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posted by martyb on Monday December 18 2017, @06:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the hide-and-seek dept.

Sci-Hub is a web hydra, not unlike The Pirate Bay:

Sci-Hub is often referred to as the "Pirate Bay of Science," and this description has become more and more apt in recent weeks.

Initially, the comparison was made to illustrate that Sci-Hub is used by researchers to download articles for free, much like the rest of the world uses The Pirate Bay to get free stuff.

There are more parallels though. Increasingly, Sci-Hub has trouble keeping its domain names. Following two injunctions in the US, academic publishers now have court orders to compel domain registrars and registries to suspend Sci-Hub's addresses.

Although there is no such court order for The Pirate Bay, the notorious torrent site also has a long history of domain suspensions. Both sites appear to tackle the problem in a similar manner. They simply ignore all enforcement efforts and bypass them with new domains and other circumvention tools. They have several backup domains in place as well as unsuspendable .onion addresses, which are accessible on the Tor network.

Since late November, a lot of Sci-Hub users have switched to Sci-Hub.bz when other domains were suspended. And, when the .bz domain was targeted a few days ago, they moved to different alternatives. It's a continuous game of Whack-a-Mole that is hard to stop.

Don't forget Library Genesis .

Previously: 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
Virginia District Court Demands that ISPs and Search Engines Block Sci-Hub


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

Sci-Hub, the Repository of "Infringing" Academic Papers Now Available Via "Telegram" 14 comments

TechDirt reports:

Sci-Hub [is] the search engine for academic papers that includes a few tricks to access more paywalled academic papers for free, using the academic logins that have been shared with the site for the sake of retrieving more research. Academic journal publishing giant Elsevier has been waging a war with the site, first getting an injunction against its original domain back in December, only to have it quickly pop up elsewhere.

[...] Now, Sci-Hub has announced that it's available via the popular messaging app Telegram as well.

[...] From the looks of it, you can just send it a message with the title you want, and it sends you back a download link--within seconds. From a researcher's standpoint, this seems like it must be quite handy, and certainly again feels a lot like the fairly standard #icanhazpdf process used on social media by academics all the time. Just a little more automated.


Original Submission

Elsevier Wants $15 Million Piracy Damages from Sci-Hub and Libgen 30 comments

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

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

Sci-Hub Faces $4.8 Million Piracy Damages and ISP Blocking 12 comments

Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard

Sci-Hub, which is regularly referred to as the "Pirate Bay of science", faces another setback in a US federal court. After the site's operator failed to respond, the American Chemical Society now requests a default judgment of $4.8 million for alleged copyright infringement. In addition, the publisher wants a broad injunction which would require search engines and ISPs to block the site.

The pirate site, operated by Alexandra Elbakyan, was ordered to pay $15 million in piracy damages to academic publisher Elsevier.

With the ink on this order barely dry, another publisher soon tagged on with a fresh complaint. The American Chemical Society (ACS), a leading source of academic publications in the field of chemistry, also accused Sci-Hub of mass copyright infringement.

[...] "Sci-Hub's unabashed flouting of U.S. Copyright laws merits a strong deterrent. This Court has awarded a copyright holder maximum statutory damages where the defendant's actions were 'clearly willful' and maximum damages were necessary to 'deter similar actors in the future'," they write.

Although the deterrent effect may sound plausible in most cases, another $4.8 million in debt is unlikely to worry Sci-Hub's owner, as she can't pay it off anyway. However, there's also a broad injunction on the table that may be more of a concern.

The requested injunction prohibits Sci-Hub's owner to continue her work on the site. In addition, it also bars a wide range of other service providers from assisting others to access it.

Specifically, it restrains "any Internet search engines, web hosting and Internet service providers, domain name registrars, and domain name registries, to cease facilitating access to any or all domain names and websites through which Defendant Sci-Hub engages in unlawful access to [ACS's works]."

The above suggests that search engines may have to remove the site from their indexes while ISPs could be required to block their users' access to the site as well, which goes quite far.

Source: https://torrentfreak.com/sci-hub-faces-48-million-piracy-damages-and-isp-blocking-170905/


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

Paywall: A Documentary About the Movement for Open-Access Science Publishing 9 comments

Documentary puts lens on the open-access movement upending scientific publishing

Jason Schmitt was working at Atlantic Records when the online site Napster disrupted the music industry by making copyrighted songs freely available. Now, the communications and media researcher at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, is pushing for a similar disruption of academic publishing with Paywall, a documentary about the open-access movement that debuts today in a Washington, D.C., theater. "I don't think that it's right that for-profit publishers can make 35%–40% profit margins. The content is provided for them for free by academics," Schmitt, who produced the film, says.

The documentary explores the impact of Sci-Hub, a website that provides pirated versions of paywalled papers for free online, and interviews academics and publishing figures. Schmitt says many large publishers refused to go on camera—although representatives from Science and Nature did—and he is not impressed that several have begun publishing some open-access journals. "Elsevier is as much to open access as McDonald's fast food is to healthy," he says.

Sci-Hub and Library Genesis.

Related:


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @07:00AM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @07:00AM (#611300)

    Real actual science should be open for review and use. I think secret science is an oxymoron while it is business as usual today. We should not allow it, especially if the research that leads to publication is done using public money and resources.

    This is something also Aaron Swartz said, and they killed him for doing it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Swartz [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: -1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @07:43AM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @07:43AM (#611311)

      I think secret science is an oxymoron while it is business as usual today.

      Except it is NOT secret. It is very open, as long as you pay for access. Kind of like you can't read some newspaper if you didn't pay for it. Has to do with food on the table and shit like that.

      There are "free" journals, or Open Access, but in that case the submitter pays to be able to publish.

      Nothing is in this world for free.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKtsdZs9LJo [youtube.com]

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by TGV on Monday December 18 2017, @08:26AM (2 children)

        by TGV (2838) on Monday December 18 2017, @08:26AM (#611315)

        It has nothing to do with food on the table. Journals make incredible profits without investment in their actual field.

        • (Score: 4, Touché) by MostCynical on Monday December 18 2017, @08:42AM (1 child)

          by MostCynical (2589) on Monday December 18 2017, @08:42AM (#611318)

          Iśn't "their field" getting both contibutors AND readers to pay for the same thing?
          That is where they invest - ensuring lock-in, and funding the law suits!

          --
          tau = 300. Greek circles must have been weird.
          • (Score: 1) by Crash on Monday December 18 2017, @04:15PM

            by Crash (1335) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 18 2017, @04:15PM (#611438)

            It's more about notability, trust, prestige, etc. It's a problem that many would say the "professional publications" attempt to solve at too high of a price. Except there is a need for reputable curators of knowledge|information|culture. It's also debatable whether the existing publications actually solve that problem.

            Further, you can't take away the whole industry and it's dependencies without solving at least some of the other issues. Making the information free only addresses a small part of that.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @09:03AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @09:03AM (#611323)
        except that it's not open at all. if you try to share this "science" with your fellow human beings, publishers will see that you kill yourself in jail or something, you silly goose. that's the problem: censorship. fuck censorship. fuck it in science, fuck it in healthcare, fuck censorship in education, and in absolutely everything having to do with government and/or politics: fuck it very much.
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Virindi on Monday December 18 2017, @10:13AM (1 child)

        by Virindi (3484) on Monday December 18 2017, @10:13AM (#611330)

        Nothing is in this world for free.

        Of course not! The problem is, for much of this, the public already paid for it.

        If my taxes went to keep the local newspaper afloat, you better believe I'd want the ability to read it for free (or at the cost of printing only).

        If you do research with your own money, you have every right to charge to read it. If you take my money to do your research, charging me to read the results is double dipping. The purpose of public science funding is to improve the level of knowledge of society, not to subsidize some publisher's business model.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @12:36PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @12:36PM (#611358)

          not to subsidize some publisher's business model.

          Filed under "Job creation"

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @11:26AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @11:26AM (#611336)

        Nothing is in this world for free

        "... for you, peasants."

        Profit is literally the free money left over when you pay for everything.
        So just shut up with the ideological propaganda.

        • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Monday December 18 2017, @12:12PM

          by cubancigar11 (330) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 18 2017, @12:12PM (#611348) Homepage Journal

          No, profit is the money given to someone to make them do something you - at the end of the day - can't get done by yourself. Leftover - pfft - it is not "leftover" when someone takes it as a fee, isn't it. Your cost is someone else's profit. Semantics, I know...

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @12:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @12:08PM (#611346)

        How smart you are. Well try harder because the analogy with the newspaper doesn't cut it. My taxes which I regularly pay do not include newspapers, otherwise you would damned be sure I would demand the copies for free. On the other hand my taxes DO go for scientific research which is being withheld from me and asked money to read, because of morons like you whose business model turns to be citizen right prohibition.
        Try again. And fuck you.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @04:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @04:54PM (#611455)

        You need to pay to be published in the mainstream journals as well.

        My experience with publishing (as a grad student):
        Pay to get a paper submitted,
        Professor then reviews X number of similarly submitted papers from other writers, for free (not sure on what the compensation is, but it isn't money)
        Journal publishes the professor approved papers online, requiring subscription to see,
        Journal may publish printed work for libraries, for large sums of money.

        Basically, the 'free' journals just remove the last two income sources, and don't print works, the submission fees probably support the website.

      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday December 18 2017, @10:37PM

        by Freeman (732) on Monday December 18 2017, @10:37PM (#611613) Journal

        Except where they are getting government funding via our taxes. (The Reason it should be public domain in the first place.)

        --
        "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday December 18 2017, @07:14PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 18 2017, @07:14PM (#611535)

      I think secret science is an oxymoron

      That is scientific heresy.

      --
      ALL LIABILITY IS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH THAT RESULTS FROM READING THE SOURCE CODE.
  • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Monday December 18 2017, @02:27PM (1 child)

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Monday December 18 2017, @02:27PM (#611397)

    how about just post the IP address on the front page with some picture a la captcha.?

    I assume it is only the DNS they are fiddling with...

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by insanumingenium on Monday December 18 2017, @06:20PM

      by insanumingenium (4824) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 18 2017, @06:20PM (#611512)

      Or have a link to their non-onion IP on their onion site, so that when they get shut down you can use tor to get the correct link, but use cleartext IP to download the resources. Clearly they are already doing a good enough job of advertising their onion address if TFA mentions it. Never really considered the use of onion purely as a hardened DNS infrastructure before, but it makes a measure of sense.

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