I got this email from him today.  First I will show it to you and then I will add some notes about the stupid involved.

My Uncle, who lives in Kentucky, has a very good friend who works for Homeland Security, and he has a friend who is former FBI – and here is what he sent my Uncle to send me:

By contrast, plagiarism is usually more a matter of ethics than of law. The failure to provide a proper citation for a direct quote will not necessarily carry any type of legal punishment. However, engaging in plagiarism often leads to censure by academic institutions and employers. For example, a writer who presents the work of another writer as his or her own and is caught in the act of plagiarism is likely to be dismissed from the workplace. Freelance writers who plagiarize often find that word gets around and it becomes extremely difficult to secure assignments. Authors who commit plagiarism are more often than not only asked to provide an admittance of guilt,and a public apology. While the chances of going to jail for plagiarism are extremely limited- almost null and void – the negative impact can have repercussions that will last for years as far as reputation is concerned.
Bear in mind, these cases – especially concerning internet related disputes – are rarely brought into the light of day in a court of law, or prosecuted.

My advice? Back off.

David Boyer
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The statement his uncle supposedly made is a plagiarism from a column by Stanley Fish at the New York Times.  I recognized it immediately since I read Mr. Fish’s columns on a regular basis.  The column was about academic plagiarism in student papers.