Reed A. Cartwright posted Entry 3090 on April 25, 2007 02:18 PM.
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Shelley Batts over at Retrospectacle was contacted yesterday by a representative of Wiley Interscience, who objected to her fair use of part of one figure from a paper. Shelley has posted the exchange on her blog.

Wiley’s legal threats are baseless because fair use allows people “to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism.” In addition, this move by Wiley is very stupid given that Shelley was promoting a paper published in one of their journals. She was providing good press for them. But in one stupid move Wiley has turned that good press into bad press.

Because of this I will not be publishing in any Wiley journal for the foreseeable future, and I call on others to do the same.

If you want to email the journal about this, here is the contact information.

Update: Wiley has a record of acting dubiously. (via Afarensis.)

Update: An apology has been issued.

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Comment #171973

Posted by Shelley Batts on April 25, 2007 2:48 PM (e)

Thanks so much for your support!!

(Btw, its Shelley not Shirley.) :)

Comment #171976

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on April 25, 2007 2:55 PM (e)

Fixed. Would you believe me if I said that I call everyone “Shirley”?

Comment #171977

Posted by minimalist on April 25, 2007 2:56 PM (e)

Reed, Shirley you jest.

Comment #171993

Posted by Henry J on April 25, 2007 4:40 PM (e)

Re “(Btw, its Shelley not Shirley.) :)”

Or as Leslie Nielson would say: “Don’t call me Shirley!” :D

Comment #172003

Posted by Robert O'Brien on April 25, 2007 4:58 PM (e)

Wiley is puckered at both ends.

Comment #172008

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 25, 2007 5:21 PM (e)

Best analysis and suggestion so far. Kudos to Reed and Shelley for standing up against Ol’ Wiley misbehaving.

Moran noted that online publishers like PLOS explicitly allow more than fair use, so I hope online publishing, archives and copyleft gets a deserved boost.

Comment #172010

Posted by Gary Hurd on April 25, 2007 5:22 PM (e)


Won’t publish
Won’t subscribe
Won’t even read! (IF I can avoid it)

Comment #172059

Posted by Gavin Polhemus on April 25, 2007 9:25 PM (e)

“Wiley’s legal threats…”

Did Wiley make any legal threats? The only correspondence is from an Editorial Assistant Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Is there any reason to believe that anyone at Wiley, especially anyone with knowledge of copyright law, had any knowledge of this.

Lawyers don’t spend all their time pressing legal actions. They spend a lot of time explaining to would-be-plaintiffs why their proposed case is baseless. Is it possible that when this Editorial Assistant contacted Wiley to demand action, they would have told her that there was no action to take?

Comment #172067

Posted by Inoculated Mind on April 25, 2007 10:07 PM (e)

Open Access, folks. There’s a huge benefit for the promotion of science, besides just getting cited more.

Comment #172123

Posted by fusilier on April 26, 2007 6:53 AM (e)

A sales jock wants me to use a Wiley text for my course - 700 copies/semester. I mentioned this to him. He doesn’t think the two publishing arms are at all closely related ([cynicism]of COURSE they aren’t[/cynicism]) but just to humor me, he’ll be passing my concerns up the line.

Just my two cents.

James 2:24

Comment #172151

Posted by Zen Faulkes on April 26, 2007 9:35 AM (e)

For some reason, I am reminded of this from writer Peter David: “If you disagree with someone, say it with words, because saying it with punitive, retaliatory measures proves nothing except that you are petty and intolerant.”

Not saying the publisher was in the right here. But is the response advocated (not publishing in their journals, etc.) proportional to the original action?

Comment #172187

Posted by Gary Hurd on April 26, 2007 12:31 PM (e)

Not saying the publisher was in the right here. But is the response advocated (not publishing in their journals, etc.) proportional to the original action?

Wiley and other science publishers take publically funded research and then bury it behind their profit wall.

They did not pay for the material, they did not pay the reviewers. In days gone by, there were no good ways to distribute research results other than print. Good riddance!

Trackback: Fair Use and Open Science

Posted by A Blog Around The Clock on April 25, 2007 11:54 PM

If you read other Scienceblogs and not just me, you are likely quite aware of the "Wiley Affair", but if you are not here is a quick summary:...