Is ghostwriting punishable?


Possible criminal offenses are considered the facts of the document falsification gem. § 267 StGB and the wrong insurance on oath instead gem. § 156 StGB. For falsification of documents makes punishable, who makes a false certificate, falsified a real document or used a fake or falsified document.

The written elaborations are to be qualified as certificates, as they represent an embodied declaration of human thought, which is suitable and intended for proof in legal relations and which reveals its exhibitor.

In the legal sense, a deed is authentic whenever the actual match with the specified issuer. Exhibitor can also be the one who makes the text his own. Thus, anyone who issues the text written by a ghostwriter as his own and presents it as his own achievement at his university or other educational institution commits only a written – not punishable – lie! The factual alternative of making use of a false certificate is not realized.

In contrast, caution is required in § 156 StGB! For often examination or doctoral degree regulations provide that insurance must be submitted in lieu of oath, that the scientific work was created independently. If a doctoral candidate insists that he has written his dissertation alone and without outside help, although the dissertation is actually based on the performance of a ghostwriter, the doctoral student can be punished for having taken false oaths according to § 156 StGB.

If the ghostwriter knows of these circumstances, he or she may be granted assistance.

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