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posted by cmn32480 on Friday May 19 2017, @04:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the you-reap-what-you-sow dept.

Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard

Two years ago, academic publisher Elsevier filed a complaint against Sci-Hub, Libgen and several related "pirate" sites.

The publisher accused the websites of making academic papers widely available to the public, without permission.

While Sci-Hub and Libgen are nothing like the average pirate site, they are just as illegal according to Elsevier's legal team, which swiftly obtained a preliminary injunction from a New York District Court.

The injunction ordered Sci-Hub's founder Alexandra Elbakyan, who is the only named defendant, to quit offering access to any Elsevier content. This didn't happen, however.

Sci-Hub and the other websites lost control over several domain names, but were quick to bounce back. They remain operational today and have no intention of shutting down, despite pressure from the Court.

This prompted Elsevier to request a default judgment and a permanent injunction against the Sci-Hub and Libgen defendants. In a motion filed this week, Elsevier's legal team describes the sites as pirate havens.

Source: https://torrentfreak.com/elsevier-wants-15-million-piracy-damages-from-sci-hub-and-libgen-170518/

Previously:
The Research Pirates of the Dark Web
New York Times Opinion Piece on Open Access Publishing
A Spiritual Successor to Aaron Swartz is Angering Publishers All Over Again


Original Submission

Related Stories

The Research Pirates of the Dark Web 27 comments

The darknet is where you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. An article by Kaveh Waddell over at The Atlantic describes how you can not only access illegal drugs, weapons, and other nefarious materials, but this now includes scientific research papers. Following Elsevier's successful crackdown and dissolution of Sci-Hub, the site owner, Alexandra Elbakyan, has moved it to the darknet.

There will always be techniques for accessing paywalled research for free, even without services like Sci-Hub. Some of them are much less complex than Elbakyan's website: Researchers and scholars often use the hashtag #icanhazpdf on Twitter to ask fellow academics for paywalled articles. (There's even been scholarly work published that analyzes the phenomenon—appropriately, the research is free online.)

But Sci-Hub's ingenious methods automate the process, cut out middle men on Twitter, and don't advertise the request for, essentially, pirated research. And Elbakyan says her website's presence on the dark web will help keep it accessible even if legal action dismantles Sci-Hub's new home on the easily accessible surface web.


Original Submission

New York Times Opinion Piece on Open Access Publishing 47 comments

The New York Times has an opinion piece about Open Access publishing. It starts with the case of Alexandra Elbakyan a guerilla open access activist who is on the lam from the US government acting on behalf of the copyright cartel. Pricing and other restrictions put many journals out of reach of all but the few researchers at major, well-funded universities in developed nations. The large publishing companies usually have profit margins over 30% and subscription prices have been rising twice as fast as the price of health care, which itself is priced insanely, over the past two decades, so there appears to be a real scandal there. Several options are available including pre-print repositories and various open access journals. The latter require the author to pay up front for publishing. However, the real onus lies on the communities' leaders, like heads of institutions and presidents of universities, who are in a position to change which journals are perceived as high-impact.

Edit: Alexandra Elbakyan founded Sci-Hub in 2011.


Original Submission

A Spiritual Successor to Aaron Swartz is Angering Publishers All Over Again 42 comments

A young academic with coding savvy has become frustrated with the incarceration of information. Some of the world's best research continues to be trapped behind subscriptions and paywalls. This academic turns activist, and this activist then plots and executes the plan. It's time to free information from its chains—to give it to the masses free of charge. Along the way, this research Robin Hood is accused of being an illicit, criminal hacker - tale of the late Aaron Swartz

In 2016, the tale has new life. The Washington Post decries it as academic research's Napster moment, and it all stems from a 27-year-old bio-engineer turned Web programmer from Kazakhstan (who's living in Russia).

Just as Swartz did, this hacker is freeing tens of millions of research articles from paywalls, metaphorically hoisting a middle finger to the academic publishing industry, which, by the way, has again reacted with labels like "hacker" and "criminal."

Meet Alexandra Elbakyan, the developer of Sci-Hub, a Pirate Bay-like site for the science nerd. It's a portal that offers free and searchable access "to most publishers, especially well-known ones." Search for it, download, and you're done. It's that easy.

How do you think this will turn out?


[Ed. addition] The Washington Post article elaborates:

Sci-Hub connects to a database of stolen papers. If a user requests a paper in that database, Sci-Hub serves it up. If the paper is not there, Sci-Hub uses library passwords it has collected to find a paper, provides it to the searcher, then dumps the paper in the database. The site can be clunky to use, often sending users to Web pages in foreign languages.

Elbakyan and her supporters have said the passwords were donated by those sympathetic to her cause. But she also acknowledges that some passwords were obtained using the kind of phishing methods that hackers use to dupe people out of financial information.

"It may be well possible that phished passwords ended up being used at Sci-Hub," she said. "I did not send any phishing emails to anyone myself. The exact source of the passwords was never personally important to me."

Original Submission

US Court Grants Elsevier Millions in Damages From Sci-Hub 10 comments

Nature reports:

One of the world's largest science publishers, Elsevier, won a default legal judgement on 21 June against websites that provide illicit access to tens of millions of research papers and books. A New York district court awarded Elsevier US$15 million in damages for copyright infringement by Sci-Hub, the Library of Genesis (LibGen) project and related sites.

Judge Robert Sweet had ruled in October 2015 that the sites violate US copyright. The court issued a preliminary injunction against the sites' operators, who nevertheless continued to provide unauthorized free access to paywalled content. Alexandra Elbakyan, a former neuroscientist who started Sci-Hub in 2011, operates the site out of Russia, using varying domain names and IP addresses.

In May, Elsevier gave the court a list of 100 articles illicitly made available by Sci-Hub and LibGen, and asked for a permanent injunction and damages totalling $15 million. The Dutch publishing giant holds the copyrights for the largest share of the roughly 28 million papers downloaded from Sci-Hub over 6 months in 2016, followed by Springer Nature and Wiley-Blackwell. (Nature is published by Springer Nature, and Nature's news and comment team is editorially independent of the publisher.) According to a recent analysis, almost 50% of articles requested from Sci-Hub are published by these three companies1.

Previously: Elsevier Wants $15 Million Piracy Damages from Sci-Hub and Libgen


Original Submission

Virginia District Court Demands that ISPs and Search Engines Block Sci-Hub 44 comments

After losing a lawsuit filed by the American Chemical Society (ACS) due to failure to appear, Sci-Hub has been ordered to pay the ACS $4.8 million. But the district court's ruling also states that the Sci-Hub website should be blocked by ISPs, search engines, and domain name registrars:

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has won a lawsuit it filed in June against Sci-Hub, a website providing illicit free access to millions of paywalled scientific papers. ACS had alleged copyright infringement, trademark counterfeiting and trademark infringement; a district court in Virginia ruled on 3 November that Sci-Hub should pay the ACS $4.8 million in damages after Sci-Hub representatives failed to attend court.

The new ruling also states that internet search engines, web hosting sites, internet service providers (ISPs), domain name registrars and domain name registries cease facilitating "any or all domain names and websites through which Defendant Sci-Hub engages in unlawful access to, use, reproduction, and distribution of the ACS Marks or ACS's Copyrighted Works."

"This case could set precedent for the extent third-parties on the internet are required to enforce government-mandated censorship," says Daniel Himmelstein, a data scientist at the University of Pennsylvania who recently analyzed how many journal papers Sci-Hub holds.

Sci-Hub hosts millions of unpaywalled, full academic papers.

Previously: Elsevier Cracks Down on "Pirate" Science Search Engines
The Research Pirates of the Dark Web
Sci-Hub, the Repository of "Infringing" Academic Papers Now Available Via "Telegram"
Elsevier Wants $15 Million Piracy Damages from Sci-Hub and Libgen
US Court Grants Elsevier Millions in Damages From Sci-Hub
Sci-Hub Faces $4.8 Million Piracy Damages and ISP Blocking


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:52PM (#512253)

    GNU everything! Information wants to be free! Look at my open sores selfie pics!

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @04:53PM (5 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @04:53PM (#512254) Journal

    I think Elbakyan can tell Evilvier.. Fuck you! ;-)
    With a good standing on legal and moral grounds. Travel might be restricted however.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:57PM (#512255)

      Travel is unnecessary in the information age when every homeless bum living under a bridge can send a message anywhere in the world. I think I'll stay under the bridge today as it's cloudy and rainy and I don't feel like walking.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by looorg on Friday May 19 2017, @05:09PM (3 children)

      by looorg (578) on Friday May 19 2017, @05:09PM (#512257)

      As long as she stays in Russia and/or Kazakhstan she should be fairly safe from the reaches of Evilvier, if she is ever going to go on some academic or personal trip to (western) Europe or the USA then their might be some issues.

      That said I recall this being a previous topic of Soylent and when I looked thru the sites (Sci-Hub and Libgen) they where full of other, as in non academic papers, such as various books (both scanned and ebooks), comics and such. I have no idea if that has been addressed or not. That said Evilvier doesn't give a shit of there was an entire collection of Hellboy comics etc or the latest books from O'Reilly etc there. But still it did contain other things.

      https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=16/05/17/1127257 [soylentnews.org]
      https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=15/06/09/207218 [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Friday May 19 2017, @05:11PM (15 children)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday May 19 2017, @05:11PM (#512259) Journal

    1676: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.
    2017: I got mine, fuck you.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Friday May 19 2017, @05:17PM (6 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday May 19 2017, @05:17PM (#512261)

      1676: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.
      2017: Want to see further? We have Giants here, stand on their shoulders for the low, low price of....

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @05:18PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @05:18PM (#512262)

        We have Giants here

        Citation needed.

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by bob_super on Friday May 19 2017, @05:31PM (2 children)

          by bob_super (1357) on Friday May 19 2017, @05:31PM (#512272)

          *Citations start at $2.99 each, or $1.99 each in packs of 50.

          • (Score: 4, Funny) by nobu_the_bard on Friday May 19 2017, @06:43PM (1 child)

            by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Friday May 19 2017, @06:43PM (#512297)

            In 2018* we are rolling out a new subscription CAAS (Citation As A Service) that gives you the same great access as the venerable per-citation model. For only $50 a month, you get up to 50 citations per month per user!** Since this works out to $1 per citation, your savings could be as high as 66%!***

            *Per citation pricing will be discontinued in 2019 except where prohibited by existing contracts.

            **Contact our sales team for bulk pricing if you need more citations per month.

            ***Don't try to think about how those numbers work.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 20 2017, @05:08AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 20 2017, @05:08AM (#512526)

              Buy 50 Citations and we will send you 50 more FREE!!!*

              Call Now!

              *Offer is good for shipping of the citations only. Additional charges and fees apply. Handling fee extra. You agree by not paying arbitrary amount charged, we will initiate collection proceedings at your expense. Offer expires soon! Avoid disappointment! Order Now!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:18PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:18PM (#512289)

          Standing on the shoulders of midgets more likely?

          And isn't that dwarf at the bottom complaining loudly about how heavy you all are? :P

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @05:24PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @05:24PM (#512267) Journal

        2017: If I have seen further how to monopolize the future it is by standing on the shoulders of fat donations from self serving people that make plebs pay taxes and then pay for the fruits of invested tax again.

    • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Friday May 19 2017, @05:36PM

      by Hartree (195) on Friday May 19 2017, @05:36PM (#512273)

      "1676: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."

      The bitter fight claiming Leibnitz plagiarized him doesn't fit terribly well with that. Newton's giants seem to be those who were safely dead rather than anyone who might dare to dilute his reputation.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by DannyB on Friday May 19 2017, @06:17PM (6 children)

      by DannyB (5839) on Friday May 19 2017, @06:17PM (#512288)

      1676: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.
      2017: If I have not seen as far as others, it's because I have giants standing on my shoulders.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday May 19 2017, @06:52PM (5 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Friday May 19 2017, @06:52PM (#512299)

        Those giants also carry seemingly endless rolls of parchment carrying the misguided emblems of the USPTO gods.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @09:17PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @09:17PM (#512379)

          Our resident Authoritarian editor has, yet again, chosen a dept. line with which I disagree.

          Mine would have been
          from the queered-system dept.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 20 2017, @02:37PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 20 2017, @02:37PM (#512619)

            Yet another TMB submission ruined by the editors!

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 20 2017, @08:28PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 20 2017, @08:28PM (#512703)

              Hyperbole.
              cmn32480 does, however, often manage to come down on the side of issues that is different from the majority of Soylentils.

              ...and you're indicating that you, like cmn32480, support the current state of imaginary property law?

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 20 2017, @09:30PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 20 2017, @09:30PM (#512740)

                Lay off of cmn. He's a funny looking fuck, but he's OUR funny looking fuck!

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday May 20 2017, @09:29PM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 20 2017, @09:29PM (#512739) Journal

            BIGOT!! What do you have against queered systems?

            --
            This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by ikanreed on Friday May 19 2017, @05:24PM

    by ikanreed (3164) on Friday May 19 2017, @05:24PM (#512268)

    In the billions upon trillions upon quadrillions upon quintillions of hypothetical different resolved quantum states of the universe, I'm sure there's at least one where there's a more pointless rent-seeking publishing company, with even more suspect journals involved in cash-for-skipping-peer-review scandals.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:02PM (#512282)

    Most of these journals are tomes of phacking and NHST, people just want to take a quick glance to find out which is not worth much more than a satoshi.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:08PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:08PM (#512283)

    soon, apps like sci-hub will be rebuilt as anonymous dapps using block chain tech. founders/maintainers could be paid with certain trace resistant crypto currencies. all the court orders in the world wouldn't be able to take down shit. also, 15 million buys a lot of dead copyright trolls. these targets show a lot of restraint.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday May 19 2017, @06:34PM (3 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday May 19 2017, @06:34PM (#512293) Journal

      But will it be resistant to quantum attacks?

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by edIII on Friday May 19 2017, @09:17PM (2 children)

        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @09:17PM (#512380)

        That's an extremely good question. Although there is a theory that AES might not be vulnerable after all. Meaning that AES can scale faster than quantum computers can scale, and at much cheaper costs.

        It may be better to move to purely anonymous forms of mass communication. Maintainers (IT) are not necessary. Design the system from the beginning to be a small device, that can be hidden surreptitiously, for users to access data. In order to access the data at all you must be contributing to the system in a decentralized anonymous peering network.

        That is most likely "immune" to quantum attacks IF the devices have their "last mile" as wireless. Even better with mesh networks that can have users at low bandwidth communicating for 10-15 miles easy. Whether or not quantum attacks succeed, it will be exceedingly difficult to name these people in a lawsuit. The FCC (remember Pump Up The Volume?) would need to track down the devices with triangulation, and you would need an expert testifying for each person to prove relationships between users and devices.

        The final step is using wireless steering technologies to connect with multiple other peers at the 10-15 mile range, randomly load balance across them, and have the "router" devices attached to a drone :)

        If a quantum attack against the block chain is possible, then it also stands to reason that almost all other forms of cryptographic signatures are vulnerable to. In that case, the only answer is quantum devices that use quantum principles to lock information into a "domain" that can only be accessed with specific attributes of the user. Unfortunately, I don't even know of any that are theorized, much less their abilities to perform key exchange and transmit attributes to other users remotely.

        Yeah, quantum encryption and vaults are the only answer to quantum cryptanalysis performed against traditional public key and block chain technologies.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by urza9814 on Saturday May 20 2017, @02:29AM (1 child)

          by urza9814 (3954) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 20 2017, @02:29AM (#512490) Journal

          If a quantum attack against the block chain is possible, then it also stands to reason that almost all other forms of cryptographic signatures are vulnerable to. In that case, the only answer is quantum devices that use quantum principles to lock information into a "domain" that can only be accessed with specific attributes of the user. Unfortunately, I don't even know of any that are theorized, much less their abilities to perform key exchange and transmit attributes to other users remotely.

          No, there's classical public-key encryption methods that should be able to resist quantum attacks.

          Many such approaches are listed on the Wikipedia page for Post-quantum cryptography:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-quantum_cryptography [wikipedia.org]

          And there's open source tools to do it:
          https://github.com/exaexa/codecrypt [github.com]

          So yes, most current algorithms are probably vulnerable, but we can fix that without needing full quantum encryption tech. Which is great news since the bad guys are probably gonna have quantum computers long before we do...

          • (Score: 2) by edIII on Saturday May 20 2017, @05:26AM

            by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 20 2017, @05:26AM (#512530)

            Which is great news since the bad guys are probably gonna have quantum computers long before we do...

            IIRC, IBM is already recruiting developers and promising to open up computing time to others in a quantum VPS. They're actively trying to create a community now.

            Thanks for the links.

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