India's OMICS Publishing Group threatens scholarly critic with $1 billion lawsuit, jail time


35 Responses to “India's OMICS Publishing Group threatens scholarly critic with $1 billion lawsuit, jail time”

  1. Jake0748 says:

    Christ, what assholes (from India). 

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Given that about 1,000 people own the entire Indian economy, it’s not surprising that you could get a prison term for upsetting them.

      • Jake0748 says:

         I dunno, don’t about 837 people own the US economy?  What are WE gonna get if we ever piss THEM off? 

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          India is far worse.

          • spacedmonkey says:

            In every imaginable way.  My metaphor for it is that it is not just fucked up, it’s fractally fucked up.  That is to say, you could examine any particular part of the situation that’s fucked up, and find endlessly ramifying layers of fucked up underneath it.   (Please note that this is not a comment on Indian people, as there are lots of really great people over there, trapped in this utterly fucked up situation.)  It’s easy to sit here and hate on America, but if you’ve never been there, you have no idea. (this last in response to Jake, not Antinous.)

          • oasisob1 says:

            The food is better.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            If you eat in restaurants that cater to Western tourists and the wealthy.

          • Jason Lane says:

            What ever the moderator says, yes the food is better

      • IAF101 says:

         The Indian Parliament itself has around 800 MPs. That doesn’t leave nearly enough much space for the billionaires – both legal and illegal.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          The Indian Parliament itself has around 800 MPs.

          Not sure what MPs have to due with running the government, let alone the economy, which is what I actually said. The economy is run by the wealthy, who then purchase laws that favor them. Of course, that’s universal.

          FYI – India is run by “families” not individuals.

          And those families are often run by individuals. It’s a strongly patriarchal society.

  2. bzishi says:

    The US SPEECH Act should give adequate protection here. I don’t see any chance that they could enforce a judgement in the US. And since the US doesn’t have a federal criminal libel law*, there shouldn’t be even a possibility of extradition.

    * If I recall correctly, federal courts have jurisdiction in cases between US citizens and foreign citizens. So even though Colorado has a criminal libel law (which looks unconstitutional to me), it shouldn’t come into play.

    • My thought too. But I wouldn’t want to be the first person to test it with a major trade partner. 

    • IAF101 says:

      Indian courts would never award $1 billion in payouts in the first place, such monetary compensation is not considered just and equitable in the eyes of the law. 

      A worse scenario would be getting sued in the USA. Defamation is criminal in 19 states in the US of A and even though there are no “Federal Laws”, this IP Law firm can sue in a US Court as it “impunes” OMICS ability to conduct business or trade and THAT if proven is Criminal.

  3. Eark_the_Bunny says:

    Any person, corporation, religion or country that cannot take being criticized is not much of a person, corporation, religion or country. How pitiful.

    • IAF101 says:

       Criticism that is unfounded and defames a corporation, person, religion or country adversely affecting its ability to carry out its normal activity is criminal and must not be tolerated. Free Speech is not a license to slander.

      • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

        Your leap from ‘criticism’ to ‘criticism that is unfounded’ is rhetorically pragmatic; but obfuscates a central point(and a notable difference between the applicable laws of some classes of jurisidictions).

        Criminalization of criticism per se is the mark of authoritarian, butthurt, troglodytes who must be extirpated wherever possible.

        Criminalization merely of false and defamatory statements is treading a fine line, and must be approached with some caution; but is reasonably common even in jurisdictions with some semblance of human rights.

      • Having your feelings hurt is not a reason to abrogate free speech.

  4. what is that crazy thing? not so good.

  5. Rob says:

    Read the blog posts that started the lawsuit!

    They have fake conferences and fake journals. They advertise via spam, they charge authors to publish their work by sending them invoices for exorbitant author fees, without telling them they exist till after work is submitted.

    In the comments on that blog post I found this most disturbing – the idea these aren’t just internet scammers, but are representative of business as usual in India…

    lem says:

    May 17, 2013 at 4:21 AM

    As an Indian living in India and being inundated by such practices
    everyday, I must say it’s funny to see a foreigner’s perspective on it.
    The sad part is that even today, the system enforces such ethics into
    people. Even when you’re trying to do simple things like lab reports by
    yourself instead of copying it off of previously made reports like
    everyone else, it goes totally unappreciated. Slowly most kids start
    having this mentality that the “end” is the only thing, means are
    unimportant. Sadly a lot of these “ends” aren’t good either.

    • IAF101 says:

       So the blog claims…….

      • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

        Though it also provides further evidence of how legally groundless their attempt is:

        The post itself is documentation and analysis of their malfeasance(and so trivially protected as truthful criticism and commentary unless these guys have a real bombshell concerning its falsity) and anything in the comments is not the blog operator’s problem, per section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. (Given that the comments purport to be truthful, and somewhat rueful, reports from India, by Indians, it isn’t clear that they would amount to anything legally culpable anyway; but section 230 basically makes cleaning up your comments section something you do only because it annoys you or the community you care about.)

    • smut clyde says:

      You forget the part of the OMICS clown parade where the names they sign up as unwitting additions to the editorial boards of fake journals include fictitious characters.

  6. “Our client perceive the blog as mindless rattle of a incoherent person
    and please be assured that our client has taken a very serious note of
    the language, tone, and tenure adopted by you as well as the criminal
    acts of putting the same on the Internet.”

    So… they plan to take down the whole Internet?

  7. euansmith says:

    I know I’m being a snob and probably a culturalist one too, but, really; a legal firm that doesn’t check its grammar and spelling? How does one adopt a “tenure”? Do you have to keep repeatedly making the same accusations; making it your life time’s work?

    • that paragraph is perfectly normal Indglish. I bet elsewhere in the letter they threaten and/or ask to “do the needful”

      • James Penrose says:

         I’ve seen plenty of similar badly written stuff out of American lawyers who were born and bred to write English.

        (And police reports too…there’s a strain in cops that think their reports should read like a legal brief on TV…some of them are hysterical.  I used to work with a Special Agent in (xyz) agency who had a masters in criminal justice but wrote like a fifth grader

  8. Jonathan Roberts says:

    Our client responds to the blog in the meaningless rattle of an incoherent person


  9. srinivasmurty says:

    As much as I hate what this company is doing, I must admit that the tone and “tenure” of some commenters here is downright abhorrent. I shall, therefore, do the needful(!) and term you racists and bigots. Commenting about the vile tactics adopted by this company, or about free speech, or even about the grammar is par for the course. Talking about culture, the country, or widening the scope of this discussion borders on pure hatred for a certain set of people. 

  10. The way we have turned research into demonstrating individual productivity through producing as much intellectual property as possible for the great academic link farms  is both a bastardization of scholarship, betraying what it’s for (common good, not individual aggrandizement) and the original get-rich-on-donated labor scheme. That’s what caused this situation. It’s a privatization of knowledge that’s turning into a “free! donate your labor here and reach a wider audience!” scheme. 

    You can tell good open access publishing by simply seeing if the sustainability model is based on the idea of a commons (common good) or if its based on the Facebook Silicon valley idea of freedom (a new way to monetize culture).  It’s not that hard to tell the difference if you get your head out of the “what’s in it for me” place. 

  11. smut clyde says:

    No account of the OMICS publishing model is complete without a reference to the famous “Stonehene” paper — see here (some scrolling required):

  12. Bloo says:

    Here’s what I don’t get – either it’s “ramblings of an incoherent person” OR it’s something to be taken seriously as they claim they do.  The first is dismissive and the second is not – but if you took those statements into court, a judge might just dismiss the case because the complainant can’t make up their mind.

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