Big Five Publishers Now Defendants in E-book Price-Fixing Suit

“Following an amended complaint filed this week, the Big Five publishers are now named as defendants in a consumer class action lawsuit that alleges a conspiracy with Amazon to fix prices in the e-book market.

The news comes after the initial complaint, first filed in the Southern District of New York on January 14 by Seattle-based firm Hagens Berman, portrayed the Big Five publishers—Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster—as “co-conspirators” in a bid to restrain competition in the e-book market, but had named only Amazon as a defendant. The amended complaint, filed on February 4, now pulls the publishers into the suit….”

Big Five Publishers Now Defendants in E-book Price-Fixing Suit

“Following an amended complaint filed this week, the Big Five publishers are now named as defendants in a consumer class action lawsuit that alleges a conspiracy with Amazon to fix prices in the e-book market.

The news comes after the initial complaint, first filed in the Southern District of New York on January 14 by Seattle-based firm Hagens Berman, portrayed the Big Five publishers—Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster—as “co-conspirators” in a bid to restrain competition in the e-book market, but had named only Amazon as a defendant. The amended complaint, filed on February 4, now pulls the publishers into the suit….”

Science Policy, Competition and Profits

How much India is spending on journal subscriptions? how difficult is it for Indians to access publicly funded research? A nationwide subscription proposal comes with a lot of financial and moral baggage. 

Trump EPA’s Fast Track for ‘Secret Science’ Rule Nixed (1)

“The Trump administration’s EPA broke the law when it finalized a “science transparency” rule and made it effective immediately, a federal court ruled Wednesday in a decision that could help the Biden administration scrap the rule.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Montana said the Environmental Protection Agency failed to justify its decision to make the controversial rule take effect right after its publication in the Federal Register, instead of after 30 days, as is typical….”

Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA’s ‘secret science’ rule | TheHill

“A federal judge in Montana late Wednesday ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to fast-track a controversial rule about how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers scientific evidence, endangering its future under the Biden administration. 

The Trump EPA had characterized the rule, which would restrict the use of studies that don’t make their underlying data publicly available, as procedural, allowing it to go into effect immediately.

Judge Brian Morris, an Obama appointee, disagreed, determining that the rule was substantive and ordering that it can’t go into effect until Feb. 5.

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Delaying the rule could jeopardize it, as it would now be subject to a new White House memo that freezes pending regulations for 60 days….”

Assault on open access to science in India

“It was only a matter of time before the leading publishers of academic and scientific research turned their attention to India after their blocking the easy flow of knowledge in several Western countries. Now the big boys of scientific publishing, Elsevier, Wiley and American Chemical Society, have launched a similar case in the Delhi High Court asking internet service providers to block Sci-Hub and Libgen (Library Genesis) websites in India….”

Environmental groups sue in bid to block EPA ‘secret science’ rule  | TheHill

“Green groups on Monday filed a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent a new rule limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) use of certain studies from taking effect.

The lawsuit takes aim at the EPA’s Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science rule, also known as the “secret science” rule, which restricts the use of studies that don’t make their underlying data public. 

The agency has billed the rule as a transparency measure, though its opponents argue that it will prevent consideration of important public health studies that can’t publish their data for reasons such as privacy. …”

Sci-Hub & Libgen Face ISP Blocking in India After Publishers File High Court Complaint * TorrentFreak

“A legal campaign by academic and scientific publishers to prevent Internet users from accessing Sci-Hub and Libgen has expanded to India. In a complaint filed at the High Court in Delhi, Elsevier, Wiley, and American Chemical Society, are demanding that local ISPs should block the sites to prevent copyright infringement.”

Sci-Hub Founder Criticises Sudden Twitter Ban Over Over “Counterfeit” Content * TorrentFreak

“Twitter has suspended the account of Sci-Hub, a site that offers a free gateway to paywalled research. The site is accused of violating the counterfeit policy of the social media platform. However, founder Alexandra Elbakyan believes that this is an effort to silence the growing support amidst a high profile court case in India.”

‘Make Knowledge Free, Not Private Property’ – Online All India Convention

“The recent lawsuit filed in the Delhi High Court by the publishers Elsevier, Wiley, and American Chemical Society against Sci-hub and LibGen for copyright infringement has brought to the fore the debate between legality and ethicality of limiting access to knowledge. This discussion will address key concerns.”