Mike Dunford of The Questionable Authority caught ReedElsevier making Questionable use of one of his blog posts. Now the last time there was a big 'Borg blowup about "fair use" of material under copyright, I made some observations that were a little critical of bloggers. I wanted to revisit my thoughts on the matter.
In my prior post on the subject, I observed:
To recap, Shelley Batts blogged on a recent scientific paper, including figures from said paper. Some annoyances from the publisher, Wiley, with respect to use of copyrighted material resulted. John Pieret links to a series of blogo-sponses on the subject.
I then noted that in academic publishing it is a fairly simple matter to request permission to reprint a figure or something from journal articles. IME, submission of a web-form or sending an email results in a reasonable rapid "Yes, so long as you use our attribution as follows..." response. I wondered why bloggers didn't simply do this and everything would be on the up and up.
For those that are wondering, Wiley backed down.
Of course, once the appropriately senior person at Wiley was involved, the situation was resolved.
I then commented as follows:
This is not a "win". This is a "loss" in which the blogos look like emotional nutcases willing to go ballistic before all the facts are in and/or considered rationally. That may be okay for the political ranters but surely scientific bloggers can do a bit better?
Here's the thing. I've tried maybe two or three times to follow my own advice and to use the forms to request permission to reprint a figure on the blog. The reaction has been...crickets. No response. I find this very odd.
Any other bloggers ever tried to request permission to reprint part of a published figure from the publisher?
Readers, have you ever had any trouble getting a publisher to respond to such a request?