The American Psychiatric Association have used legal threats to force a critical blog to change its title because they didn’t like it being called ‘DSM Watch’.
On January 3rd the website owner reported receiving two cease and desist letters from the APA ordering the removal of all reference to the ‘DSM5 trademark’ from the site’s domain dsm5watch.wordpress.com
You might be wandering why the APA registered DSM-5 as trademark – which is a legal device to protect against other people making profit from your good name – and why they are using it to bully critics.
Firstly, DSM Watch was a non-commercial site and so was in no danger of profiting from referencing DSM-5 in its domain name, and secondly no-one for a moment would look at the site and think it was an official APA site – in part, because despite the great content, it does not have, shall we say, the most corporate of looks.
If the APA still didn’t think the distinction was clear enough a simple request to add a message saying ‘not an official DSM5 website’ (or maybe they’d prefer ‘product’, who knows?) would suffice.
Apparently though, we can now distinguish between official and non-official DSM websites because the non-official ones are those engaged in healthy and appropriate criticism of the manual that must not be named.
However, I do hope they’re going to clamp down on the punk band DSM-5 so no-one mistakenly buys a copy of the diagnostic manual when they actually wanted a ticket to a sweaty hardcore gig.
Imagine the disappointment.
Link to post on APA legal threats.