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Fun with DMCA

In a development sure to delight fans of research fraud everywhere, the Anil Potti saga has just taken a new twist.

John Timmer has a story in Ars Technica this week highlighting a DMCA takedown request aimed at Retraction Watch, which is written by Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus. Essentially, an India-based website called NewsBulet.In apparently plagiarized 10 Retraction Watch stories, posting them on their site and claiming them as their own.

They then filed a DMCA takedown request alleging that Retraction Watch had plagiarized them, and demanded that WordPress, which hosts Retraction Watch, take the posts down, which it did.

Curiously enough, all 10 of the posts concerned Potti, the Duke cancer researcher who resigned in 2010 under accusations of lying on his resume and falsifying data.

Retraction Watch has since filed a challenge to the request and is waiting for it to be resolved. In the meantime, though, we can all enjoy speculating on who might be behind these DCMA shenanigans.

No one is pointing the finger at Potti, exactly, but Timmer does note that, in the past, the researcher hired a reputation management firm, "which dutifully went about creating websites with glowing things to say about [him]."

"The remarkable specificity of the request, with all the material focused on a single researcher, is worrisome," he adds.