View Full Version : International copyright infringement

21-Aug-2004, 19:22
Hi All, I got the shock of my life yesterday. I was is a new Tibetan import shop with a friend and looking through the cd rack and was happy to see my meditation CD on the rack for sale. But upon closer inspection.... I was instantly appalled to see that while it indeed appeared to be the CD I released with all my designwork and photos...and my mug on the inside cover...as well as my music...it was not the the same product I released to the public. It was totally copied and badly done. Seems it has been pirated/stolen by a nepharious Nepalise company and released over there and is finding its way over here to the US retailers only 30 miles away from my home in CT. I just can't believe it! This is a relatively small release (a few thousand copies) but probably the best of it's kind (Tibetan singing bowls) and I am just nauseous over this. My question is this...does anyone know what the legal responsibilities/liabilities of the retail store are (for selling unauthorized pirated cd's)or the overseas distributors/robbers of artistic works are?

David A. Goldfarb
21-Aug-2004, 20:06
Copyright piracy of books, CDs and videos has been a problem on an industrial scale for some years in mainland China and the region more generally and has been a subject of international trade negotiations. Given that major corporations haven't made much of a dent in this area, I wouldn't be too optimistic.

21-Aug-2004, 20:13
Shocking, indeed, to find a rip-off has made it all the way to your hometown. You have my deepest sympathy. If it were me, I would kindly notify the shop owner and hope he pulls it off the shelves.

FWIW, a friend of mine just returned from China where he was given a DVD of an American movie that hasn't even been released yet. Yes, I am disappointed he didn't leave it there.

Ralph Barker
21-Aug-2004, 21:44
I would echo both the comments and sympathies voiced by others. In addition, however, I'd try to enlist the assistance of the shopowner to find out as much as you can - particularly the distributer from which he/she bought the product. Then, either seek the advice of your attorney, or try to contact the appropriate governmental agency directly. I think Treasury handles imports, but I might be wrong on that. A bit of Web skulking should turn up the right point of contact.

Good luck with the effort. Who would have guessed that someone would have the balls to steal your singing bowls.

Bruce Watson
22-Aug-2004, 08:10
Um... talk to an IP lawyer?

Darin Cozine
22-Aug-2004, 11:38
Perhaps you should make your CD available at amazon..

if anyone who hears a pirated copy goes online to buy it.. all the better.

if there is no such thing as bad publicity... perhaps piracy is included.

Tim Curry
23-Aug-2004, 06:36
Ralph made an excellent suggestion. The U.S. government should be able to help you on this one, albeit slowly. Get a copy of the CD and check with Customs or Treasury about international copyright problems. There have been cases where these things are grabbed upon import by the customs service, but the distributor is the weak link here. If you can nail the distributor, they will have to pull every one off the shelf. Put the ball in their court and keep it there. Assuming you had an initial copyright issued by the Library of Congress, the U.S. sales are vulnerable to attack in the courts here. A copyright attorney will most likely work on a contingency fee basis (no money up front), but ask around to find a decent one who won't screw you.

China has a whole industry of piracy DVD's, CD's and many other goods. Don't expect any cooperation on the Chinese end, it will have to come from this side of the pond.