My previous posting explored the phenomenon of Sci-Hub, a site dedicated to providing free access to more than 50 million academic papers without regard to their ownership status or to copyright laws. This post looks at the legal issues involved, in contrast to the previous post’s articulation of the argument for open access.


Sci-Hub: Research Crusader or Copyright Criminal?

Sci-Hub is an online repository of over 51,000,000 scientific academic papers and articles, available through its website. New papers are uploaded daily after accessing them through educational institutions. Founded by Alexandra Elbakyan from Kazakhstan in 2011, it began as a reaction to the high cost of research papers behind paywalls, typically US$30 each when bought on a per-paper basis. Academic publisher Elsevier has in 2015 filed a legal complaint in New York City alleging copyright infringement by Sci-Hub.

Alternative Text for Images on the Internet

Facebook Gets One Right: Opening the Internet to the Blind

Starting last November, Facebook began refining an artificial intelligence tool to analyze photos. As Mark Zuckerberg explained to an audience in Delhi, “If you are blind and you can’t see a photo, we can have our AI look at the photo and read an explanation of that photo to you.” And, as Zuckerberg pointed out, using machine interpreters instead of humans means that photos can be interpreted at any time, in any location, for anyone with visual limitations.

Apple-FBI Privacy Battle

Is Privacy Partisan? Apple verses the FBI

A new article out from The Atlantic examines whether privacy is becoming a partisan issue. Traditionally, digital privacy has been an issue that people from across the political spectrum have been able to come together to support. Between lefty people concerned about civil liberties and people on the right concerned about government encroachment, privacy is one of the issues that has been consistently able to attract strange bedfellows in Washington and throughout the country. However, the recent case between the FBI and Apple has shown that when the question gets reframed, support for digital privacy can drop like a stone.