Continuing, extended unauthorized publication
Nov 06, 2001 03:49 AM
Following the posting from Dr Brendan French regarding the unauthorized publication of sections of his doctoral thesis on the website operated by Dr Brigit Muehlegger, both he and I have been subjected to a series of demanding and threatening e-mails from Dr Muehlegger. We are threatened with (unspecific) legal action for publishing the fact that Dr Frenchıs rights as a scholar and an author have been violated. Having initially removed from her site - at Dr Frenchıs demand - all material of which Dr French was the author or which (without acknowledgement) included extracts of work of which he was the author, Dr Muehlegger has now not only replaced all the previous material but has published a number of additional sections from the thesis - and advertised the fact of this publication by postings to this discussion list. This, I note, in direct response to an explicit statement from Dr French that he did not give permission for such publication, that he specifically refused permission for the publication of any material of which hewas the author on Dr Muehleggerıs web site, and that he directed her to withdraw all material that was published in violation of his rights. A viewer of Dr Muehleggerıs web site will note how substantially it is made up of material by Dr French, all of it published in violation of his copyrightand other intellectual property rights in the material, without his permission and in direct defiance of his direction that it not be published. Dr Muehlegger now appears to have transferred her site (or transferred the contents) to an additional site under editorship attributed to ³Dr Raphael Vishanu². All the violations of copyright and the plagiarism are repeated on that site.
The normal canons of scholarly behaviour, no less, one might have thought, of civilized behaviour generally (not to mention the provisions of international copyright conventions and domestic copyright law) would have precluded the use of research and writings without permission. I trust that this scandalous abuse of the power of the internet is not indicative of a trend inthe field of scholarship relating to Theosophy. Are we now to assume that anything we share with our colleagues will be published without permission?Must we surround all our research with defensive walls of secrecy and ranks of lawyers to ensure it will not be misused? I hope not, and my own experience has been that respectable scholars are eager to share, to read, to receive comments without abusing the generosity and trust of their colleagues. But do we wish to allow this site to be used to peddle stolen wares? Those who subscribe to this site and make use of the fruits of Muehleggerıs theft must accept that they compound her offence.
Dr Gregory Tillett
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