The Swedish ISP Bahnhof has a strong historic commitment to free speech, so when the notoriously corrupt science publishing giant Elsevier (previously) sought to force the ISP to censor connections to the open access site Sci-Hub (previously), the ISP went to court to resist the order.
Unfortunately for Swedes and for science, the Swedish Patent and Market Court (which never met a copyright overreach it didn't love) upheld the order, and Bahnhof, a small ISP with limited resources, decided not to appeal (a bigger, richer ISP had just lost a similar appeal).
Instead, Bahnhof now blocks attempts to visit Sci-Hub domains, and Elsevier.com, redirecting attempts to visit Elsevier to a page explaining how Elsevier's sleaze and bullying have allowed it to monopolize scientific publishing, paywalling publicly funded science that is selected, reviewed and edited by volunteers who mostly work for publicly funded institutions.
To as icing on this revenge-flavored cake, Bahnhof also detects attempts to visit its own site from the Patent and Market Court and redirects them to a page explaining that since the Patent and Market Court believes that parts of the web should be blocked, Bahnhof is blocking the court's access to its part of the web.
This is the worst possible outcome for Bahnhof. TorrentFreak spoke to CEO Jon Karlung who describes it as a “horrifying” decision that “goes against the soul of the Internet.”
The result, starting today, is that sci-hub.tw, sci-hub.mu, sci-hub.se, libgen.io, and several other domains are being blocked by the ISP. But Bahnhof wouldn’t be Bahnhof if it went down without a fight.
The company has no faith in an expensive appeal, which another ISP lost last year in a similar blocking case. However, it does have another ace up its sleeve. Now that they are blocking anyway, they can easily an extra domain name to make a point.
So, in addition, Bahnhof has gone ahead and banned its visitors from accessing the official Elsevier.com website as well. Elsevier wanted a site blockade – it now has one.
Swedish ISP Protests ‘Site Blocking’ by Blocking Rightsholders Website Too [Ernesto/Torrentfreak]