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Be carefull out there, dear bloggers

I am echoing here a post from Science Commons’ blog featuring another juicy story of apparent abuse of copyrights against a science student at the University of Michigan who posted on her blog tables and charts taken from a peer-view scientific magazine and quickly received a cease and desist letter from the publisher.

The details are in the SC post and also here, where the student, Shelley Batts, tells about the experience, and here, a Sicenceblogs post discussing the incident and soliciting early reactions.

Here is part of what the publisher wrote to Batts:

The above article contains copyrighted material in the form of a table and graphs taken from a recently published paper in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. If these figures are not removed immediately, lawyers from John Wiley & Sons will contact you with further action.

Brr… (I hope not to hear from them for literally copying lines taken from their text and posting it here). There is a happy end, as it took the publisher about 24 hours of backlashing, massive electronic fire coming from furious blogizens and others to step back and apologize.

I suppose it's not the last time, so one modest plea to those who discuss these matters in their blogs and elsewhere. Whatever you think about it and whose ever side you’re taking, please avoid using the phrase “fair use violation”. Please. It’s like saying that the student was accused of unlawfully shooting a unicorn.

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