Pearson sorry for downing 1.45 million teaching blogs

When Pearson objected to a blog that republished some of its work, it took the haystack with the needle.

The giant education publisher spotted a teacher’s weblog powered by the Edublogs network had, in 2007, published its copyrighted Beck’s Hopelessness Scale, a questionnaire designed to diagnose pessimism.

Pearson in September served a DMCA takedown notice to Edublogs’ hosting company ServerBeach, which responded by freezing not just the individual blog in question but Edublogs’ entire network of 1.45 million teaching blogs.

The team behind WordPress-powered Edublogs, which also provides premium WordPress services and multi-blog support, has kicked up a stink. And now Pearson has provided paidContent with this statement:

“Pearson apologizes for any inconvenience caused to users and readers of blogs hosted by Edublogs this week.


“As a learning and information company, Pearson values the open and free exchange of ideas.

“However, we needed to address one post and one sensitive issue: the publication online of one of Pearson’s clinical tests. This particular test is used by clinical psychologists to assess people who may be at risk of suicide. Publication and any subsequent misuse of the test questions can compromise the integrity of the test results, and in turn the recommendations made by the qualified professionals.

“It is a matter of deep regret that, in responding to our request to address this single item, a server hosting company took much broader action.”

Amongst that contrition, Pearson appears to blame the hosting company for overreacting to its takedown request.

Yet Edublogs founder James Farmer has now sweetened on ServerBeach after its general manager contacted him directly to say: “My General Counsel and I are actively working together to revisit the escalation notification policies of our Abuse department in general”.

Edublogs is one of the most popular blog hosting suites powered by the multi-blog software branch formerly known as WordPressMU (“multi-user”).