Shelley Batts over at Retrospectacle was contacted yesterday by a representative of Wiley Interscience, who objected to her fair use of part of one figure from a paper. (Wiley has a record of acting dubiously.) Shelley has posted the exchange on her blog and has called for a blog-swarm.
Wiley’s legal threats are baseless because fair use allows people “to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism.”—Ironically, Wiley publishes Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks For Dummies.—In addition, this move by Wiley is very stupid given that Shelley was promoting a paper published in one of their journals. She was providing good press for them. But in one stupid move Wiley has turned that good press into bad press.
Because of this I will not be publishing in any Wiley journal for the foreseeable future, and I call on others to do the same.
If you want to email the journal about this, here is the contact information.