I've read something like this several times in the last few weeks, and I feel it's a great time to make use of our endless contact and information through the internet and work together:
Illustrator Luc Latulippe and the folks at the Little Chimp Society discovered a few weeks ago that a Chinese publisher stole content off the LCS website, namely interviews with artists including Latulippe and the artwork included, and published it translated in book format selling for $100. No kidding… a full book of “scraped” content complete with their illustrations. You can read the story about it here and here.
Of course there is little legal recourse here. I doubt China, that bastion of the upholding of human rights, is even part of the Berne convention of international copyright law… but even if they are this publisher used fake contact info and a fake ISBN, so finding them at all is going to be tough, let alone getting them into a court somewhere. Basically there are some places on the planet where you can do nothing about someone stealing your work… I’ve run across my artwork produced on postage stamps from South American and former USSR republics before and have basically no legal recourse.
Contacting the distributors and sellers of the book also yielded no results, as they refused to stop selling it.
Well, Latulippe decided not to take this lying down, so he called for a grass roots “spread the word” campaign to let people know what this was about and hopefully damage the reputations of the parties involved or at least cause a few less sales for them. The good news is that it has yielded some results. At least one of the resellers, Index Books, has agreed to stop selling it and has sent the remaining copies back to the distributor. Hopefully more of such action will follow.
So, here is [my] contribution to the cause in the form of links to increase their search engine ranking. Good luck guys, and keep fighting the good fight.