I work for a company in the medical sector that, among other things, conducts literature searches and submits them to regulators for approval prior to product launch. The company currently pays for most articles and I was wondering:
- If the authors are approached by employees and in turn send over free copies of their paper, can the company get in legal trouble if it uses the free copy for commercial purposes?
- Does it make a difference if the author need not be directly approached but freely shares their paper on their own website or in sites like ResearchGate?
EDIT: I should point out that I will definitely not take advice here and apply it without legal consult - my objective with asking this question is merely to rule in the plausibility of such an approach to acquiring access to scientific literature based on other researchers' shared experiences.