Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Louts' Lament

Eli and the assembled throngs have grabbed the popcorn to follow the Monckton vs. Monckton death match (link for the summary) as M runs onto a field of rakes at full tilt. Rabett Run is pleased to sponsor the next round (boos to he knows who for dragging the bunny back to the canvas.)

SPPI and Monckton have changed their tune, well, not really, the Discount Viscount smarmy with clever so the lede in now reads . . .

"In the July 2008 edition of Physics and Society, a paper by Christopher Monckton entitled Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered caused considerable interest when the Society, which had invited Monckton to submit the paper and then published it, decided a week after publication, and without Monckton's knowledge or consent, to add a prefatory disclaimer to the paper.
Oh, pardon, someone committed truth on their own website without Monckton's permission. How sad. But, of course, Monckton is a member of the British nomenklatura whose behavior is a sure sign of the respect with which he should be treated.
Soon thereafter, a database manager for the American Physical Society, Arthur Smith, drafted and circulated a critique of Monckton's paper. Smith's critique and Monckton's refutation of it are provided here for educational purposes.
Now anyone who teaches learns the limits of copying for "educational purposes" The "educational purposes" here is a fig leaf that Robert Ferguson and Monckton think they have discovered to allow them to copy Arthur's work. Since they are already in receipt of a letter from Arthur Smith which denies them permission to use the text without meeting certain conditions, and those conditions have not been met, Arthur certainly could either sue for infringement, or demand that the web hosting company take the SPPI site down. Monckton and Ferguson evidently still do not understand copyright law. Here are some clues from the University of Texas
The penalties for infringement are very harsh: the court can award up to $150,000 for each separate act of willful infringement . . . .

There is one special provision of the law that allows a court to refuse to award any damages at all if it so chooses, even if the copying at issue was not a fair use. It is called the good faith fair use defense [17 USC 504(c)(2)]. It only applies if the person who copied material reasonably believed that what he or she did was a fair use - as would likely be the case if you followed this Policy!
Unfortunately for Monckton and Ferguson, they are already on notice that their copying was not fair use.
2. If the work is protected, do you wish to exercise one of the owner's exclusive rights?
  • Make a copy (reproduce)
  • Use a work as the basis for a new work (create a derivative work)
  • Electronically distribute or publish copies (distribute a work) . . . .
SPPI is not an educational institution offering classes whether in person or by distance learning. The provisions of the TEACH Act do not apply and even if they did, no one is allowed to copy an entire document for which someone else holds the copyright onto their web site without permission. The ice is even thinner at SPPI than in the Arctic.

19 comments:

John Mashey said...

1) In the (slightly) updated version, the introduction, replete with purple prose and some kind of heraldic grapes(?), says:

"a database manager for the American Physical Society, Arhtur Smith..."

at the end of the paper, Arthur is admitted to have a PhD in Physics.

2) This seems reminisicent SPPI's headline & press release:

"Researcher demands apology for professional discourtesy from essayist who claimed climate consensus"

I.e., Monckton's endocrinologist (and Monckton effectively confirmed the relationship in Comments at DeSmogBlog) Schulte is the "researcher".

Naomi Oreskes, whose PhD was geosciences/science history, was the "essayist".

guthrie said...

Sod it, I say get a solicitor to send a letter asking him to cease and desist. Its time Monckton got a taste of his own medicine.

EliRabett said...

John, those are sour grapes=:)

Eli got a smiley

John Mashey said...

Cease and desist?

If the penalty for embezzlement is just to give the money back, what's the point?

Purposeful copyright infringement, and as I've pointed out before, Monckton AND Ferguson's use of this would atop Smith's potential publication in many places.

Do not under any circumstances forget Ferguson.
In addition SPPI has a set of advisors who surely would like to testify, and maybe the subject of SPPI'd funding might come up as well.

Anonymous said...

Still no discussion of the substance?

Whyever not?

Dano said...

Whyever not?

Dividing by zero gives an error message.

Best,

D

Arthur said...

Actually, this is the first chance I've had to look at it, and it looks like they did meet the conditions I requested, at least in the updated version on the SPPI website. I don't know where they got "database manager" from though, but I suppose that's close enough.

The claim this is "educational" is interesting - I suppose they wanted extra insurance. If it leads people to actually read my comments I'll be quite happy. What do you all think of the graph showing transient sensitivity very like around 2K? I've shown a version of it over on the climateaudit bb before, it seems a very simple and concimxomg demonstration of the point and I was contemplating shortening my letter to focus just on that.

Arthur said...

Uh, convincing that is. Still figuring out this iPhone keyboard!

zinfan94 said...

Arthur: They unfortunately haven't removed all the references to your work affiliation. The Introduction block above your paper clearly identifies your employer, and is silent on the key disclaimer.
Here is the text from the intro:

"In the July 2008 edition of Physics and Society, a
paper by Christopher Monckton entitled Climate
Sensitivity Reconsidered...

Soon thereafter, a database manager for the American Physical Society, Arthur Smith, drafted and circulated a critique of Monckton's paper. Smith’s critique and Monckton's refutation of it are provided here for educational purposes."
[end of introduction]

Ferguson and TVMOB are playing games.

Paul K

Hank Roberts said...

They no doubt figure anything they can do to waste a climate scientist's time is a good investment in delaying the inevitable.

captdallas2 said...

Arthur,

"What do you all think of the graph showing transient sensitivity very like around 2K?"

I think it is very interesting. It may be much more interesting if a couple of natural oscillations synchronize over the next few years.

dallas

Dano said...

They no doubt figure anything they can do to waste a climate scientist's time is a good investment in delaying the inevitable.

Bingo-ooooooooo.

Best,

D

Chris Colose said...

pssst...

Here is just one more piece of nonsense to add to the pile of nonsense

http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/the-latest-fad-to-keep-the-denial-crowd-busy-for-a-week/

TokyoTom said...

Eli, you are perectly right that Monckton`s "behavior is a sure sign of the respect with which he should be treated."

Scoundrels and shameless cowards scratch up legal claims rather than face up to their own bad behavior, which is perfectly obvious here. Societies have norms and standards of courtesy, and don`t need "law" for all of it.

No doubt Monckton would be squealing, and rightfully so, were Smith or someone else to publish an unpublished Monckton manuscript that had been circulated for comment - did Monckton not learn the Golden Rule when he was a child, either from his parents, nanny or public school? If not, perhaps he is a man to be pitied.

It`s nice to see Lucia insisting that he apologize as well.

Anonymous said...

did Monckton not learn the Golden Rule when he was a child,

The only "golden rule" Monckton learned is that when you are born with a golden spoon in your mouth (or up your butt), you don't have to play by anyone else's rules.

Throughout history, such people (privileged, spoiled brats) have been imposing their views on others -- based largely on little more than pedigree and wealth.

Anonymous said...

It`s nice to see Lucia insisting that he apologize as well.

The rather hilarious thing in this case is that Lucia previously questioned Eli's weighing in on copyright infringement (because he is not a copyright lawyer), while she (a mechanical engineer) regularly weighs in on a topic on which she is no expert: climate science!

Not to mention her downright goofy claims.

It would seem that you can only make so many of the latter before people just tune you out completely (except Climate Science conspiracy theorists like Steven Mosher, of course)

Anonymous said...

What I found most interesting in the article, aside from the denigration of people wanting to understand recent trends...

I wonder if this falls under the "denigration" umbrella:

"True to form..."

Lucia got egg all over her face on that one and was actually forced to apologize lest she would lose all credibility.

But Roger and his "unbiased observers" are above the fray. yes indeed.

lucia said...

I didn't question Eli's weighing in on copyright because he's not a copyright lawyer. I think he, a chemist, has as good a right to speculate as anyone, including me, and engineer. However, I think his interpretation is likely wrong.

I admit I'm not a lawyer, and I could also be wrong. But we've been discussing fair use at my blog anyway. It's a blog-- people speculate.


I also wasn't forced to apologize to Tamino. I goofed up and was unfair to him. When he pointed it out, I agreed and apologized willingly.

Anonymous said...

True to form.