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In this question (check edit history) you can clearly see the author hosting a IEEE journal paper on a document hosting site (the IEEE links are also provided). Normally, the document should not be able to be accessed by all (only people with IEEE membership). I am all for free knowledge and very much against monetization of research papers. But are we breaking any laws here by allowing this question or is it upto the OP only?

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  • $\begingroup$ The author had also provided links to other websites (e.g. Research Gate) where you can request the paper. However, I removed those links, as I don't see the need to provide multiple links to the same paper and they didn't provide an immediate visualisation of the paper. How do you know that the provided pdf cannot be accessed by non-IEEE members? Furthermore, the links to the papers were requested by one of our users (in a comment) and not initially provided by the asker. $\endgroup$
    – nbro Mod
    Jun 1 '19 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ @nbro because I clicked the link? $\endgroup$
    – user9947
    Jun 1 '19 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ Any article can be requested to the authors and accessed outside IEEE, as far as it is known I got the article from the authors. I believe IEEE does not have the rights over the papers, the authors do. $\endgroup$ Jun 1 '19 at 12:07
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    $\begingroup$ @MiguelSaraiva but I think they do have the rights whether you can host a paper on a public site. $\endgroup$
    – user9947
    Jun 1 '19 at 12:09
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To be safe, I would remove the link / replace it with the official (non-PDF) link.

I don't know what IEEE's policy was back in 2008 (which is when this particular paper was published), but I am familiar with their policy in more recent years (since I've got some recent IEEE papers myself). Basically, all copyright is transferred to IEEE, but in return IEEE gives a few rights/privileges back to the authors.

This boils down to that the authors of the paper are also allowed to put certain versions of their paper (not the final published version as it appears in journal/proceedings) on their own personal homepage, or on something like arXiv (I'm not sure if arXiv was always allowed, but it is allowed recently). They do not permit publishing just anywhere though, and also certainly don't permit people who are not the original authors to distribute it wherever they like.

If the authors of this paper had published the pdf on their own homepages for example, we could've easily linked to that... but that does not appear to be the case here as far as I can tell. So, somewhere along the line it looks like copyright is being violated. I don't think the violation is necessarily on this site (since we just have a link to a different place, and the distribution over there on that site is the violation)... but probably better to remove it anyway.

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