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.
These links, which provide a factual basis for my own post, insulate me from liability for defamation, because allegedly defamatory material concerning media defendants (which include bloggers) or matters of public interest (such as academic plagiarism) are not actionable unless they are not only untrue, but are made with reckless disregard for the truth. Reasonable reliance on third parties who have analyzed the allegedly plagiarized papers in depth in a manner that I concurred with (including one paper that was retracted) establishes a lack of recklessness with regard to the truth.
Not long after I made that post, Hayempour wrote me a number of e-mails alleging that I had defamed him. He did not at any point claim that the material was copyright infringing. His arguments in those posts that he acts did not constitute plagiarism were unconvincing. I responded by stating, in essence, that the facts spoke for themselves and that I would not take down or edit my post. I did make a correction regarding his current institutional affiliation which was clarified by his correspondence. I had originally, inaccurately claimed that he had another institutional affiliation based upon online materials about him that asserted that this was the case.
Today, Google took down that post pursuant to a DMCA complaint alleging a copyright violation (no doubt filed by Hayempour or someone acting on his behalf). They revert your post to draft form, put a notice at the top of your log in page, and send you an e-mail. The DMCA creates a safe harbor for entities such as Google in is role as the host of the Blogger service from copyright violation liability if it takes down allegedly offending post and gives a notice to the blogger whose post was taken down. There is a process for filing a counternotice to have the post reinstated because it is not a copyright violation which I utilized today. Under the DMCA process, the post must be reinstated upon receipt of a conternotice, unless a court action is filed with regard to my alleged copyright violation within 14 days.
Since there is no remotely viable basis for claiming a copyright violation in a post that contains no copied material, and which would be protected by fair use criticism provisions even if it did, I have no fear of litigation over this post. I am quite comfortable that I could prevail without ever having to appear in person in the California federal court venue designated by Google in its Complaint form.
A DMCA takedown is not authorized for an alleged instance of defamation.
Hayempour, in his ongoing pattern of misconduct, had to lie about his claim that he had a good faith basis to believe that there was a copyright violation in order to issue a DMCA takedown notice. Unlike Retraction Watch and Neuroskeptic, I didn't even quote from the allegedly plagiarized articles that he wrote.
So, again showing Hayempour has shown himself to be dishonest and unfit to be admitted to professional practice in his field. Of course, we already knew that from his nine documented instances of plagiarism and his dubious associations with shady journals, and from his abuse of the legal process when sending a cease and desist notice to Retraction Watch.