expect to be able to come to a final decision on the case within the next two months and we would be willing to update you as to the outcome at that time.

We’ve contacted Adrian, and will update if she responds.

6 thoughts on “IP lawyer/plagiarist’s PhD thesis under review”

  1. Only the abstract seems to be present in the British library, and a few phrases from that were showing up in Google as quotes from Joshua Fairfield.

  2. It still says on the website of Icondia: Angela is “a respected academic”. Even better: “personally authored an impressively long list of articles and papers”. I would suggest perhaps what is more impressive is the speed at which that list is getting shorter.

    1. It would be a poor advertisement for the company if she could not protect and burnish her own reputation.

  3. The thesis — about strengthening personality and property rights in the world of online gaming — is unavailable on the university website.

    What is purported (on the Institute of Intellectual Property‘s website) to be her thesis “as a monograph entitled ‘Law and Order in Virtual Worlds: Exploring Avatars, their Ownership and Rights'” appears to be available (in “preview” form) from Google Books, should anyone care to peruse it.

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