From talking to a few representives of sceintific societies it sounds like they usually produce thier journals at or around cost.
I think farmers are remarkable people, broadly speaking. They feed us all. Who deserves more gratitude than people that do that, right? Well, farmers love their tariffs and protectionism. They lobby like crazy for it all around the world. Nearly everyone wants artificial protection when they can get it.
Nobody is confused when labor unions do the exact same thing. This is all about restricting a resource, restricting distribution, tightly controlling it for the supposed benefit of the members (often at the expense of non-members).
Controlling prestige via distribution, etc. is one way to control stature and prevent dilution. Scientists & common researchers often don't get paid super well, one of the things they do have is acquired prestige. Restricted publication/distribution is a way to control who gets to be prestigious or not.
I fully recognize that Elsevier and Springer Verlag have behaved so obnoxiously that they make everything I'm about to say sound ridiculous, but nevertheless, here goes.
"If you're not the customer, you're the product."
When I get the latest issue of (say) IEEE Transactions On What I Do For a Living, I want to know that the editors did their best to solicit and round up the best new work on advancing the state of the art in my specialty, and that the manuscripts they received check out and are worthy.
That takes money, because the editors have bills to pay and can't really do this on a volunteer basis. Even though the peer reviewers are volunteers, getting them to volunteer is itself work. And the work starts by filtering the slush out so you're not asking the reviewers to look at stuff that's utter crap.
Advertiser support is not appropriate here. "This issue of IEEE Power And Energy is brought to you by Xformer Corp. (So don't even think about discussing in these pages how our transformers blow up more often than should happen in polite society.""
Author support is even less appropriate, with all due respect to the PLOS line of journals.
And yes, the professional societies try to price subscriptions and downloads so their budget is at break-even, which is why they have an interest in getting subscriptions and payments from as many people as possible, i.e. by not making the PDFs available for free. If everyone in EECS joined IEEE, membership fees would go down, and they could add Transactions access to the standard membership package.
I do still think it's counterproductive to crack down on Sci-Hub. Ultimately, what we need is a micropayments system that makes paying for downloads too seamlessly easy to be worth dodging. If Venmoing for PDFs took less time to set up and use than going to Sci-Hub, this would be moot.
Journals are very much a profit center for the publishers. Scientific journal publishing is a wildly profitable business and it is not all the clear that these profits are commensurate with journal quality. They are almost certainly monopoly rents. And the idea that membership fees pay for the journals is also silly. It's well known that it's institutions who pay the outrageous subscription fees for the journal that are actually powering this racket.
The interesting point here is that Sci-Hub isn't really a threat to the publishers. Like with most piracy it's not clear that the people using Sci-Hub would purchase the papers if Sci-Hub weren't available. And no matter what the publishers can always count on those fat institutional subscription fees. And that's what this is really about. The ultimate danger of Sci-Hub is that it undermines the very idea of a journal. Individual scientific papers become the unit of trade and people will take those papers on an a la carte basis. SciHub, if it were left alone, would unbundle science publishing and you'd see a drastic fall in profits.
This is all about money and protecting a wildly profitable business model. The idea that this is about supporting editors is ridiculous.
For Elsevier, Springer, WIley, yes.
For IEEE? For ACS? For AIP? Not so much.
> nd it is not all the clear that these profits are commensurate with journal quality
THey're not. I shouldn't have to pay $35 dollars for an Elsevier PDF when Elsevier didn't even have the decency to spend some of that money on copy editing to help authors who don't speak good English.
But I should pay a price. Because the alternative is for someone else to pay, someone who does not have my interests at heart.
Also: I think your attitude is quite symptomatic of a certain laziness of the research community, which has helped these counterproductive monopolies to rise and strive. Get angry, for once, because this is getting ridiculous.
I'm not sure if you can say that. Consortia of universities in both France and Germany have recently decided not to renew their contracts with one of the big publishers, and although it's hard to pin down to what extent motivations contribute, one could very well make the case that they have been able to do so because they have less pressure from academics to retain subscriptions - thanks to Sci-Hub.
We could have a nonprofit with transparent accounting which would make it easy to check the cost of each issue
And a subscription model priced to pay for that cost
And a payment system allowing to pay a similar amount per issue, with up to 2x the cost of each issue after which access becomes free.
Or a similar model which covers the expenses and pays very well without attempting astronomical profits.
Other fields, not so much.
Given it is a professional association, can its members pressure it to get out of the publishing business?
Its expenses are huge too, which seems odd; where is 384 million dollars going?
That someone is going to be forced to change their business model does not strike me as a compelling argument for the current system.
This is the ACS.
The ACS has fought hard against competition for decades.
Here is a list of their Board of Directors: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/about/governance/board/bo... . See a person or organisation you know? Let them know your thoughts about this.
Also, who is defending Sci-Hub? Is there anyone who would be in a position to challenge or appeal this ruling? Or do we have to wait for the ACS to demand censorship from a registrar with balls?
Anyway, Alexandra Albakyan (who is behind Sci-Hub) is unlikely to defend it with anything else than written statements, given that she's from Kazakhstan or Russia and is unlikely to come to the US given several earlier injunctions against Sci-Hub.
Boycotting ACS seems like a nice idea, but it would be challenging for professional chemists.
Daily Stormer was taken down as a result of 0 court orders. If I'm on someone's platform and I either break their rules repeatedly or invite attacks on them, it's not exactly censorship if they get tired of putting up with my shit and remove me. VPS operators repeatedly warn me that if I invite frequent DDoS attacks, they will remove me from the service. They have a say in how their own platform operates.
White national socialists/identitarians sell themselves as the most censored people on the Internet as if they hold information just begging to be released and practiced. Only, there's no redeeming value to the content of their information; it ranges from callous disregard of people based on race, to the outright extermination of anyone who disagrees with the cause. All of these "beliefs" effectively incite people to attack them, regardless of how well you may articulate them. It's little different from me repeatedly challenging blackhats to disable my VPS.
The only thing they really succeed in doing, is being the Internet's biggest pain in the ass to do business with. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what Cloudflare did.
Being a company that advertises DDoS mitigation and then drops a customer, because they get attacked a lot, is a cop out.
Being a company that will argue that they are not responsible for what their customers post legally, while by contrast dropping customers based on their content is pretty much censorship.
Don't think for a minute that dropping Daily Stormer wasn't just about public opinion and turning bad PR into good PR.
Our team has been thorough and have had thoughtful discussions for years about what the right policy was on censoring. Like a lot of people, we’ve felt angry at these hateful people for a long time but we have followed the law and remained content neutral as a network. We could not remain neutral after these claims of secret support by Cloudflare.
Dropping them for that is 100% justified in my book.
The CEO doesn't seem to agree with you on this being 100% justified:
> Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision. It was different than what I’d talked talked with our senior team about yesterday. I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet. … It was a decision I could make because I’m the CEO of a major Internet infrastructure company.
(I was unable to source the claims that the Daily Stormer made about Cloudflare supporting them. I seem to remember the Daily Stormer denying they made those claims. It seems pretty important to know the actual catalyst for a major breach in company policy, but it doesn't seem to be reported anywhere I looked).
claims by an anonymous person in their comments
My reason for saying “can be” is that a few friends of mine are members of a fetish website which had to ban certain entirely legal (in the USA) content because all the (USA) payment providers found it too disgusting. (For extra irony, I think the entire premise of the site makes it illegal to view with images switched on in the UK where my friends are, but that presumably hasn’t had any effect on the payment providers or my friends might have mentioned it).
Cloudflare isn’t a monopoly/chokepoint to the extent that actions against domain registries (via registrars) are.
What's more worrying is what happens when the publishers go back to court to complain that Sci-Hub are changing their name to avoid the block, from sci-hub -> sky-hab -> psy-hob -> buy-tub -> fly-tab -> ... At what point does the court just empower the publisher to shut down any site they choose, like a DMCA takedown request?
It's not that big of a problem as you think. even if there's no stipulation that it can only be used to shut down the science paper sharing site operated by Alexandra Elbakyan, it's the intent that matters. using it to shut down [unrelated site] will likely land them in hot waters with the judge.
I'm also not clear on the specific mechanics behind the injunction. Let's say that Ebalkyan does create sci-hub-sans-acs.org and claims all the copyrighted works are removed, can they still block it preemptively? Does Ebalkyan have to submit evidence that she's removed the copyrighted works? Can they demand action against anyone else that "seems" to be sci-hub? Is there a level of evidence they must meet? It kinda sucks to be ignorant of a legal system which can have so much impact in your life...
What position would it put journals in if they were reduced to providing vetting for grant committees? If instead of being arbiters of scientific validity, which they are poorer at than open publishing, they simply become some sort of thing similar to ratings agencies that provide parents with an unreliable best-effort guide to content acceptability without needing to actually learn about the thing in detail?
For NIH, there are two levels of SME- one non gov and one gov.
(Or can IP addresses be seized too? I assume not, or else I'd expect the actual SciHub website to be shut down, not just the DNS names pointing to it.)
Edit: It looks like SciHub is in fact available on certain IP addresses. The following website lists a few of them: https://whereisscihub.now.sh/ - one example is http://18.104.22.168
22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199
But for SciHub, HTTPS is another point of censorship: the CA could simply revoke the certificate, making people believe that the site is insecure.
notable counter-example: https://188.8.131.52/
it doesn't work for internet explorer though.
DNS Name: .cloudflare-dns.com
IP Address: 184.108.40.206
IP Address: 220.127.116.11
DNS Name: cloudflare-dns.com
IP Address: 2606:4700:4700::1111
IP Address: 2606:4700:4700::1001
Good luck to ACS getting a .onion address seized... WHatever their legal injunction says.
Further, it can be integrated well within the current DNS infrastructure - granted, without the censorship/security protections offered by the natively decentralized nature of running a full node yourself. There's absolutely no reason a DNS server couldn't maintain a list of entries for .bit domains.
- You need to install a special browser
- The connection is going to be pretty slow
- Poor security due to no https; an exit node could inject bad stuff into downloaded PDFs
- Unreliability, as of right now sci-hub.tw is fine for me, but the .onion won't load at all. I've found other sites with both .onion and normal URLs to be similarly less reliable.
no, only tor
> - The connection is going to be pretty slow
> - Poor security due to no https; an exit node could inject bad stuff into downloaded PDFs
there is no exit node for hidden services, the domain name is the public key, you get end-to-end crypto without https
> - Unreliability, as of right now sci-hub.tw is fine for me, but the .onion won't load at all. I've found other sites with both .onion and normal URLs to be similarly less reliable.
well, that depends ...
However the CA/B rules that allow certificates for .onion at all (it's not an Internet TLD and private names were outlawed years ago for good reason) require the certs to be validated to a named organisation. So if you aren't legal or insist on real anonymity then that's not going to work for you.
Look at https://blog.torproject.org/tors-fall-harvest-next-generatio... .
There was a conference also where they were explaining the new crypto but I can't find it right now.
EDIT: It was at defcon 25, here is the VOD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di7qAVidy1Y
Could you explain what you mean by that?
The Tor hidden services actually being used (as evidenced by the .onion address given above being relatively short) are what's called "v2" hidden services. You will see other people saying, oh, this is all fixed, Tor hidden services are much safer now. And maybe v3 really is better, although their documentation sure has a lot of TODO / FIXME lines for a "finished" protocol version. But that doesn't matter so long as in reality it's v2 hidden services people are using, so that's the subject of my critique.
The first scary thing is a v2 hidden service's uniqueness depends upon 80-bits from a SHA-1 hash. Technically although SHA-1 is broken that's not a hole in this part on its own, but for comparison HTTPS is using SHA-256. 80-bits is also worryingly small. I clearly can't guess my way to an 80-bit second pre-image using what I know today, but if a further crumbling of SHA-1 gives me a boost maybe it's possible.
Next is the public key crypto used, this is 1024-bit RSA. I think you might technically be allowed to still do this in HTTPS, but I haven't seen it for years, everybody is either 2048 or 4096 bits, or they've moved to an elliptic curve that's stronger.
Now, I should be clear all this seemed pretty good when Tor was invented, and the new stuff in Hidden Services v3 is pretty good today. But cryptographic recommendations don't age very well, and Tor sat on this problem for far too long, if the above .onion name was a v3 name and I was seeing widespread reliance on v3 hidden services I'd have shut up.
Do you have some sort of citation or source on that? I would love to read about a reputable cryptographer taking apart Tor's network security (if only so we can improve it).
That is what I'd call running your own DNS :)
Why is ISNIC different?
They have no legal obligation to, so it's up to their discretion.
But that would probably not end well for me. Or anyone associated with that domain.
(There’s also a river of that name in England, which caused some recent problems for those nearby).
Also..... at some point we could just publish a list of IP's if we care enough, right? Although that's less than ideal.
This is a topic that I want to see if transhumanists have researched as this becomes really important post-singularity.
There are some, like Iceland, which run their own registrar and aren't connected to the US. Which means they don't care what the US says until an Icelandic court agrees.
What limits are there to the gag order? How much rights do you have left to speak of sci-hub online? Do you have any?
How should I keep my links working? Should I link to stable IP addresses? Mirror papers to IPFS? Link to the onion address, via a public tor gateway? Host my own DNS server to point at sci-hub?
Bonus points for keeping https cert validation working!
Someone posted this on HN a while back.
Speaking of Unpaywall: that's actually the name of a browser extension that can give you legal open access versions of paywalled articles. See https://unpaywall.org/
Build functionality that lets you mass-update all scihub links across your site, and manually update it whenever a domain goes down
Or link to .onion versions (and a link to TOR)
Or stop linking
Doing research on you own medical condition is not something you may want to keep private? Or are you talking about something else and I'm misreading your post?
This is one of the best arguments for true open access. Rare disease research is often more likely to be hidden behind a paywall because of the limited number of niche journals that will publish this research.
I don't really want to switch to somebody's random DNS servers to use SciHub, but dragging a bookmarklet to your browser toolbar is pretty easy.
Edit: Oh, amd why couldn't I just pin the top node of the dag recursively? Wouldn't that basically do what you want?
I tried that and it didn't help :/ I think there's a bug in fetching content, because I was requesting the files from a node connected directly to mine (which I knew had the files) but still could not retrieve them. Hopefully 0.4.14 will work a bit better.
Wouldn't pinning the top node of the DAG pin everything? How would you restrict it to X GB?
Storj, as I understand it, is an attempt at decentralized storage of large amounts of data. I'm curious if it could be used to host papers in a way that's difficult or impossible to censor?
Thus, it would be better (if it could be afforded --- see some of the other comments on cost estimates) to continue there, or perhaps one of the other altcoins that's already in use for monetary purposes.
Basically people would be hosting random-looking blocks of data, but users could be instructed to XOR two carefully chosen blocks together, producing a meaningful file.
Because of the nature of XOR, if Alice sees that Bob is hosting a file F, she could generate and host a file G, such that F XOR G produces a banned file, providing plausible deniability for Bob (as long as he can point to a file H such that F XOR H produces an innocent file).
For a popular blockchain like teh bitcoin, it would cost quite a lot to introduce much data.
That’s a pretty awesome Kickstarter project.
Obviously, copyright on publicly funded research isn’t the same priority as civil rights in the US, but hopefully we learned enough so we don’t make more martyrs for just causes.
The “dumb law is illegal, therefore let’s follow it anyway” is not something I agree with by default. There are quite a few laws that need fixing.
If other citizens were to also adopt that policy, we'd literally have anarchy.
As for picking and choosing what laws one recognizes as legitimated, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr put it better than I can:
> One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."
> If other citizens were to also adopt that policy, we'd literally have anarchy.
My first response to this is that we already follow this policy. Have you ever exceeded the speed limit? Have you ever consumed an illegal substance? Have you ever fixed something in your home that requires a permit without obtaining one? The simple fact of the matter is that everyone violates the law, every day, consciously or not.
My second response is to question whether or not this form of anarchy, where each individual is responsible for their own actions and communities are responsible for establishing and enforces their own standards of behavior through social pressure, is a bad thing at all. I don't believe it is.
It is only antidemocratic if you have democracy. Can you really put a question "should the scientific research be published for free" to a popular vote in your country?
Can you cite which laws in the defendant's jurisdiction you base this assessment on?