library genesis in USDC 2015


15-cv-04282-RWS Document 1 Filed 06/03/15 Page 1 of 16

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Index No. 15-cv-4282 (RWS)
COMPLAINT

ELSEVIER INC., ELSEVIER B.V., ELSEVIER LTD.
Plaintiffs,

v.

SCI-HUB d/b/a WWW.SCI-HUB.ORG, THE LIBRARY GENESIS PROJECT d/b/a LIBGEN.ORG, ALEXANDRA ELBAKYAN, JOHN DOES 1-99,
Defendants.

Plaintiffs Elsevier Inc, Elsevier B.V., and Elsevier Ltd. (collectively “Elsevier”),
by their attorneys DeVore & DeMarco LLP, for their complaint against www.scihub.org,
w


b Website is assigned the IP address 31.184.194.81. This IP address is part of a range of IP addresses assigned to Petersburg Internet Network Ltd., a webhosting company located in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

6. Upon information and belief, Defendant Library Genesis Project is an organization which operates an online repository of copyrighted materials accessible through the website located at the URL “libgen.org” as well as a number of other “mirror” websites
(collectively the “Libgen Domains”). The


gement
27.

Upon information and belief, Defendants are reproducing and distributing

unauthorized copies of Elsevier’s copyrighted materials, unlawfully obtained from
ScienceDirect, through Sci-Hub and through various websites affiliated with the Library Genesis
Project. Specifically, Defendants utilize their websites located at sci-hub.org and at the Libgen
Domains to operate an international network of piracy and copyright infringement by
circumventing legal and authorized means of access to the ScienceDir




When a user performs a keyword search on Sci-Hub, the website returns a proxied

version of search results from the Google Scholar search database. 1 When a user selects one of
the search results, if the requested content is not available from the Library Genesis Project, SciHub unlawfully retrieves the content from ScienceDirect using the access previously obtained.
Sci-Hub then provides a copy of that article to the requesting user, typically in PDF format. If,
however, the requested content can be found in the Library Genesis Project repository, upon

1

Google Scholar provides its users the capability to search for scholarly literature, but does not provide the
full text of copyrighted scientific journal articles accessible through paid subscription services such as
Scie


such articles along with a
link to the platform through which the article may be purchased or accessed by a subscriber.

8

Case 1:15-cv-04282-RWS Document 1 Filed 06/03/15 Page 9 of 16

information and belief, Sci-Hub obtains the content from the Library Genesis Project repository
and provides that content to the user.
32.

When a user searches on Sci-Hub for an article available on ScienceDirect using a

journal or article identifier, the user is redirected to a proxied version of the ScienceDirect page
whe


f, SciHub facilitates this infringing conduct by using unlawfully-obtained access credentials to
university proxy servers to establish remote access to ScienceDirect through those proxy servers.
If, however, the requested content can be found in the Library Genesis Project repository, upon
information and belief, Sci-Hub obtains the content from it and provides it to the user.
33.

Upon information and belief, Sci-Hub engages in no other activity other than the

illegal reproduction and distribution of digital


b website
to earn revenue from the piracy of copyrighted materials from ScienceDirect. Sci-Hub has at
various times accepted funds through a variety of payment processors, including PayPal,
Yandex, WebMoney, QiQi, and Bitcoin.
Sci-Hub’s Use of the Library Genesis Project as a Repository for Unlawfully-Obtained
Scientific Journal Articles and Books
35.

Upon information and belief, when Sci-Hub pirates and downloads an article from

ScienceDirect in response to a user request, in addition to providing a copy of that article to that
user, Sci-Hub also provides a duplicate copy to the Library Genesis Project, which stores the
9

Case 1:15-cv-04282-RWS Document 1 Filed 06/03/15 Page 10 of 16

article in a database accessible through the Internet. Upon information and belief, the Library
Genesis Project is designed to be a permanent repository of this and other illegally obtained
content.
36.

Upon information and belief, in the event that a Sci-Hub user requests an article

which has already been provided to the Library Genesis Project, Sci-Hub may provide that user
access to a copy provided by the Library Genesis Project rather than re-download an additional
copy of the article from ScienceDirect. As a result, Defendants Sci-Hub and Library Genesis
Project act in concert to engage in a scheme designed to facilitate the unauthorized access to and
wholesale distribution of Elsevier’s copyrighted works legitimately available on the
ScienceDirect platform.
The Library Genesis Project’s Unlawful Distribution of Plaintiff’s Copyrighted Works
37.

Access to the Library Genesis Project’s repository is facilitated by the website

“libgen.org,” which provides its users the ability to search, download content from, and upload
content to, the repository. The main page of libgen.org allows its users to perform searches in


“Scientific articles.” In addition to
searching by keyword, users may also search for specific content by various other fields,
including title, author, periodical, publisher, or ISBN or DOI number.
38.

The libgen.org website indicates that the Library Genesis Project repository

contains approximately 1 million “Sci-Tech” documents and 40 million scientific articles. Upon
information and belief, the large majority of these works is subject to copyright protection and is
being distributed through the Library Genesis Project without the permission of the applicable
rights-holder. Upon information and belief, the Library Genesis Project serves primarily, if not

10

Case 1:15-cv-04282-RWS Document 1 Filed 06/03/15 Page 11 of 16

exclusively, as a scheme to violate the intellectual property rights of the owners of millions of
copyrighted works.
39.

Upon information and belief, Elsevier owns the copyrights in a substantial

number of copyrighted materials made available for distribution through the Library Genesis
Project. Elsevier has not authorized the Library Genesis Project or any of the Defendants to
copy, display, or distribute through any of the complained of websites any of the content stored
on ScienceDirect to which it holds the copyright. Among the works infringed by the Library
Genesis Project are the


ysiology,” and the article “The
Varus Ankle and Instability” (published in Elsevier’s journal “Foot and Ankle Clinics of North
America”), each of which is protected by Elsevier’s federally-registered copyrights.
40.

In addition to the Library Genesis Project website accessible at libgen.org, users

may access the Library Genesis Project repository through a number of “mirror” sites accessible
through other URLs. These mirror sites are similar, if not identical, in functionality to
libgen.org. Specifically, the mirror sites allow their users to search and download materials from
the Library Genesis Project repository.
FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(Direct Infringement of Copyright)
41.

Elsevier incorporates by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs 1-40

42.

Elsevier’s copyright rights and exclusive distribution rights to the works avai

 

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