“The war against educating people without paying huge sums of money continues without pause. Over the last few years, we’ve written a bunch about Sci-Hub and its founder, Alexandra Elbakyan, including the fact that academic publishers have convinced the DOJ to investigate Elbakyan, claiming that this effort to (*checks notes*) give more academics free access to academic articles is… tied to Russian intelligence. The whole thing seemed bizarre. Sure, fine, people can make arguments about copyright — but saying that it’s connected to Russian intelligence seems like quite a conspiracy theory.
Either way, it appears that the “investigation” continues along. TorrentFreak alerts us that Apple has informed Elbakyan that the FBI now has access to her Apple account. …”
“In the UK, many internet service providers block Sci-Hub. Fortunately, a simple proxy is enough to circumvent this (you don’t even need a VPN).
Routing requests through a suitable1 proxy lets you open Sci-Hub in your regular browser as if it weren’t blocked.
Routing all your traffic through a proxy may come with privacy and security concerns, and will slow your connection a bit. We want to use our proxy only for accessing Sci-Hub.
You can use extensions like ProxySwitchy to tell your browser to automatically use certain proxies, or no proxy at all, for sets of websites that you define.
Luckily, we can achieve the same effect by writing our own proxy auto-configuration file. …”
“Sci-Hub itself is currently frozen and has not downloaded any new articles since December 2020. This rescue mission is focused on seeding the article collection in order to prepare for a potential Sci-Hub shutdown….”
“Now, people are trying to rescue the site before it’s wiped off the web for good. A collection of data-hoarding redditors have banned together to personally torent each of the 85 million articles currently housed within Sci-Hub’s walls. Ultimately, their goal is to make a fully open-source library that anyone can access, but nobody can take down….”
“A woman who has in the past been described as “the spiritual successor to Aaron Swartz” – who was a US web pioneer hounded to suicide by US prosecutors for making academic research available to everyone – has now learned the FBI is investigating her….
Elbakyan included a screenshot of the conveniently “no-reply” email in her tweet, where Apple informed her that it in February 2019 received a request from the FBI for data pertaining to her account, and that the nature of the request was such that it only allowed the tech giant to notify the user with delay.
Apple also told Elbakyan that the requested data had been handed over, and washed its hands off the whole thing by advising the programmer that if she wanted to know more about the request and what kind of information the FBI wanted – she should talk to the FBI….”
Abstract: Sci-Hub, founded by Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011 in Kazakhstan has, over the years, emerged as a very popular source for researchers to download scientific papers. It is believed that Sci-Hub contains more than 76 million academic articles. However, recently three foreign academic publishers (Elsevier, Wiley and American Chemical Society) have filed a lawsuit against Sci-Hub and LibGen before the Delhi High Court and prayed for complete blocking these websites in India. It is in this context, that this paper attempts to find out how many Indian research papers are available in Sci-Hub and who downloads them. The citation advantage of Indian research papers available on Sci-Hub is analysed, with results confirming that such an advantage do exist.
Abstract: Shadow mass-literature online libraries in Russia developed during the early Post-Soviet years. They are a phenomenon rooted in both the practice of circumventing constraints caused by state censorship, and a book production process of insufficient quality. Since the fall of the USSR, Russian legislation has aligned itself with international standards, adopting their strictest instantiation. In 2013, “anti-piracy” legislation made “information intermediaries” responsible for illegal content, introduced an “eternal” blocking of sites, made pre-trial negotiations more difficult. Successive amendments have sought to respond to the circumvention tactics developed by shadow libraries. In this context, for a library which is not part of the book market, remaining in the legal realm means freezing its own content or becoming a self-publishing platform. Libraries that become illegal have to ensure the sustainability and growth of their collections by multiplying their dissemination means, to provide personal security to administrators through a “safe” geographical location or strict anonymity, and to guarantee an access to their collections on the Russian Federation territory through inventive circumvention techniques. They leave the public struggle against state and industry regulation of the Internet to digital rights advocates, and promote a particular vision of “freedom” anchored in the mastery of technical tools and in uncensored cultural practices.
“In a remarkable notice posted this morning, City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is warning universities and students to not use Sci-Hub, while urging universities to block the site….”
“Anubha will reflect on the arc of the guerilla open access movement, and its turning points such as Aaron Swartz’s prosecution, Libgen’s and Sci-hub’s missions, and more. She will also highlight the movement’s connections and relevance for Indian researchers….
Arul will be providing an overview of the legal issues involved in the litigation initiated in India by three major publishers against Sci-Hub and Libgen. He will discuss the specific facts of the case and examine whether there are any legitimate grounds for granting a “dynamic injunction” against Sci-Hub ad Libgen. As part of the remarks, he will discuss the factors that a court needs to take into consideration while deciding on an injunction application. During his remarks, he will also touch upon some of the important lessons for the global community from the prosecution of Aaron Swartz in the US and the tragic end of that prosecution.”
“Furthermore, it appears that the turn toward open access in the scholarly communications landscape is increasingly facilitating the agendas of an oligopoly of for-profit data analytics companies. Perhaps realizing that “they’ve found something that is even more profitable than selling back to us academics the content that we have produced,”5 they venture ever further up the research stream, with every intent to colonize and canalize its entire flow.6 This poses a severe threat to the independence and quality of scholarly inquiry.7
In the light of these troubling developments, the expansion from Dotawo as a “diamond” open access to a common access journal represents a strong reaffirmation of the call that the late Aaron Swartz succinctly formulated in his “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto”: …
Swartz’s is a call to action that transcends the limitations of the open access movement as construed by the BOAI Declaration by plainly affirming that knowledge is a common good. His call goes beyond open access, because it specifically targets materials that linger on a paper or silicon substrate in academic libraries and digital repositories without being accessible to “fair use.” The deposition of the references from Dotawo contributions in a public library is a first and limited attempt to offer a remedy, heeding the “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use” of the www?Association of Research Libraries, which approvingly cites the late Supreme Court Justice Brandeis that “the noblest of human productions — knowledge, truths ascertained, conceptions, and ideas — become, after voluntary communication to others, free as the air to common use.”9 This approach also dovetails the interpretation of “folk law” recently propounded by Kenneth Goldsmith, the founder of public library www?Ubuweb….”
“So the final question is whether the government of India should try to address the basic problem of proprietorship of knowledge, and its subsequent commercialisation, by negotiating for a better deal from journal proprietors for access at less exorbitant fees; or should it examine how to change the law to give proprietary ownership to the creators of the knowledge?
The earlier bulk subscriptions negotiated by Uruguay and Egypt, cost them about Rs 48 per capita, while India currently spends about Rs 12 per capita. For India to arrive at an agreement at the same rate as Uruguay and Egypt would mean an expenditure of roughly Rs 6,500 crore (or $890mn). As it is, in India, public funding for research is scarce and becoming scarcer by the day through market-friendly policies. Changing the law, on the other hand, would either mean modifying existing legal provisions or at least passing legislation with respect to publicly funded research and its products within India as well as free access to such research globally….
Meanwhile, we must be quite clear that Sci-Hub and Library Genesis are providing an enormously useful service to scholars all over the world. It will be a long time before any official agency in India will be able to provide a comparable service. The best we can hope for is that the court cases against them languish for as long as possible as they do for much less laudable causes.”
“Journal articles downloaded from Sci-Hub, an illegal site of pirated materials, were cited nearly twice as many times as non-downloaded articles, reports a new paper published online in the journal, Scientometrics….
Correa and colleagues could have added either one of these sources of usage data to their model to verify whether the Sci-Hub indicator continued to independently predict future citations. That would have confirmed whether Sci-Hub was a cause of — instead of merely associated with — future citations. Without such a control, the authors may have fumbled both their analysis and conclusion.
Sci-Hub may indeed lead to more article citations, although it is impossible to reach that conclusion from this study….”
“Online repository of science articles, Sci-hub, has taken the defence of ‘Fair dealing’ before the Delhi High Court in a suit for injunction filed by publishing houses Elsevier Ltd, Wiley India Pvt. Ltd., and American Chemical Society over alleged copyright infringement. The website’s founder, Alexandra Elbakyan has submitted that the platform is engaged in providing free access to research publications and scientific material, for the benefit of the students and researchers and the consequent benefit of the public….
Thus, it is claimed that the suit is barred by Section 52(1)(a)(i) of the Copyright Act. The provision provides that ‘Private use including research’ of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work amounts to fair dealing and shall not constitute an infringement of copyright….”