Sci-Hub and Libgen Up against Academic Publishers: A Death Knell for Access to Research? – Part II | SpicyIP

“This post is in continuation to my previous post (here) discussing the copyright infringement suit filed by academic publishers against Sci-Hub and Libgen, particularly the dynamic injunction sought by the plaintiffs. Here, I discuss the applicability of the fair dealing exception to the use of copyrighted works on the defendant websites in the instant dispute….”

Sci-Hub and Libgen Up against Academic Publishers: A Death Knell for Access to Research? – Part I | SpicyIP

“Recently, three major academic publishers Elsevier, Wiley, and American Chemical Society filed a copyright infringement suit in the Delhi High Court against two groups of websites going by the names ‘Sci-Hub’ and ‘Libgen’ which provide free access to millions of research papers/books. The plaintiffs have sought a permanent injunction against these websites and a dynamic injunction order so that the mirror links of these websites can be blocked as and when the plaintiffs notify. Additionally, the plaintiffs have sought an interim injunction against the defendants.

In a hearing that took place on December 24, the court refused to grant a relief of removing the alleged infringing links from the defendant websites noting that there was no urgency as the alleged infringement had been going on since 2011. However, in light of the stand of Sci-Hub’s counsel, the court ordered that “no new articles or publications, in which the plaintiffs have copyright, will be uploaded or made available”. Libgen was unrepresented in this hearing.

In this three-part post, I seek to dissect this litigation and the interpretive issues before the court….”

Why blocking Sci-Hub and LibGen will actually hurt national interest

“Earlier this month, three foreign academic publishers sued two foreign websites for copyright infringement in a case before the Delhi High Court. Elsevier, Wiley, and American Chemical Society, among the world’s largest publishers of academic papers, wanted the court to block Sci-Hub and LibGen, the largest providers of ‘free downloads’ of their content in India. This case is important because it can have a significant impact on the broader research, academic and education environment in India.

First off, in a purely legal sense, the plaintiffs have a strong case: Sci-Hub and LibGen allow anyone around the world to freely download papers from scientific and academic journals, many of which are under various copyrights. The defendants are guilty in the same way as Robin Hood and his gang were guilty. Even this metaphor is not completely accurate, because unlike money, knowledge is non-zero-sum. Making it possible for an Indian student to gain knowledge does not take away anything from the scholars who published the paper. If anything, sharing knowledge helps increase it….”

 

Stop uploading articles with copyright: HC to open-access academic portal | Cities News,The Indian Express

“The Delhi High Court Thursday asked Alexandra Elbakyan, the owner of Sci-Hub — a pirate website that provides free access to millions of research papers and books otherwise copyright protected — to disclose her physical address to court and also recorded her counsel’s statement that no articles or publications in which major publishing houses, which have approached the court with a copyright infringement suit, have copyright will be uploaded or made available on the website till January 6, the next date of hearing.

The court was hearing a case filed by Elsevier, Wiley India, Wiley Periodicals, American Chemical Society, which are top global publishing houses in the field of scientific and academic publications and market, sell and license various digitised journals including The Lancet and Cell. They have filed the case against Sci-Hub and Library Genesis (Libgen), another website which provides free access to journals, and alleged that they indulge in online piracy by making available to the public their literary work for free….”

Please sign the statement: Make knowledge accessible to all. No to banning Sci-Hub and LibGen – Breakthrough Science Society

“We are shocked to learn that three academic publishers — Elsevier, Wiley, and the American Chemical Society (ACS) — have filed a suit in the Delhi High Court on December 21, 2020, seeking a ban on the websites Sci-Hub and LibGen which have made academic research-related information freely available to all. Academic research cannot flourish without the free flow of information between those who produce it and those who seek it, and we strongly oppose the contention of the lawsuit.

International publishers like Elsevier have created a business model where they treat knowledge created by academic research funded by taxpayers’ money as their private property. Those who produce this knowledge — the authors and reviewers of research papers — are not paid and yet these publishers make windfall profit of billions of dollars by selling subscriptions to libraries worldwide at exorbitantly inflated rates which most institutional libraries in India, and even developed countries, cannot afford. Without a subscription, a researcher has to pay between $30 and $50 to download each paper, which most individual Indian researchers cannot afford. Instead of facilitating the flow of research information, these companies are throttling it.

Alexandra Elbakyan of Kazakhstan has taken an effective and widely welcomed step by making research papers, book chapters and similar research-related information freely available through her website Sci-Hub. Libgen (Library Genesis) renders a similar service. We support their initiative which, we contend, does not violate any norm of ethics or intellectual property rights as the research papers are actually intellectual products of the authors and the institutions.

We strongly oppose any form of commoditization of research information that is a hindrance to the development of science and the humanities. In the interest of the advancement of knowledge, Sci-Hub and Libgen should be allowed to operate in India.”

Indian scientists express support for free access to academic research – Telegraph India

“Sections of India’s science community have asked the Centre to oppose a petition by three international academic publishers in Delhi High Court seeking a ban on two alleged pirate websites that offer free access to academic research.

Over 2,000 teachers, scholars and students from institutions across India in a statement released on Friday urged the court and the Centre to allow researchers in India continued access to Sci-Hub and LibGen….”

Please sign the statement: Make knowledge accessible to all. No to banning Sci-Hub and LibGen – Breakthrough Science Society

“We are shocked to learn that three academic publishers — Elsevier, Wiley, and the American Chemical Society (ACS) — have filed a suit in the Delhi High Court on December 21, 2020, seeking a ban on the websites Sci-Hub and LibGen which have made academic research-related information freely available to all. Academic research cannot flourish without the free flow of information between those who produce it and those who seek it, and we strongly oppose the contention of the lawsuit.

International publishers like Elsevier have created a business model where they treat knowledge created by academic research funded by taxpayers’ money as their private property. Those who produce this knowledge — the authors and reviewers of research papers — are not paid and yet these publishers make windfall profit of billions of dollars by selling subscriptions to libraries worldwide at exorbitantly inflated rates which most institutional libraries in India, and even developed countries, cannot afford. Without a subscription, a researcher has to pay between $30 and $50 to download each paper, which most individual Indian researchers cannot afford. Instead of facilitating the flow of research information, these companies are throttling it.

Alexandra Elbakyan of Kazakhstan has taken an effective and widely welcomed step by making research papers, book chapters and similar research-related information freely available through her website Sci-Hub. Libgen (Library Genesis) renders a similar service. We support their initiative which, we contend, does not violate any norm of ethics or intellectual property rights as the research papers are actually intellectual products of the authors and the institutions.

We strongly oppose any form of commoditization of research information that is a hindrance to the development of science and the humanities. In the interest of the advancement of knowledge, Sci-Hub and Libgen should be allowed to operate in India.”

Elsevier Wants To Stop Indian Medics, Students And Academics Accessing Knowledge The Only Way Most Of Them Can Afford: Via Sci-Hub And Libgen | Techdirt

“Last month Techdirt wrote about some ridiculous scaremongering from Elsevier against Sci-Hub, which the publisher claimed was a “security risk”. Sci-Hub, with its 85 million academic papers, is an example of what are sometimes termed “shadow libraries”. For many people around the world, especially in developing countries, such shadow libraries are very often the only way medics, students and academics can access journals whose elevated Western-level subscription prices are simply unaffordable for them. That fact makes a new attack by Elsevier, Wiley and the American Chemical Society against Sci-Hub and the similar Libgen shadow library particularly troubling….”

Elsevier and Wiley Declare War on Research Community in India | NewsClick

“Three academic publishers are asking for blocking of Sci-Hub and Libgen in India, two websites who provide free downloads of research publications and books to research scholars and students. The three—Elsevier Ltd., Wiley India Pvt. Ltd., American Chemical Society—have filed a petition in Delhi High Court, which is now scheduled to be heard next on January 6. 

The publishers, who have filed similar suits in other countries as well, would have us believe it is them versus the pirate sites. What they hide is that there is another community involved here, students, teachers and research scholars, whose access to these journals would virtually end if the publishers have their way in court. This would have serious and long term consequences for science and technology in India.

Who are these three publishers in Delhi High Court? Elsevier, Wiley and American Chemical Society together publish 40% of scientific publications. If we take the five top publishers, they control more than 50% of the publications in science and social sciences worldwide, one of the largest concentrations of market power in any sector. Journal publishing is a $10 billion industry, with one of the highest profit margins of any sector. The profit margin of Elsevier is 37%, twice that of Google, the latter under attack globally for its monopoly practices and super-profits….”