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.

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.

The library of the University of the Basque Country (Vitoria-Gasteiz) scientific journals.

Sci-Hub, and the Fight for Free

Sci-Hub has been around since late 2011, but it has been getting publicity recently for it’s refusal to shut down. The website is an unabashed pirate website that provides access to over 48 million scientific articles and publications. The website’s mission is to, “remove any barrier … impeding the widest possible distribution of knowledge in human society,” and they “advocate for cancellation of intellectual property, or copyright laws, for scientific and educational resources.” Certainly strong language, but not an unsympathetic cause–helping researchers and the public bypass academic paywalls.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Electronic Frontier Foundation

This week I’m writing about non-library intellectual freedom advocates. Groups that can help in the fight, or even lead the fight, for intellectual freedom. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of the most important civil liberties organizations around. Their motto is, “Defending Your Rights In The Digital World.” I want you to read the first paragraph from their about page and try to tell me that they are not kindred spirits!