Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

APA Use Restraints on Blogger

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The American Psychiatric Publishing, an arm of the American Psychiatric Association, [APA] have forced a commentator to change the web address of her popular blog because it apparently violated the American Trademark Law.

Suzy Chapman has, for the past two years or so, been voicing her opinion of the proposed new DSM-5, an opinion that has been, in many instances, critical of the biggest book of mythical tales since J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series.

Her original url included the use of the acronym 'dsm' [] so the APA decided to send Chapman a threatening 'cease and desist' email, part of which Chapman writes:

On December 22, I was stunned to receive two emails from the Licensing and Permissions department of American Psychiatric Publishing, claiming that the domain name my site operates under was infringing upon the DSM 5 trademark in violation of United States Trademark Law and that my unauthorized actions may subject me to contributory infringement liability including increased damages for willful infringement. I was told to cease and desist immediately all use of the DSM 5 mark and to provide documentation within ten days confirming I had done so.”

Chapman complied and changed the name of her blog to

The intimidation by the APA has prompted a former Chair of the DSM task force, Allen Frances, to come out in support of Chapman and to write an aptly named post, "Is DSM 5 A Public Trust Or An APA Cash Cow?" on his website.

I, myself, was, sometime ago, contacted by GlaxoSmithKline's lawyer's, Addleshaw Gooddard, in relation to a video I had made. Apparently, my video had caused GlaxoSmithKline's former Head of Psychiatry, Alastair Benbow, great distress. Glaxo also mentioned that I had used their company logo in my slide-show video without their permission. I removed the video from YouTube but it was uploaded by an astute American blogger just 24 hours later. The video that landed me in hot water can be seen HERE and the whole "Videogate" scandal can be read in my book, 'The evidence, however, is clear...the Seroxat scandal.'

Last year two bloggers who voiced their opinions were targeted by lawyers. The anonymous author who writes the Seroquel Lawsuit Blog was, like Chapman, sent a 'cease and desist' email by lawyers because he/she had uploaded a settlement that had been put to plaintiffs by their lawyers Weitz & Luxenberg. The blogger was told to remove the document, he/she didn't and it is still available today.

Irish blogger Leonie Fennell, whose son committed suicide after a short period on the antidepressant citalopram, was also sent a threatening letter by Irish lawyers because she had voiced an opinion about Irish psychiatrist Patricia Casey. Fennell writes about her son's death and included Casey in one of her articles [Casey was present at the inquest of Fennell's son, Shane, representing and observing for Psychiatry Ireland and to ask questions if the need arose.] Fennell posted the letter HERE.

I can't quite see what the APA have to gain by intimidating a critique of the DSM. Often when one in power gets uncomfortable they use that power to threaten, usually in the manner of seeking damages that they know their critique just does not have.

If the APA are correct and a Trademark violation has been breached then what of other blogs/websites that use trademarks as part of their web address? Will this move by the APA be the start of further intimidation to stifle opinion for blogs such as Seroxat Secrets, Prozac Withdrawal,  GSK Internal Files, all of which use trademarked names as part of their web address. There are literally hundreds of thousands of others.

It would appear that Chapman's opinions about the DSM-5 have been carefully monitored by the APA, they don't like what they see nor do they like the fact that Chapman has had over 40,000 visitors to her blog during the last two years, a number that was significantly increasing with each post she made.

Blogging is a powerful weapon against the Goliath's of this world, they are a bigger threat to the big boys because they answer to nobody. A newspaper article is run by the Chief editor before it is published, bloggers, in the main, hit the publish button more out of frustration that the mainstream media won't cover what needs to be covered.

And what if Suzy Chapman decided to write her blog anonymously with no contact details on her blog? The APA would have had to go through the laborious process of contacting the webhost, in this instance, and asking them for an injunction. That would have cost them money so they take the easier route when people, like Chapman, are open and transparent about who they are. It is detrimental these days to be open and honest, how perverse is that?

Chapman continues to critique the proposals for the DSM-5, she has every right to critique a book of apparent psychiatric disorders designed to hook yet more people on mind-altering drugs and make the pharmaceutical industry billions of dollars in sales of their remedies to help 'fix' the problems created out of thin air by the Rowlingesque book.

The field of psychiatry is doing itself no favours by using intimidation tactics against people that criticize their opinion, let's face it, the whole premise of psychiatry is based on opinion, I've not yet seen any scientific evidence of the chemical imbalance the field of psychiatry tout when someone is depressed or has a psychiatric disorder.

Chapman's blog can be read at her new web address HERE. Her work/opinion continues to spread, much to the annoyance of the APA who have probably shot themselves in the foot with their intimidation tactics.

Memo to the APA - Intimidate a blogger and you put them on a pedastal, you highlight what it is that they have to say... here endeth your first lesson in psychology.