Battling Behaviorists Move Fight Online

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Ellis Photo: REBT.org

When New York profiled the legendary psychotherapist and sexologist Albert Ellis in November 2005, he had lost control of the Upper East Side's Albert Ellis Institute, which he'd founded and where, till then, he'd worked. Now three supporters of Ellis, who at 93 is ailing, have had to shut down a Website, AlbertEllisFoundation.org, because the Ellis Institute claims it owns rights to his name and threatened a $500,000 lawsuit for copyright infringement and unfair competition. "It's a pragmatic decision because we don't have deep pockets," said William Knaus, a former training director at the institute who is one of the three behind the site, which provides information on Ellis's work, news about his much-publicized legal battles with the trustees, and updates on his medical condition. David Blasband, the intellectual-property lawyer representing the institute's trustees, said he'll file for an injunction tomorrow unless he hears "directly" from the defendants that the site has been dismantled. The old Web address, meantime, now directs readers to REBTNetwork.org, after Ellis's Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy. Of course, the institute's site is REBT.orgMary Reinholz

Behaviorists Behaving Badly [NYM]