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Canadian cyber pirates target Kochi-based web site

By Our Special Correspondent

KOCHI, JUNE 13. The culprit behind the allegedly illegal Web sites which provided a link to a popular English fluency building course pioneered by a Kochi entrepreneur, is suspected to be based in Canada.

The entrepreneur, Kev Nair of the Kochi-based Adult Faculties Council, said here today that the Russian internet service provider, Yandex, had closed two illegal web sites that had been engaged in the commercial piracy of 20 English self-study books two weeks back.

Investigations carried out by the entrepreneur had revealed that someone from Canada had submitted one of the two illegal web sites, http://englishwell.narod.ru, to the Charles Sturt University and had asked for a link to be established from the University's web site, www.csu.edu.au, to the illegal web site. Based on this submission, the University had established a link from under the section "Fluent English" on the web page, http://www.csu.edu.au/education/canada/html, (with the title "The World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Education by country - Canada") to the `illegal' Web site.

On June 3, Prof. Kev Nair had complained to the Charles Sturt University reporting the facts and asking the University to remove the link on the ground that the web site, http://englishwell.narod.ru, infringed the copyrights in Prof. Nair's books and the original web site, www.fluentzy.com of the Adult Faculties Council, and was engaged in the commercial piracy of intellectual property.

In the meantime, the ISP had closed down this illegal Web site. Once the ISP took this action, the `Record of Details' giving the name, country and other site-submission details "mysteriously disappeared" from the Charles Sturt University's web site. In place of the Record of Details, what appeared on June 3 was a plain statement "No Records". Immediately thereafter, even the display of that plain statement disappeared, and now there is nothing on the Charles Sturt University's web site to show that it had given a link to the illegal web site at all. The University's Faculty of Education has informed the University's Copyright Coordinator that they have no knowledge of the link.

Prof. Nair maintained that if a search is done by anybody on the Internet with the word "englishwell" using the search engine, Altavista, even today, the search result would reveal the URLs www.csu.edu.au/education/canada.html and www.csu.edu.au/education/method.html of the Web pages on the Charles Sturt University's web site which contained the link to the "illegal" web site.

The Charles Sturt University's Copyright Coordinator had informed Prof. Kev Nair that the University was following up the matter through their Web team. He has also taken up the matter personally with the Vice-Chancellor of the Charles Sturt University.

This is learnt to be the first time that the works of an Indian author writing in English have been targeted by cyber pirates.

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