Dead Sea Scrolls Debate Goes Digital, Spurs Criminal Trial
The Associated Press
September 16, 2010
// . . . .New York University professor Lawrence Schiffman’s students and colleagues started getting panicked and confessional e-mails, in his name, that pointed them to blog posts accusing him of plagiarism. Prosecutors say the e-mails and website posts were a hoax created by a lawyer on an idiosyncratic mission: to champion his father and discredit Schiffman in a debate over the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
. . . . Still, criminal prosecutions have been relatively rare when no financial crimes are involved, partly because it can be tough to establish legally what harm a victim suffered, said Bennet G. Kelley, a Santa Monica, Calif., attorney who specializes in internet law.
“The first question you have to look at is harm … and once you have that, you have to figure out: Is there First Amendment protection here?” he said.