When I lived in the UK, there was a big push by the government and universities to help academics, universities, and students “monetize” (or profit from) their academic research.  It appears that in Romania, there is a push for the opposite.

Again according to Monitorul (3 May, page 8) there will be “fines for those who sell” work from their undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctoral work, as well as those who buy such work.

Of course, the assumption of the Romanian government appears to be that the only reason someone would buy an academic essay is to cheat on their own work.   Never mind the fact that the majority of history books I enjoy reading actually started out as academic essays.  (Hopefully, you can rewrite your essay into another work.  I mean, it will be a new work if you rewrite it, right?  Hopefully.)

I think this will affect ex-pats from Britain more, where you can do a dissertation by practice.  Will it become illegal to sell that novel that you wrote for your Ph.D., or that screenplay that you wrote for your master’s dissertation?

Even undergraduate essays can be compiled into books on particular subjects, for instance, essays about films.  Or they can be sold and published in magazines, such as the BFI’s Sight and Sound or the French classic film journal Cahiers du Cinéma.

When I was doing an undergraduate degree in the UK, and I asked my instructor what was expected, he simply directed me to Sight and Sound.  (I didn’t see how one of the questions was really worth 2500 words.  After reading Sight and Sound I still didn’t, but at least I had an idea of what kind of style was wanted).

But, a closer look at the law helps clarify things, that the fine has to do with a purpose.  So, if you are one of those people who simply sell essays in a book form, like Michel de Montagne, then you shouldn’t need to worry.  But, if you want to make a little bit of money by selling your university work to an essay bank, which other students may use for innocent purposes (you see sample essays, to see what is expected), then you might be skating on thin ice.  I mean, people assume that the purpose of those sites is to cheat.

(I don’t, I always assumed they were for reference only.  But then again, I never sold my essays to one because they don’t pay that well, and they usually want papers that got a first or an A*).

The fine is between Three hundred thousand and six hundred thousand lei.  Yup, that is a pretty big fine.  I don’t think I will be looking through my stored documents for my old-school essays anytime soon.

But anyway, I assert my moral right to be known as the author of my work.  That means don’t forget to credit me for what I say, whether you are writing academic work or otherwise.  (As well as my moral right to be paid for my work).  Hey, if you want to get fined, that is your problem, but don’t drag me into your little cheat pit.

Got an idea for a legal business that doesn’t involve plagiarism?  You can file your taxes as a freelancer in Romania, and even host your PFA, with Solo.

Solo, self-employment accounting made easy.

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