What exactly was illegal in downloading articles from PACER and JSTOR? The nature of these "misdemeanours" is widely misunderstood, so we will have a discussion on exactly what is illegal or not.

If you see a gross misunderstanding on a public forum, please leave a comment linking to it and add your commentary. We will archive the discussion from the hacknight and post it here.


  • Aanjhan Ranganathan · Tue, Jan 15

    I have been trying to get down to this actually. I saw http://aaronsw.archiveteam.org/ which liberates articles that were already in public domain. Clearly, this isnt an issue for JSTOR as the articles are already in public domain as they have stated in http://about.jstor.org/10things (point 10) A summary of the hacknight discussions will be very helpful.

    • pigeon violet Aanjhan Ranganathan · Wed, Jan 16

      JSTOR made public subscription post Aaron incident as per the sept 7, 2011 press release. Secondly ( considering pre - sept 7th ) it's a nonsense to think public unaffiliated with any institutions aren't contributing in any form creatively and there fore access is restricted! That's where Aaron's point get valid!

      • Aanjhan Ranganathan pigeon violet · Wed, Jan 16

        " it's a nonsense to think public unaffiliated with any institutions aren't contributing in any form creatively and there fore access is restricted! That's where Aaron's point get valid!"

        I don't get this. Speaking for myself, all my research work is available for download from my official page for individual studies (inspite of publishing at ACM / IEEE conferences). May be its a different story in other field of research. Well, I digress. The point was "whats in it to unlock if a research work / article is already in public domain". Did JSTOR actually witheld rights for such articles?

  • Aanjhan Ranganathan · Tue, Jan 15

    Also is it legally wrong to collect information using RTI and then publicly archive them (ofcourse after protecting the privacy of persons involved and redacting if necessary)?

    • Kiran Jonnalagadda Aanjhan Ranganathan · Tue, Jan 15

      Unlike the US, Indian copyright law has a concept similar to the UK's crown copyright. Anything produced by the government is copyrighted by the government and it is therefore a violation of copyright to distribute an RTI response.

      In practice, however, copyright in India is mostly an alien concept used to protect books and movies. You'll almost never see government copyright enforced. Pranesh Prakash at CIS can speak more authoritatively about this.

      • Aanjhan Ranganathan Kiran Jonnalagadda · Wed, Jan 16

        I saw Pranesh's reply. Still a bit unclear.

      • Kiran Jonnalagadda Kiran Jonnalagadda · Tue, Jan 15

        PS: Sorry about the messed up formatting in the comments. We're working on a new stylesheet for this site, to be pushed out in a couple of days.

      • svaksha Kiran Jonnalagadda · Thu, Jan 17

        Afaik, in the US, you could waive away your copyright, but under Indian laws I cannot do that. IIRC, if I compose songs or write a bunch of literature and want to waive away my copyright (even anonymously with a nym), I cant. I'd love to hear what Pranesh has to say about the current status of the law in India. PS: fwiw, this is in reply to Kiran's comment. The formatting is still b0rked?

        • Kiran Jonnalagadda svaksha · Fri, Jan 18

          Haven't gotten around to fixing comments yet. Praseetha is currently working on the overall site theme. We'll post that today and then she'll do comment formatting.

  • Kiran Jonnalagadda · Sun, Jan 20

    Here are videos from the event: http://hasgeek.tv/hasgeek/aaronsw-hacknight

  • Craig Burr · Mon, Jan 28

    Guys just sharing, I've found this interesting! Check it out! http://www.zero-security.org it might have your answers

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