DMCA notice forces removal of post critical of author who threatened to sue Retraction Watch
A blog post at another site that picked up on our coverage of Benjamin Jacob Hayempour, the researcher who has two retractions and has threatened to sue us, has been removed following a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice.
On December 14, 2013, I wrote a post at this blog entitled “Graduate Student Benjamin Hayempour Shows Pattern Of Plagiarism.” This post identified eight different papers written by Hayempour, by citation, that contained strong evidence of plagiarism with a link to my source at Retraction Watch that analyzed this instances of alleged plagiarism which provided a factual basis for my own post. I also identified other facts about this case that corroborated my conclusion, such as his dealings with journals that have a poor reputation (supported by another link to a third party. And, of course, I included my own analysis of the situation. Later, I posted a comment to my own blog post identifying a post at a different blog, Neuroskeptic, that analyzed a ninth instance of alleged plagiarism by Hayempour.
Hayempour alleged in emails that the post had defamed him, although the Oh-Willkie said he found these arguments “unconvincing.” It’s unclear, as the blogger notes, who sent the DMCA notice, but he writes that it was “no doubt filed by Hayempour or someone acting on his behalf.” Retraction Watch readers will recall that Hayempour threatened to sue us for even reporting about the case.
As Oh-Willkie writes of the removed post in a comment on Retraction Watch:
I have filed a counterclaim to have it reinstated, as my own post does not contain any copyrighted material (not even allegedly plagiarized passages), and instead merely contains citations to journal articles of his allegedly containing plagiarized material and a link to comments to an internet post at Retraction Watch where the analysis showing that those journal articles contained plagiarized materials upon which I relied in condemning him were located. Of course, even if it did contain the allegedly plagiarized material as this post does, it would still be protected by the fair use exception in federal copyright law.
His filing of the DMCA takedown notice, of course, is entirely improper, as the only permissible basis for filing one is a copyright violation (and in any case, copyright violation was the basis upon which he relied when filing it). He had to make a knowingly false statement to file it, as he was well aware that my post contained no copyrighted material. His allegations that he has been defamed, as he has claimed in e-mails to me (which I considered informed by my knowledge of the field as a lawyer and found to be baseless), are not a basis for a DMCA takedown notice.
As Retraction Watch readers know, we had our own experience with false DMCA takedown notices a year ago, of posts involving Anil Potti. Those were reinstated, but prompted us to join with WordPress to file suit against the person who filed the notices.
Hayempour also appears to have had his name changed on a paper that appears in Journal of Nuclear Medicine & Therapy, a journal he edits. The original version lists him as Benjamin Jacob Hayempour, but the current version lists him as Ayden Jacob. Similar changes have occurred at his personal website, where the “About BJH” page is about “Ayden Jacob.”