Edwen Mellen Press and the Streisand Effect

The ‘Streisand effect’ is something most librarians are familiar with. Although the name may be new, the function is the same. It’s a sort of Heisenberg effect for publicity where the attention you give something you would actually like others to ignore, and that only attracts more attention.
This has happened to the small academic publisher, Edwin Mellen Press, since it decided to sue an academic librarian* over his critical blogging about the relative value of their titles. Since that story broke, EMP has expanded its ‘good will through aggressive litigation strategy’ by sending legal threats to another blog** and setting up sock-puppet comments to fight the negative opinion.

And yes, I am doing this just to see how much effort EMP is putting into this because if they show up here, deep in the cold, anaerobic depths of the unread internets, they really need to re-think their priorities.

*This links to a good summary of the story so-far.

**This covers the most recent episode, with a very handy and informative pdf imbedding the blog entry and comments that were taken down by the blog under threat. The kicker on that one is the appearance of the EMP sock-puppet in the cached comments and the historical note about the 1993 lawsuits. All quite the drama.


3 thoughts on “Edwen Mellen Press and the Streisand Effect

  1. I would think that the claim would be struck as against the employer. Although I’m not up on my libel law, they appear to be arguing that an employer is liable for all statements made by its employees. I’m just not seeing the connection between the guy’s personal blog and his employer, and they haven’t pled any facts to make that connection.

  2. Pingback: Publisher hits new low: Suing librarian for criticizing their books – Confessions of a Science Librarian

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