New York/Stuttgart - Elsevier and Thieme Publishers are pleased to announce that they have secured a significant victory against an international piracy scheme involving the unlawful copying, sale, and distribution of their scientific journals. In September 2007, the publishers became aware that an unknown person had sent unsolicited e-mail advertisements to academic professors informing them that journals were available for sale on the Internet. Recipients were also Elsevier and Thieme authors, who have been instrumental in gathering the evidence.
To stop this illicit scheme, the publishers engaged the law firm of DeVore & DeMarco LLP. Working in conjunction with U.S. and international investigators, the firm filed an action in federal court on behalf of the publishers and identified the copyright infringer as an entrepreneur living in Vietnam. The investigators discovered that the infringer had orchestrated an elaborate scheme and were selling copyrighted journals around the world, including to individuals in Botswana, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, the United States, and Vietnam. Furthermore, the infringer went to elaborate lengths to conceal his identity, including using generic e-mail addresses, hiring a student in Europe to help process payments, and engaging an employee at the Vietnamese postal service to ensure delivery of the materials without detection.
A complaint was filed with the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communication which promptly formed a task force to handle the matter. The task force engaged the assistance of local law-enforcement and regulatory officials and ultimately concluded to prosecute the action. As a result, within weeks of filing the complaint with the Ministry, Vietnamese authorities identified the infringer, searched his home, and froze his bank account. Upon his apprehension, the infringer confessed to the illicit scheme and agreed to stop all piracy activities and to pay a substantial fine, including repayment of illegal profits garnered from the sales as well as penalties for copyright infringement under Vietnamese law.
The apprehension, confession, and fining of the infringer represents a substantial victory for academic publishers in the on-going fight against global digital copyright infringement and the publishers are grateful for the significant cooperation, support and resources committed by the Vietnamese government to shut down the piracy operation. This victory also reflects the long-term commitment of Elsevier and Thieme Publishers to aggressively identify and stop all forms of piracy wherever and whenever it occurs.
About DeVore & De Marco LLP
DeVore & DeMarco is a boutique law firm specializing in emerging e-commerce law, Internet privacy and security, and the protection of intellectual property. Comprised of former federal prosecutors trained at top New York law firms, DeVore & DeMarco lawyers have investigated and litigated among the most sophisticated intellectual property, new technology, and computer crime cases. Please visit us at www.devoredemarco.com for additional information.
Thieme Publishing Group is a privately held scientific and medical publishing house employing more than 950 people and maintaining offices in seven cities, including New York, Delhi, Stuttgart and three other locations in Germany. Founded in 1886, the Thieme name has become synonymous with high quality and excellence in medical and scientific publishing. Today, Thieme is the market leading publisher of neurosurgical content and holds strong market positions in orthopedics, radiology, anatomy and chemistry, among other specialties. Thieme publishes 137 peer-reviewed journals and over 500 new books annually. The company also has a rapidly growing array of web-based products in medicine and science. Popular online products include Thieme eJournals and the Thieme Electronic Book Library, which are accessible via www.thieme-connect.com, Thieme's platform for electronic products. New anatomy resources include the www.thiemeteachingassistant.com for faculty, and www.winkingskull.com for students. Please visit www.thieme.com for additional information.
Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier