Illegal Commerce Site
I ran into an issue that has had me confused as to whether there are any real laws in the WWW. The company I currently work for sales documents from a publisher. We have the exclusive rights to sell these documents. The problem arose when a site was created selling our documents at less than half the price. We tried running the WHOIS search but not information is given. I got the name of the company where the domain is registered and their IP address. I wrote to the company where they are registered and was told that since the files are not hosted on their servers they are not responsible. I ran the WHOIS search again and saw that their IP has changed. It seems like every couple of days they change their IPs. I am clueless as to how to get information on the owner of the site or who to at least shutdown the website. The VP talked with our company's lawyer but it is useless without knowing who the owner of the site is. The FBI and IC3 are pretty much a joke when it comes to copyright infringements. Please let me know what idea you think we can try.
depends on a few things.
Are your documents properly copyrighted and have the applicable distribution rights attached to each?
Do you have a full contract stating you are infact the only distributor of the documents?
Have you gone to the company who gave you the sole rights and notified them?
If you have done the above, then take it to the appropriate law enforcement agencies of your state/district etc and go from there.
Long shot, but they obviously got the documents from somewhere in the first place, is it possible they brought them from you in the first place, and thus if you looked at your sales for the last few months, there could be one or two that stand out as unusual (be they the country they are from or something like that) that might give you a lead of some sort??
Of course there's every possibility they were obtained illigally in the first place, in which case you'll not have any hope of tracking them that way, but just a thought. :)
Suppose it depends on the sorts of documents you're talking about and how popular and easy to get hold of they are anyway, and what sort of volume of sale's you're talking as well. - could at least be worth a look.
Depends on how much money they want to spend but two routes
The easier route is....
Send a dmca notice to hosting company..
How to Send a DMCA Takedown Notice | Black Star Rising
The other route is lawyer subpoenas the hosting company for contact details and then lawyer takes owner of domain etc to court.
Disclaimer I not a lawyer..
Arguably it's a matter for the publisher to persue - although it's your company's revenue which is being hurt, it's their copyright which is being infringed, so they who have the legal recourse.
Maybe its worth looking into pursuing who is hosting their DNS records for the site? - If they are changing who hosts the actual files regularly, the chance are they are just changing the ip that their domain name points to but their DNS host should be the same?
How about reducing your own prices? ;)