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ResearchGate Copyright Infringement Ruling

A German court ruled that ResearchGate infringed the copyright of two academic publishers by hosting papers they published on its website, Nature News reports.

Elsevier and the American Chemical Society sued ResearchGate, a social networking site for academics, for making copyrighted material available on its site, according to Nature News. It adds that ResearchGate countered that it was not responsible for the papers uploaded by users.

However, the Munich court ruled that ResearchGate cannot host the papers and is responsible for what users upload, Nature News says.

"We welcome the court's decision confirming that it is illegal for ResearchGate to make content available on its site without permission from publishers, which it does for its own commercial gain," James Milne, chair of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing and president of ACS Publications, says in a statement.

But Nature News notes that the court also declined the publishers' request for damages. The University of Minnesota's Nancy Sims adds there that both sides "got some pieces that were very favorable to them and some pieces that were less favorable to their claims."

Both ResearchGate and the publishers say they plan to appeal aspects of the decision.

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