Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fair use in science blogging

A recent post on slashdot directed me to this science blog which was threatened by a journal publisher because it reproduced some of the figures of a recent paper on alcohol and anti-oxidants. (On a side note, the article is quite interesting but flawed, suggesting that alcohol makes fruits healthier, even though the paper does not). Fair use does allow the reproduction of copyrighted material for the purpose of criticism if it is fully cited and contains only a portion of the material (ie not the entire paper). considering we routinely add figures from published material here on the Bayblab, I was happy to see it ended well, with apologies from the journal. But this exemplifies why it is good to know your rights, whether it is to criticize a paper or, as we've learned ourselves, a science quack.