Tuesday, November 13, 2007

John Wiley Interscience, the Dozier Internet Law of Academia?

Back in April, I reported (on the 25th and 26th) on an attempt by John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience to prevent a blogger from commenting on the results in an academic article they published.

Apparently, it's a good thing that such comments are made. As reported on Slashdot, pages of a recent Wiley book are plagiarized verbatim from Wikipedia.

Apparently, strategic lawsuits against public participation and plagiarism do go together, after all!

Friday, April 27, 2007

John Wiley Interscience and Defensive Swarms

In spite of an overly concillatory (if understandibly so) reaction, Jonh Wiley & Sons' "Wiley Interscience" slappd-down of Retrospectacle apperas to be over. Boing Boing, SEED, Slashdot, Nature and other big shots entered the fray Even Scientific American spoke out on the power of the blogosphere's immune system:

The most effective fighting force a blogger has is other bloggers. I cannot be certain that Wiley relented for any other reason than bad press, which they were getting from a number of people--including bloggers associated with other journals, like Nature, who are now valid members of the scientific community.


While some criticize the value or justness of autoimmunity, all bloggers can be thankful that there are other bloggers to stand up for them when powerful interests threaten them with judicial violence.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience, JL Kirk, and Courage

Afarensis, Entertaining Research, Evolution Blog, Galactic Interactions, Jim River Report, John Hawks Weblog, Rebecca Hartong, Mike the Mad Biologist, Sharp Blue, Synthesis of Thought, The Panda's Thumb, Thought Capital, and Thoughts in a Haystack are all writing about John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience attempted takedown of Retrospectacle's critical article on their "alcohol is good for you piece. These articles, joined by A Blog Around the Clock, Abnormal Interests, Adventures in Ethics and Science, Evolving Thoughts, Kitchen Table Math, Mixing Memory, Parentalcation,
Notes from Dr. RW, Open Reading Frame, Pith and Substance, and Sandwalk, point out that Wiley Interscience / John Wiley & Sons is attempting to censor a blogger in retaliation for a critical look at data. While JL Kirk used the cover of defamation, Wiley Interscience is using copyright.

Of course, I wish the very best to Retrospectacle and her "fair use piling on," I am skeptical on whether or not it can work. And the reason is obvious: Retrospectacle has already caved.

Retrospectacle complied with Wiley Interscience's demands. You can view the original critique yourself, and see that this isn't exactly a "profiles in courage" case. It's nice and fine for Retrospectacle to curse John Wiley & Sons, after submitting to them, but it's hard to get worked up about it. Unlike Kat Coble v. JL Kirk, unlike (modesty aside) tdaxp v. Nationmaster -- unlike even King Leonides v. Persia -- Retrospectacle calmly submits and then complains about the unfair treatment.

If Retrospectacle is serious about defending her rights, criticizing John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience, she will restore her post to how it was before the threatening letter. Otherwise, don't expect a kirking.

Otherwise, as Larry Moren points out, this bruhaha is just another reason to use PLoS and digital commons. Which is too bad, because John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience has resorted to this thuggery before.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wiley Interscience "Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture" SLAPPs Retrospectacle

0xDE, Gene Expression, gnxp, Good Math, Bad Math, Greedy, Greedy Algorithms, Respectful Insolence, and romunov are reportings that Shelly Batts (a U of Michigan Neuroscience PhD candidate) has been threatened with lawyers after writing a critical interpretation of a recent article.


Shelly has been threatened for analyzing charts like this one


Shelly not joins me and other bloggers are being threatened with strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs). I hope she stands up for herself. The academic and applied consequence of these nuisance lawsuits is increasingly well known. Just google "JL Kirk," for example, to find out what happens when lawyers threaten bloggers after a negative review.

Of course, there's no need to search the internet for that stuff. It also hits the paper and the tv news.