March 5, 2013
An Update on the Curious Case of Edwin Mellen Press
“The financial pressure of the social-media campaign and pressure on authors is severe,” Edwin Mellen Press said in a news release issued on Monday. “EMP is a small company. Therefore must choose to focus its resources on its business and serving its authors.”
In her Out of the Jungle post, Edwin Mellen Press Drops Suit Against Librarian Blogger, about this development Betsy McKenzie observed
The Edwin Mellen Press had come under a great deal of negative press and criticism from bloggers and academic organizations and authors for this lawsuit. It had been pointed out that this was a second time the press had engaged in a similar lawsuit apparently designed to silence criticism. #freedaleaskey is the Twitter hashtag for commentary on the lawsuit, and a good search to look for criticism, though simply searching "Edwin Mellen Press" will also turn up a lot.
See Askey's Feb. 21, 2013 Thank you for the support post for the identity of associations and others who were speaking out against the legal action taken by Edwin Mellen Press. For example, over 2,000 people signed this petition that stated in part:
[I]t is time for professors and others who are concerned about the free exchange of ideas about the quality of academic presses to petition Edwin Mellen to drop the lawsuit. The press can only further harm its reputation by playing the bully in this matter. A far better response to a critical assessment of the quality of its publications would be for the Edwin Mellen Press to step up its efforts to build a solid reputation in academic circles.
The Wired Campus post also reported that last Friday the Canadian Association of University Teachers announced McMaster University, Askey's current employer, was going to pay his legal expenses. Before that decision Askey was covering his own legal expenses.
NB: According to The Chronicle's report It is unclear whether the publishing house's founder, Herbert W. Richardson, will drop his lawsuit against Askey for remarks published in comments to posts published on Askey's blog, The Bibliobrary. [JH]