The academic publishing industry in general, and Elsevier specifically, are a curse upon academia and human progress in general. But they only have power if we give it to them. There is still hope that one of these days, young academics will choose to simply not publish there anymore, and when the old guard dies off so will interest in the old information silos.
Of course, an intermediate horror scenario will then come true if the IP-holding ghoulish husk of Elsevier is snapped up by an IP troll. However, that could finally push us over the edge to rethink intellectual property timeframes.
The Case Against Closed-Source Academia
Closed-source academic publishing restricts access to important research and ideas, artificially limiting the impact of scientific progress. This is especially grating in fields such as medicine, where life-saving treatments may be discovered and patented but kept out of reach of those who need it the most.
Open-source academic publishing allows for the free dissemination of ideas, giving more people access to important discoveries. Additionally, open-source publishing encourages collaboration and allows for peer review, ensuring that research is held to a higher standard of quality. Finally, open-source publishing is more cost-effective, as there is no cost to access the research, which can help to reduce the cost of doing research in the first place.