Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A List of Links


Eli has lost his jump, and pretty much ain't got much these days (wait until tomorrow) but there are a couple of things the bunnies might be amused by

First, a number of FAQ like objects about Marcott et al., nothing really new but short summaries to send to your uncle rabetts who always send you stuff from Chris Monckton or Rush Limbaugh (btw, Chris seems to be waking up to the fact that his grift is not paying well anymore).

Dana at Skeptical Science has a summary, which points out the cleft stick that Willard Tony and Steve are on.  If there really were sharp jumps and falls in the GLOBAL climate (please, Eli knows about Greenland), then climate sensitivity is way high, in Myles Allen uniform prior territory

Rick Piltz at Climate Science Watch posts the FAQ from Climate Nexus

And, of course, the Real Climate response by Shaun A. Marcott, Jeremy D. Shakun, Peter U. Clark, and Alan C. Mix

But let us not forget Sou who has been having his way with Willard Tony (that one esp) and Steve


Lucia reminded Eli of the new industry claiming copyright infringement to hold innocents up.  Invented by the record industry to block downloading this has developed into a living for grifters (there's that word again).  Rank Exploits has had bad thoughts for one Linda Ellis, who has been supporting herself by threatening those who use a rather soapy poem she wrote in funeral handouts and thus, he was alert when he came across a similar case written up int the LA Times, basically a law firm that supported itself by suing people who downloaded pornographic films and a judge who is in the process of telling them to take it and shove it.

Which, of course, led to a blog, popehat,  which is enjoying obsessing about the same, which in turn, lead to a truly ROTFLMAO case

Colin Purrington made an error in judgment.
His error was this: he believed that simply because he had created something himself — specifically, a helpful guide for creating scientific posters — that it was safe to go about asking other people not to appropriate it for their own profit.
Colin was wrong. This is America, Colin. What were you thinking?
See, Colin saw that an outfit called the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research was using some of his language in appendices to its grant applications. Colin, as is his practice, sent a wry missive asking that they stop, with a humorous coda:
If you can cover the shipping charges, I would be grateful if you to send me the head of the person who did this.
Except that CPBR hired a butcher from Arnold and Porter (expensive DC law firm) to respond.  CPBR through the lawyer, David Metzger claimed that they had created the material in 2005 and it was Colin Purrington who had violated the copyright.  As Eli always tells the bunnies, RTFR, because Purrington had been posting versions of the material since 1997 and his 2004 version is mighty close to what CPBR wrote.

However, in keeping with the traditions of internet trolls everywhere, Metzger claims that his clients were super threatened by Purrington asking to have someone's head Fed Exed to them
This language was interpreted by CPBR’s staff as a physical threat against their personal safety. Should you make any further similar threats, CPBR staff will have no choice by to contact authorities to protect themselves.
UPDATE:  For anyone interested in how this is done by professionals, consider the case of head on a pike Loomis (the head was attached to Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association.  As far as Eli knows it is still attached).

 Retraction Watch has ordered popcorn, the Chronicle of Higher Education has put the pot on
I called the main number for the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research and was told that the president and chairman, Dorin Schumaker, was not available and might not be available for weeks. Schumaker is the only paid employee listed on the nonprofit’s most recent available Form 990 tax filing (her salary, according to the filing, is $213,964). I then called a number listed for a Dorin Schumaker in St. Simons Island, Ga., where the consortium is based. The person who picked up the phone declined to answer questions and hung up when asked if she was Dorin Schumaker. The consortium’s lawyer, David Metzger, also hung up on me. In a follow-up e-mail, he said he was abiding by his client’s wishes.
As for Purrington
Personally, I’d like (1) a check from them that fully covers my legal costs, (2) a written apology from the  CEO that is posted on their home page for 1 year, (3) a message emailed to all past proposal applicants and research directors stating that Appendix 5 was plagiarized from my site, and (4) an all-expense paid trip to St Simons Island, Georgia for me and my family, to compensate us for the pain and suffering that their bullying has caused.  And about that last one — we better end up having a damn good time on St Simons Island.  No poison in the soup, or anything like that!  Or maybe (5) $150,000 in damages, for each of the years that they infringed upon my copyright?? Oh, and (6) it goes without saying that they can never, ever use my material in the future…so if you are on their mailing list and get the next announcement, please send me a copy if you see my text in Appendix 5 again (I’ll send you cookies if you’re the first!). Finally, (8) I think it would be good to have the plagiarizer fired — that amount of plagiarizing in college would get you expelled for a semester, and is equally inexcusable in the private sector…there should be consequences.
UPDATEMore links 

UPDATE Colin wants a favor
This is where you come in. Or could come in, if you want. My personal El Guapo has a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and they apparently have every intention of pursuing litigation. So even though they plagiarized from me, they could ultimately get my site taken down if I run out of money before they do, a likely outcome of the litigation. So how can I defeat El Guapo? I can sew! Actually, that’s true (I own two sewing machines), but that’s not going to help me in this situation, regrettably. The only thing I can do is use this darn blog to defeat them. That’s where you come in. What I’d really appreciate is for people with influence to help advertise this situation so that CPBR feels the scrutiny of taxpayers, and, by extension, the scrutiny of politicians who give CPBR its millions in yearly allocations. That’s right: CPBR is using some of those funds to hire expensive lawyers to file fraudulent copyright infringement claims. If you pay taxes on April 15, you should be outraged. So if you can Tweet this post to your followers, my situation might eventually get known by those in D.C. who vote on such distributions of government funds. And if you don’t Tweet or Facebook, but know important people, please consider calling them. And then email me so that I can properly thank you.
 Eli only knows some bunnies, but the rest of you are free.  Ethon will do his bit

MORE UPDATES:  But of course, the mystery deepens.  CPBR has sent out the trolls in the comments at BoingBoing from yumtacos
 If you do a bit more digging, you may see suggestions that Ms. Schumacher's organization thinks they own his intellectual property precisely because they administered and funded the research grant that covered its creation via his university.
to which dr replied
As this was evidently created as part of his instructional activity, the only possible claimant would be the college, but Swarthmore has formal intellectual property policy that explicitly defaults the rights to such work to the faculty member.
Purrington had prereplied in any case
Actually, I've applied to a few granting agencies for plant biotechnology research (not from CPBR, though) and also spent a year away from Swarthmore College at a major biotech corporation that is a member of CPBR.  Wouldn't surprise me at all if CPBR first found my website via my research on safety of genetically modified crops. If you want sample, please see
 As quantum mechanics, life is not only stranger than Eli thinks, it is stranger than Eli can think


Russell Seitz said...

Relax Eli- there is little danger of your being Whitelisted by Willard.

Susan Anderson said...

Does anybody know what's up with the all to frequent breakdowns over at SkepticalScience. I smell a rat (no offense to good rats, please).

lucia said...

I thought I was up to speed on most of these given the interest in copyright trolling I developed after Getty sent me a missive demanding about $800 for an tiny image that was hotlinked into a comment. (9th circuit court says hotlinking ain't even copying under US copyright law.)

But you beat me on learning this one!

(I hate captchas! ARGH! )

ligne said...

isn't Sou a rabette, not a rabett?

Russell Seitz said...

The right of the people to keep and bear heads on bayonets shall not be ...

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Susan, I think the problem is with the roll your own software. Whatever it is based on, it is pretty crappy.

Sou said...

@ligne - indeed she is :)

And she now has an inkling of just how enormously popular is the Rabett Run. There are oodles of Rabett fanciers.

Anonymous said...

Getty has a pretty long history of harassing/intimidating people (even churches!) by sending "bills" (in some cases for thousands of dollars) rather than simple "cease and desist" orders for what they call "copyright infringement".

Legally, hotlinking is not even copyright infringement (though it does "pilfer" bandwidth from the company who has the images, which may be why Getty doesn't like it).

Personally, I wouldn't go near Getty's images (not even to buy) with a 1000 foot ethernet cable.

Seems like kind of a scum-bag company, in my humble opinion.


Susan Anderson said...

Rattus, I knew I didn't want to demean our useful creatures. Thanks, I can abandon my thoughts of conspiracy. Deniers are making such a dead set at SkS, I couldn't help thinking it was intentional.

Sou, on the subject I was fascinated by Neven calling his colleagues "bunnies" in a recent post. It seems to be catching. I think there's something about the lighthearted treatment of serious material that is very appealing and comforting to the likes of us:

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Susan, if they want to get hold of me, I can rewrite it so that it works :-).

Sou said...

@ Susan - bunnies are known (at least where I live) to have amazingly high fecundity. The more bunnies of the Rabett kind the better.

(CPBR ought to watch out for the swelling band of lagomorphs, armed to their fluffy white tails.)

Susan Anderson said...

I hope somebody will take Rattus up on his offer, if it means what I think it does. SkS needs all the help it can get. I'm just an onlooker there (and elsewhere at times, depending ... one does try to avoid doing harm).

Sou, I agree. Another place where all sorts seem to show up is Stoat.

Hank Roberts said...

Yo Eli, this make sense? I've been hoping:

(infrared radiator tuned for the range in which the atmosphere is transparent -- not quite the science fiction "cooling laser" but ...???)

Colin Purrington said...

Please help me battle the dark lords at CPBR by signing this petition:

I _know_ it's futile, but it makes me feel a little better.

Colin Purrington