Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fruits of ScottishSceptic's Threats

The ScottishSceptic felt so molested by me building a critique around his "Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5)" that he threatened me with legal action if I didn't take it down.  When that didn't work, he invoked an impartial arbiter.  

Well the arbiter has spoken and I'd like to share portions of what he had to say.  

Bloggers behaving badly 
Posted by William M. Connolley on February 7, 2014

... Now, lets compare that to a minor kerfuffle that my attention was drawn to, viz The Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5) by ScottishSceptic – examined by CC and the follow-up, Dear ScottishSceptic, why do you keep threatening me? (you guessed, didn’t you?). This, in turn, is a critique of The Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5) 
... Now, back to SS’s complaints (SS is ScottishSceptic) against CC’s posts (CC is citizenschallenge). SS complains under two headings, copyright and libel. 
Claim one is The document is my copyright. You have copied it without permission.
It is true that CC has reproduced SS’s “Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5)” statement. However CC has done it in blocks, and clearly with the purpose of critiquing it, and the original is clearly attributed. It might also be argued that the document isn’t clearly SS’s copyright: as it says of itself, its been compiled from the views and with the input of numerous others. 
I would also argue that anyone publishing a “statement” that is clearly political in nature offers an implied right to reproduce it – indeed, it seems pretty clear that SS would like the document itself to be widely publicised; what he is really objecting to are the critical comments.
What of the moral issue? Here the answer seems clear: because the document’s original source has been clearly attributed, and its been so cut about that no-one would copy the copy, they’d certainly go back to the original, I can’t see that any theft of intellectual property has occurred. 
Claim two is and then listed it under “denial industry” making numerous false claims. This is a libel… (is there a missing “and” in there? I.e., should this read under “denial industry” and making numerous false claims? Or is this suggesting that the listing, under “denial industry”, in itself constitutes numerous (false) claims? That seems an odd reading; I’ll go with the former). 
I’m not sure what the “numerous false claims” are supposed to be. On a quick skim, I’d say that CC is more correct than SS. ...
For the full article see: 

I can't resist including the postscript to my review of  The Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5) and challenge to ScottishSceptic: 

My pal Scotty has gone silent.  No surprise, it's how fake skeptics always behave, as soon as you start getting them close to confronting their own mistakes... they slink off pouting and scheming, rather than trying to learn a lesson from the experience.

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