11.24.15

Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

TTHE COMBATIVE EPO has certainly got what it wanted. It made journalists so scared to criticise the EPO that they would even delete their own words, without even being asked to.

I asked WIPR for clarifications after they had removed their article about Techrights. “We’ve not had contact with the EPO. We made an internal edit and have republished the story,” they told me on Twitter. (WIPR tweets linking to the article about it were also deleted by both the author and the publisher)

Upon return of the article, WIPR removed an entire paragraph (at least) from its article, then republished. This is, based on WIPR, certainly not due to threats from EPO.

Here is the original article:

EPO article before purge

Here it is after it had been taken down and then re-published (with a paragraph removed):

EPO article after purge

This is already becoming the subject of interest in some patent-centric blogs, with bloggers who express support for Techrights.

“What the Heck?” wrote Patent Buddy, “First Gene Quinn Is Threatened by WIPO, Now Dr. Roy Schestowitz Is Receiving Threats from EPO” (not only Gene Quinn was threatened by WIPO, but that’s a subject we may cover another day).

The above is clearly an act of self-censorship. It has just done a lot to reinforce what I repeatedly claimed and had written about just hours ago. This is censorship that’s more or less like Les Échos censorship [1, 2, 3] (where entire paragraphs get silently removed).

“Well, the same atmosphere of fear is now working quite effectively against too ‘outspoken’ an act of — gasp! — journalism.”Days ago we wrote about the EPO creating an atmosphere of fear for lawyers. To quote a translation of the Germany media: “The EPO has even lodged a complaint with the Lawyer’s Association in an attempt to initiate proceedings for professional misconduct against a legal colleague who also represents SUEPO. After this latest move even lawyers are starting to feel threatened by the Office.”

Well, the same atmosphere of fear is now working quite effectively against too ‘outspoken’ an act of — gasp! — journalism.

The only analogy I can think of here is the Mafia in Italy. People are not only afraid of writing about it in the media; people are also afraid to actually talk to the police about it (for fear of retribution, possibly fatal).

“If you are gonna kick society in the teeth, you might as well use both feet.”

Keith Richards

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