“Academic and scientific researchers have their own social networks. One of the biggest differences between these services and LinkedIn or Twitter is that researchers are interested in other researchers’ content as much as they are in social interactions. This has led academic social networks to find ways of getting users to post their papers and journal articles to the networks, in order to increase membership and traffic. The problem with this, of course, is that in many cases the researchers don’t own the copyrights–publishers do–and they don’t have permission to upload that content….
ResearchGate’s copyright hostilities with STM publishers began in 2017, when the publishers’ global trade association, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (also known, confusingly, as STM), sent it a letter threatening to sue. At the same time, five publishers formed an organization called the Coalition for Responsible Sharing (CfRS) with the sole purpose of addressing copyright issues on ResearchGate….
Wiley’s statement about the agreement is vague on details. But reading between the lines, it suggests that Wiley’s agreement goes somewhat beyond ResearchGate’s 2018 agreement with Springer Nature et al: ResearchGate has agreed to send its users detailed messages about the permissibility (or lack thereof) of content sharing, and to process Wiley’s takedown notices more aggressively and/or efficiently; while in return, ResearchGate will share some of its trove of content access data with Wiley and work to improve discoverability of content on the site. But the agreement does not call for ResearchGate to implement content recognition-based copyright filtering or facilitate incremental licensing revenue from authors….”
“The members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing have always been clear that we embrace and actively encourage copyright compliant sharing of content by the research community. However, the commercial science platform ResearchGate continues to provide access to millions of research articles on its site without publisher’s permission in contravention of copyright agreements and does not take any appropriate measures to stop this illicit activity.
On Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Wiley announced that it will explore other possibilities to minimize the availability of copyright infringing articles on ResearchGate and made the decision to enter into an agreement with ResearchGate. [Hence, Wiley has dropped out of CFRS].
“We appreciate the support Wiley has put into the Coalition for Responsible Sharing over such a long time,” says James Milne, PhD, chair of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing and president, ACS Publications. “Members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing continue to believe the illicit posting and subsequent removal of infringing content on ResearchGate’s site is unsustainable and disruptive for the research community. Copyright-infringing content should not be made available on ResearchGate’s site at any time.”
To date, cooperation agreements proposed by ResearchGate do not address the Coalition for Responsible Sharing’s concerns. New copyright-infringing articles are constantly being added to the site, in addition to the millions of copyright-infringing articles it already illicitly distributes. An average of 130,000 articles have continued to be added to ResearchGate each month, approximately 45 percent of which infringe copyright. To date, Coalition for Responsible Sharing members have sent nearly 450,000 takedown notices to ResearchGate for copyright infringing content it distributes….”
“The social networking site declined this proposal, and shortly after, a group of five publishers—the American Chemical Society (ACS), Brill, Elsevier, Wiley, and Wolters Kluwer—banded together to create the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, noting that it would take formal steps to change ResearchGate’s practices. The coalition, which has expanded to 15 members, has since done two things, says Milne, who is also ACS’s senior vice president. “Elsevier and ACS, as two representative organizations from the coalition, filed a suit in Germany to ask for the courts to address the infringement that we could see,” he tells The Scientist. And all members started sending takedown notices to ResearchGate and its users for articles identified as breeching copyright, he adds. …”
“Millions of articles might soon disappear from ResearchGate, the world’s largest scholarly social network. Last week, five publishers said they had formed a coalition that would start ordering ResearchGate to remove research articles from its site because they breach publishers’ copyright. A spokesperson for the group said that up to 7 million papers could be affected, and that a first batch of take-down notices, for around 100,000 articles, would be sent out “imminently”.
Meanwhile, coalition members Elsevier and the American Chemical Society have filed a lawsuit to try to prevent copyrighted material appearing on ResearchGate in future. The complaint, which has not been made public, was filed on 6 October in a regional court in Germany. (ResearchGate is based in Berlin). It makes a “symbolic request for damages” but its goal is to change the site’s behaviour, a spokesperson says….”
“Two journal publishers have launched legal proceedings in the United States against academic-networking site ResearchGate for copyright infringement.
Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) say that the ResearchGate website violates US copyright law by making articles in their journals freely available. The two publishers filed the claim with the United States District Court for the District of Maryland on 2 October….”