The “peer reviewed” logo has been removed at the EN&V post after much criticism. Casey offers this explanation at the site:
“On Feb. 3, I posted this blog post. A co-worker had recommended that I include a graphic that said this was discussing peer-reviewed research. At the time, I had not seen ResearchBlogging.org and I was unaware of the fact that they requested registration in order to use their graphic. Important note: It should be clear that when I first posted my post, I had not yet seen ResearchBlogging.org and was unaware of how it worked.”
He has also expanded on these comments at the BPR3 blog in this thread:
I frequently discuss peer-reviewed research related to evolution at www.evolutionnews.org. In fact, when I posted my post at EvolutionNews, that’s all I thought I was doing–I had no idea that rules, including copyright issues, existed for using the graphic nor did I have any idea that by using the graphic, I would be accused of breaking rules. Given my ignorance prior to using the graphic, I would not necessarily expect my post to conform to rules that I wasn’t even aware of when I posted my post.
Here are some more comments.
1. The fact that a graphic has a website on it does not mean that it isn’t fair for the public to use it. In fact, in this instance, that is precisely what I was told was the case: I was told by my friend that the graphic was used on all kinds of blogs and websites by people who were blogging about peer-reviewed research. He told me I should use it. So I was led to believe it was like one of those “free license” graphics where no one cares if you use the graphic. After all, we all are aware that the graphic is used on blogs all over the place. So previously I thought the graphic was simply a “free license” graphic that people all over the place used, and
So, based upon what I was told, I had no reason to presume there were “rules” behind using the 117 X 87 pixel graphic that would result in the eruption of much anger when they are violated.
When various blogs erupted in a firestorm yesterday because I used the 117 X 87 pixel graphic for about 24 hours, I first learned that there were rules about using the 117 X 87 pixel graphic. It was then that I first visited ResearchBlogging.org, and it was at that time that I tried to register with ResearchBlogging.org so that I could legitimately use the 117 X 87 pixel graphic. This morning, when I learned that Mr. Munger felt I had used the 117 X 87 pixel graphic inappropriately, I immediately removed the 117 X 87 pixel graphic.
I remain skeptical of these explanations for a number of reasons. Luskin’s excuse was accurately characterized as the
“I’m too stupid to know better”defense and the "197 pixel defense" (apparently borrowing 197 is OK, go above 200 pixels and you’ re in deep trouble—got it!) He also asserts the SODDI defense, often heard in criminal court, “Some Other Dude Did It.” He didn’t copy the image, an unidentified colleague did. OK, then that makes it all right.
Lawyers can’t use these excuses. First, ignorance of the law is no excuse--especially for lawyers. We have fewer excuses than the general public for plausibly claiming legal ignorance. We have the tools to find out what the law is.
Second, Luskin just recently invoked intellectual property law objecting to his own image being used without permission. That also received some pointed criticism, which I am sure he reviewed. He now tells us a week later that it didn’t cross his mind that a professionally drafted logo just might be similarly protected? I reject his explanation. He's demonstrated very recently he knows what the law is. Reciving and using copyrighted matereial from the "other dude that did it" still doens't cut it for alawyer.
Third, look at my own response below. I don’t specialize in copyright law either. I was shocked on February 3 when I saw the EN&V blog displaying the peer reviewed logo. My initial reaction was, “If they can do—so can I.” I went to the research.org website on February 3, as I stated, and I took the time to look up the requirements for use of the logo. I decided that this blog technically could qualify for use of the peer review checkmark logo, but I personally would have little or nothing to add about peer reviewed research. I leave that in the capable hands of experts, a group far beyond Ph.D’s, I must add (for example graduate students performing real research!).
Luskin reached a different conclusion regarding his own qualifications for authorized use of the logo, but that’s not my point. My point is that any reasonable attorney with a smattering of copyright law should have recognized the intellectual property issue and verified the status of the logo for himself. I can demonstrate at least one attorney did go through the time and effort.
Yet, Luskin apparently didn’t.
He now predictably whines that withholding the use of the peer-reviewed logo is somehow silencing intelligent design. What nonsense. The internet is a big place—you can post whatever you want. And, if you want—you can create your own damn logo!
I am actually in favor of allowing the use of the logo for any site with open comments or a link to open comments at research.
The last thing the DI wants is free and open discussion of these issues, so I don’t expect to see the peer reviewed logo at EN&V.