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Russia: Meet the 'Robin Hood of Science' - Sci-Hub's Alexandra Elbakyan03:08

Russia: Meet the 'Robin Hood of Science' - Sci-Hub's Alexandra Elbakyan

Russian Federation, undisclosed
February 20, 2016 at 20:30 GMT +00:00 · Published

Researcher Alexandra Elbakyan who has earned the name the 'Robin Hood of Science' spoke out at an undisclosed location, Saturday, explaining why she has broken copyright and piracy laws to make some 49 million scientific articles available for free on her 'Sci-Hub' website.

Elbakyan, who hails from Kazakhstan, explained that she struggled to access material relevant to her bachelor's degree because the subject matter was "not very popular." She also discovered that academic papers were very expensive to purchase or read.

As a response, she wrote a script to automate the process of extracting the articles from closed sources. Elbakyan does not agree with her opponents on the topic of piracy. They say that "it is necessary to restrict the access to information in order to cover the expenses," according to the Robin Hood of Science. She believes her site proves the critics wrong. "We do not restrict access to anyone, but we get donations," she explained.

Elbakyan also spoke of a US court that has attempted to confiscate the site's domain name and has taken out an injunction in a bid to ban her work. "We, of course, will not comply with the decision of the American court and we are continuing to work," she added defiantly.

Elbakyan maintains that she will fight until all scientific literature, including books and articles, are freely available on the site, despite the legal obstacles this would entail.

Russia: Meet the 'Robin Hood of Science' - Sci-Hub's Alexandra Elbakyan03:08
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Researcher Alexandra Elbakyan who has earned the name the 'Robin Hood of Science' spoke out at an undisclosed location, Saturday, explaining why she has broken copyright and piracy laws to make some 49 million scientific articles available for free on her 'Sci-Hub' website.

Elbakyan, who hails from Kazakhstan, explained that she struggled to access material relevant to her bachelor's degree because the subject matter was "not very popular." She also discovered that academic papers were very expensive to purchase or read.

As a response, she wrote a script to automate the process of extracting the articles from closed sources. Elbakyan does not agree with her opponents on the topic of piracy. They say that "it is necessary to restrict the access to information in order to cover the expenses," according to the Robin Hood of Science. She believes her site proves the critics wrong. "We do not restrict access to anyone, but we get donations," she explained.

Elbakyan also spoke of a US court that has attempted to confiscate the site's domain name and has taken out an injunction in a bid to ban her work. "We, of course, will not comply with the decision of the American court and we are continuing to work," she added defiantly.

Elbakyan maintains that she will fight until all scientific literature, including books and articles, are freely available on the site, despite the legal obstacles this would entail.

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