A company that has claimed in the past of discovering a new energy source is suing anonymous Wikipedia editors for derogatory material they put in the company’s wiki. BlackLight Power, a Cranbury, New Jersey based company has sued three unknown Wikipedia editors for falsely accusing BlackLight of engaging in a fraud and in failing to have developed a marketable product. The lawsuit claims that the editors made those statements with the knowledge of their falsity and with the intent to injure BlackLight.
That being said, a number of Nobel laureates have indeed criticized BlackLight and called their technology pseudoscience. The Wikipedia entry of BlackLight cites three such laureates: Philip Warren Anderson, Wolfgang Ketterle and Steven Chu. The references used by the anonymous Wikipedia editors are from Village Voice, IEEE Spectrum and Rexresearch.com.
Two of those articles are ‘ancient‘ (1999), but the IEEE one is comparatively newer (2009). BlackLight says in its lawsuit that the comments made in those articles are quite old (we agree) and their technology has evolved and tested by a number of experts since then. Their technology has been validated and cannot be called fraudulent.
So, why are they only targeting Wikipedia editors and not those publications which are being referred to by the editors? Because those publications don’t call BlackLight fraudulent in their articles. But the Wikipedians did that and hence, the lawsuit.
BlackLight is working on alternative energy sources and one of its products, called SunCell, generates electricity directly from water freely available in the humidity in the air, as being claimed on their website. Wait, humidity?
BlackLight’s lawsuit claims that one of the editors who calls himself ‘Andy the Grump‘ is notorious and relentless in his defamations of BlackLight and has been criticized by other Wikipedians of being biased against BlackLight.
Their lawsuit also claims that the statement made by Philip Warren Anderson is a significantly outdated statement (I hear that) and has not been repeated or reaffirmed by Anderson since it was first reported. That’s true, we were not able to find any comment by Anderson when we looked around using Google.
BlackLight is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants. Their lawsuit could be read here and the Wikipedia article in question could be found here.
Wikipedia trolls have been sued, let’s see how the defender of trolls (Jimbo, some Jimbo) reacts to this lawsuit.
> Because those publications don’t call BlackLight fraudulent in their articles. But the Wikipedians did that and hence, the lawsuit.
Except the Wikipedia article just mirrors the publications, having: “The proposed theory is inconsistent with quantum mechanics. Critics say it lacks corroborating scientific evidence, and is a relic of cold fusion. Philip Warren Anderson said in 1999 he is sure it’s a “fraud”, Wolfgang Ketterle said in 2009 the claims are “nonsense” and Steven Chu, also in 2009, called it “extremely unlikely”.”
Yes, but the language and the structuring of the wiki article seems a bit judgy, which intensifies the accusations against BLP. I’m in no way backing BLPs claims, or justifying their lawsuit though.