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Gordon & Breach lawsuit (Bob Michaelson) Marcia Tuttle 18 Aug 1994 14:18 UTC

Reprinted with the author's permission. This message first appeared on
SLA-PAM. -mt

---------- Forwarded message ----------

>>From today's New York Times, Science Times section (Tues., Aug. 16, 1994):
(summary rather than direct quotation)

Federal Judge Leonard Sand ruled yesterday that Henry Barschall's articles
in Physics Today and in the Bulletin of the APS, ranking rival journals by
price and value, were constitutionally protected free speech.  Gordon &
Breach and Harwood Academic Publishers [note -- as PAM members should
realize these publishers are part of the same conglomerate] contended that
the articles were promotional materials cloaked in the guise of academic
inquiery and thus constituted misleading advertising. Judge Sand's ruling
says "The articles examine an issue of considerable public significance,
the dilemma facing scientific libraries that must cope with stagnant
budgets and escalating subscription costs..." The fact that the AIP and
APS "stood to benefit from publishing Barschall's results -- even if they
intended to benefit -- is insufficient by itself to turn the articles into
commercial speech."

I hadn't realized that those [fill in this space as appropriate!] had even
tried to bring suit in the U.S.; I had only heard about the European lawsuits.

Bob Michaelson
Science & Engineering Library
Northwestern University