Diego Gomez currently faces up to eight years in prison for doing something thousands of researchers do every day: posting research results online for those who would not otherwise have a way to access them. Support Diego Gomez, Sign our petition.
In many parts of the world, students face barriers to access academic materials, many of these barriers are a result of academic paywalls. For these students, the Internet is a vital tool and resource to access materials that are otherwise unavailable to them. Yet despite the opportunities enabled by the Internet, there are still major risks to accessing and sharing academic resources online.
Diego Gomez, a 26 year old Colombian graduate student, is being sued for doing something thousands of researchers do every day: posting research results online for those who would not otherwise have a way to access them. He wasn’t making a personal profit from sharing the article—he simply intended for other scientists like him to be able to access and cite this scientific research. Despite this, he is facing eight years in prison and the potential for crippling monetary fines.
If open access were the default for scholarly communication, cases like Diego’s would become obsolete.
Academic research would be free to access and available under an open license that would legally enable the kind of sharing that is so crucial for enabling scientific progress. Open Access is the free, immediate online availability to peer-reviewed academic research with full re-use rights and licencing work under a Creative Commons licence removes barriers for scholarly and educational reuse of research. Open access is a movement of students, researchers, and concerned individuals who believe this system is broken and that we can do better. When research is shared widely and freely, we all benefit.
We at the Open Access Button have joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons and the Right to Research Coalition to launch a petition in support of Diego. Sign your support for Diego at the EFF Action Center to express your support for open access as the default for scientific and scholarly publishing, so researchers like Diego don’t risk severe penalties for helping colleagues access the research they need.