Elsevier is a Netherlands-based information and analytics company. It is a global publishing house that publishes scientific, technical, and medical journals. Its publications include journals such as The Lancet and Cell, Science Direct. Elsevier publishes more than 500,000 articles annually and contains over 17 million documents and 40,000 e-books in its archives.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a US-based scientific society which publishes scientific journals, including the prestigious Journal of the American Chemical Society, as well as the weekly trade magazine Chemical & Engineering News.
Elsevier and ACS approached the Delhi High Court against Alexandra Asanovna Elbakyan, a Kazakhstani software developer and creator of Sci-Hub. Sci-Hub is a website that provides free access to research papers published in online journals.
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Elsevier and ACS claimed that they have copyright in the medical journals and articles published by them. They claimed that Alexandra Elbakyan and gen.lib.rus.ec (Library Genesis) is infringing their copyright by publishing their copyrighted research papers. They claimed that this infringing activity has been on since 2011 in one form or the other.
The counsel for Alexandra Elbakyan stated that he has been served with a swathe of documents along with the plaint and therefore, he would require a short accommodation for responding to the assertions made in the instant action.
However, the counsel agreed that no new articles or publications, in which Elsevier and ACS have copyright, will be uploaded or made available online, by Alexandra Elbakyan, till the next date of hearing. The counsel was also directed by the Court to disclose the particulars of Alexandra Elbakyan i.e. her physical address in his pleadings. The matter is now adjourned to 6th January 2021