27 June 2017Americas

American Chemical Society takes on counterfeiters

American Chemical Society (ACS), a scientific society, has taken on nearly 100 alleged counterfeiters accused of creating two pirate sites and sharing the society’s scientific articles.

The copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit was filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, on Friday, June 23.

According to the claim, the defendants created and operated two websites which are “nearly identical to ACS’s website in form and content”.

The websites hosted and provided copies of “hundreds of thousands” of copyright-protected scientific articles owned by ACS, and replicated ACS’s registered trademarks.

One of the trademarks allegedly copied on the infringing sites is ‘ACS chemistry for life’, registered at the US Copyright Office.

ACS claimed that the defendants said on social media that the purpose of the allegedly infringing website is to provide “free access to scientific literature”.

The society claimed that the defendants said: “The spread of the literature on the internet is artificially limited to copyright laws designed to protect ‘IP’.

“We are in favour of the abolition of property … Now the project library at sci-hub.cc … hosts more than 58 million peer-reviewed scientific articles for free download”.

ACS is seeking injunctive relief, an order that the domain registries for the domains place the websites on hold, damages and attorneys’ fees.

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