The Delhi High Court Thursday asked Alexandra Elbakyan, the owner of Sci-Hub — a pirate website that provides free access to millions of research papers and books otherwise copyright protected — to disclose her physical address to court and also recorded her counsel’s statement that no articles or publications in which major publishing houses, which have approached the court with a copyright infringement suit, have copyright will be uploaded or made available on the website till January 6, the next date of hearing.
The court was hearing a case filed by Elsevier, Wiley India, Wiley Periodicals, American Chemical Society, which are top global publishing houses in the field of scientific and academic publications and market, sell and license various digitised journals including The Lancet and Cell. They have filed the case against Sci-Hub and Library Genesis (Libgen), another website which provides free access to journals, and alleged that they indulge in online piracy by making available to the public their literary work for free.
During the hearing, advocate Nilesh Jain, representing Elbakyan, sought time to respond and argued that the site has been running since 2011 and the plaintiffs can wait two more weeks at least.
However, Senior Advocate Amit Sibal, representing the publishing houses, said they have obtained blocking orders and injunctions against them in several foreign countries but they do not comply with the orders until the website is blocked and it is a case where there is no defence. However, the court declined to pass an immediate blocking order.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher, addressing Elbakyan’s counsel, observed Sci-Hub will not upload any articles in which the plaintiffs have copyright and the question of takedown order will come later. In response, Jain submitted that nothing new will be uploaded.
There was no one to represent Libgen during the hearing.
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