We will file this one under N, for Nerve, Lots Of. Readers will probably remember the cancer research scandal at Duke a couple of years ago, where Anil Potti turned out to have faked a wide range of results in the clinic. This led to his leaving Duke rather abruptly, with a trail of retracted papers, all sorts of unpleasant complications with the funding agencies and so on. Retraction Watch covered this business extensively, as well they might have, since it's just the sort of thing that site helps to spotlight.
The campus newspaper (the Duke Chronicle) noted at the time that Potti had hired some sort of online reputation management firm. (I should mention in passing that I owe a debt to that newspaper, whose crossword puzzle got me through an electron spin resonance course while I was a grad student in the 1980s. Without it I would have been forced to listen to the lecture material, and who knows what would have become of me then?) It looks like these reputation-polishers are still in business. That's why that link to Retraction Watch goes to their front page instead of one of their posts on the scandal itself.
Those posts have been taken down, you see. Oh, yes. Copyright problems, don't you know - why, one of the most famous news sites in the world, one "Newsbulet.in" turns out to have published all that stuff on its own, and has filed a DMCA takedown notice with Wordpress to have the posts removed.
It must be bovine waste products week around here at In the Pipeline. because that's another big steaming load of the stuff. Here, take a look at the request itself:
Myself Narendra Chatwal Senior editor in NewsBulet.In, a famous news firm in India. All the news we publish are individually researched by our reporters from all over India and then we publish them on our site and our news channel. Recently we found that some one had copied our material from the category Medical Reviews and published them on their site. So we request you to help us in protecting our content and copy right.
Ah, but if you take a look at that domain, you find that it didn't even exist until October 2012, well after all but one of the posts that they're complaining about. And as the commenters to the Ars Technica post on this noticed, the address given in the WhoIs records corresponds to a nightclub in London. Peachy. So not only is this a spurious copyright complaint, it's a stupid, incompetent spurious copyright complaint. Whoever is providing this sort of service to Anil Potti is ripping him off - not that that bothers me much after reading the facts in the Duke case.
And the thing is, this sort of effort is futile. It's the very definition of futile, because getting the internet off of you is impossible. That Duke Chronicle story says (at the time of its writing) that the first page of Google results about Potti contained no mention of the scandal, just social media sites and glowing statements. That sure didn't last long, though - now the front page contains lots of details about the Duke imbroglio, and (as of this morning) several discussions of this current ridiculous DMCA effort.
After reviewing the facts of the earlier case, and these new attempts at reputation-burnishing being done on his behalf, I'm sticking with my earlier statements about Dr. Potti: I would not hire him to mow my lawn. Has Newsbulet.in published that before?