(2 Feb 2022) ResearchGate has made its statement over its case with Elsevier and ACS in Germany:
“In a judgment Monday, the Regional Court of Munich I dismissed the damages claims filed by the scientific publishers Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) against ResearchGate in 2017. Remarkably, the court found, based on numerous expert opinions, that the publishers’ standard copyright licensing agreements disclosed in the suit–typically signed by only one of multiple authors–were insufficient to demonstrate their acquisition of rights. In the words of the court, this “should not be difficult for a publisher, whose business basis is the legal acquisition of rights of use of the authors published by it”.* This ruling has potentially far-reaching implications for the plaintiffs’ ability to assert their copyright ownership in the future.
In questioning the plaintiffs’ licensing practices, the court said:
[The] plaintiffs were not able to comprehensively present the granting of rights in even one of the fifty cases in dispute. Overall, the Board has the impression that the plaintiffs, by invoking various indications of their legal position, are primarily trying to cover up the insufficient documentation of the acquisition of rights, which sometimes makes it impossible for them to present the necessary factual circumstances for the asserted legal position.**
The ruling also obliged ResearchGate to refrain from displaying the 50 articles, abstracts and previews identified in the suit…”
View the statement in full here.