Academic articles aren’t worthless, they’re being sold by large publishers for $35–50 a pop. The problem is not that people have no need or interest in the work. The problem is that it’s behind a massive paywall and that the content creators don’t receive any of the money people or universities fork over to get beyond that paywall. Academic work is highly valued by universities — it’s how most professor’s are assessed for tenure or for hiring. Your claim that because the content creators aren’t getting paid for the content (while others are getting paid for it), the content is “useless”, makes no sense. If someone steals a piano out of my house and then sells it for $5000, you can’t turn to me and say the piano must have been lacking in value because I didn’t get any money for it. The problem here is exploitation.