I often get emails offering me Google rating enhancement services for my blog or website. Then again, the blog is probably doing OK, since I also get regular email offers to write articles for me to post on this blog, that come with some financial incentives. The articles have a link embedded to a website that the e-mailer is paid to promote. However, usually the services have nothing to do with Israel or with Intellectual Property. I’ve never prostituted myself in that manner, but have been prepared to consider adverts for IP Summer programs in the US for getting licensed as a US patent agent and the like.
I have one of the better professional IP libraries of Israel patent attorneys that also compares favorably to some of the law schools. This is because I receive a steady supply of books to review that I can then keep. I do my best to review the books in a timely fashion, and thus receive a dozen or so new publications each year, from authors, publishing houses and academic journals.
Two events annoyed me this week. The first one concerned an Israel IP Law firm whose website optimizer approached me to sell me an article that links back to the firm. Thus I am supposed to compromise my integrity, dilute my blog quality and dimay may readers who are looking for sharp and perhaps witty reporting in order to place some banal marketing communication drivel about patents being an effective way to promote YOUR INVENTION contact SX#$% @&** Israel’s leading IP Law firm.
The second event concerned an academic who announced her book release and I offered to review. I received a digital copy. This i
s less than convenient for reading, tearing to wipe and flush away and doesn’t keep my bookshelf looking attractive. I don’t like reading hundreds of pages on a screen, and prefer to sit in a different position to read books. That was bad. What was worse was the degrading way the entire book was sent as a PDF with Draft for Review Purposes written across each page in the same color and nearly the same shade as the text I was supposed to read and review. I have some integrity. I try to summarize the authors position, and look for something nice to say. I then may take exception to a few points and criticize some aspect for one reason or another, which may be that the arguments are incoherent, that the book is shallow. If I am less impressed, I could suggest that the underlying assumptions are biased, the book is unbalanced or, superficial, facile, poorly thought out, or as George Orwell so nicely put it “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals could believe them.”
I would expect the author would give me a courtesy copy and perhaps feel at liberty if she assumes that I have the morals of an academic in a law department, to remind me politely that the book cannot be past on or sold.
Now, I have another book to review, kindly sent by Kluwer Law at the request of Gilat Baraket and others of the law dept of RCIP. I will certainly review that first. It will be more comfortable to do so. I suspect that the courtesy of promptly sending me a book will result in me conscientiously linking to the publisher and and to Amazon.
There is a kind of expected quid pro quo. I try to be objective and fair to what I review. It is a shame if discourtesy results in a book being overlooked or triggers an antipathy in me that could put me in a negative mood.