Public Knowledge Project (PKP) Predatory Business Practices

Public Knowledge Project (PKP) Predatory Business Practices

Updated: 5/22/2021

This blog responds to a defamatory blog post by Public Knowledge Project ex-managing director Brian Owen, a racist white privileged individual targeting a minority-owned U.S. Corporation for competing with Public Knowledge Project Services.

Public Knowledge Project is a part of Simon Fraser University. As a Muslim, an Asian, and a graduate of Simon Fraser University, I am familiar with racism at Simon Fraser University and its staff, including Brian Owen. There have been multiple complaints and allegations of racism and discrimination against Simon Fraser University by minorities, including myself. However, rather than addressing these allegations, Simon Fraser University has utilized the power of Burnaby Royal Canadian Mounted Police to arrest, harass, and intimidate these minorities.

Brian Owen‘s blog contains outright lies in the form of false or misleading facts to harm OpenJournalSystems.com’s reputation and cause financial damage. In addition, as a white privileged individual, Brian Owen is incapable of accepting that a Muslim Asian minority should have the right to compete with Public Knowledge Project Services and make an honest living.

Up until 2013, PKP Publishing Services held a monopoly over managed hosting and support for OJS. PKP took advantage of this monopoly by charging an exorbitant rate for its services.

I launched OpenJournalSystems.com in October 2013, and as OpenJournalSystems.com started gaining market share bit by bit, PKP and their staff began launching vicious attacks against our company. Below is a summary of Brian Owen and PKP’s campaign of intimidation, and harassment: 

Intimidation and harassment through Legal Threats: 

  • In April 2014, Brian Owen hired the law firm of Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC, a Seattle-based law firm to threaten OpenJournalSystems.com with a lawsuit if our company didn’t hand over the domain OpenJournalSystems.com and our social media accounts, etc. In response, we had to hire an attorney to dispute Brian Owen‘s trademark claims and was finally settled by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in our favor; according to USPTO, PKP does not have the ownership or the right to trademark the name Open Journal Systems 1.
  • In January 2017, Brian Owen hired the law firm of GUDMUNDSETH MICKELSON LLP based in British Columbia, Canada with another preposterous claim for copyright violation, which was also disputed by our attorney.

Intimidation and Harassment through Smear Campaigns:

  • Following his legal failures, Brian Owen started multiple smear campaigns against OpenJournalSystems.com. We were, slandered, ridiculed, provoked, and accused. These were coordinated attacks by PKP’s Canadian Library affiliates, utilizing social media platforms. We have compiled a profile of these attackers acting on behalf of Brian Owen and PKP, and almost all white Canadians targeting a Muslim minority. These individuals created multiple websites directed for the purpose of intimidation and defamation and directed hundreds of baseless, defamatory social media attacks against OpenJournalSystems.com in an attempt to damage our reputation. Full details are available in our cease and desist demand letter.

Intimidation and Harassment through PKP Forum:

  • In December 2014, Brian Owen‘s blocked our access to the PKP forum without any pretext. The forum is also being utilized to further intimidate, and harass my company by referring any inquiries about OpenJournalSystems.com to Brian Owens’ defamatory blog post in order to steer away from potential new clients from our company.

Intimidation and Harassment through Burnaby RCMP :

  • As stated at the beginning of this blog, minorities at Simon Fraser University are regularly subjected to discrimination and harassment by the administration and the staff at the University. Racist individuals like Brian Owen are allowed to harass and intimidate minorities at SFU without impunity regularly. When these minorities file a complaint about the abuse, Simon Fraser University utilizes Burnaby RCMP to silence the accusers. If you are a minority, you are not safe at Simon Fraser University. This is why I moved from Canada to United Stated in 2000 to escape the danger.
  • Brian Owen, PKP Staff, and Simon Fraser University have filed several false reports to Burnaby RCMP since 2014. The Burnaby RCMP has contacted Phoenix FBI to investigate. The Phoenix FBI investigated the matter and reported to Burnaby RCMP that these are bogus allegations by Brian Owen and PKP Staff to further harass my business.

In conclusion, it is a fundamental human right for any individual to make an honest living without fear of intimidation, harassment, and discrimination. Simon Fraser University and Public Knowledge Project have violated that right by hiring and using a white racist individual, such as Brian Owen, in order to destroy the livelihood of minorities. Brian Owen is a danger to minorities, and to Canadian human rights. Minorities like myself migrated to Canada to seek a better life, free of fear of intimidation, harassment, and discrimination.  

Using several aliases to protect yourself against intimidation, harassment, and discrimination is not a crime. What is a crime is when someone like Brian Owen premeditates to destroy the livelihood of another human being based on their religion, and ethnicity.

According to Software Freedom Law Center: “Way down in the roots of Software Freedom is the same ideas from which the belief in free speech derives. Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) projects are not often built by people who value censorship, and there is a strong belief within most FOSS communities that projects should thrive on their merits, and not use legal weapons to silence critics and competitors.”

PKP has demonstrated that its business practice is not aligned with the spirit of FOSS!

Brian Owen and PKP acted with deliberate premeditation with the intent to eliminate OpenJournalSystems.com as a competitor in the OJS platform. The legal threats targeted harassment, and defamation by Brian Owen and PKP and their associates against OpenJournalSystems.com are to ensure that PKP Publishing Services retain its monopoly over OJS services and its ability to continue with its exorbitant hosting charges.

References


  1. USPTO rejected PKP’s application for Trademark of Open Journal Systems in the United States – Available at: http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=86318990&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch.

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