For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Top sites for fakes mainly "located in Western Europe and North America"

The MarkMinotaur ...
The IPKat likes to bring the best and most positive news to his readers, but alas this isn't always possible.  Breaking news is that, following KPMG's revelation last month that London is the world counterfeit capital, a new MarkMonitor study highlights the threat of websites offering pirated digital content and counterfeit goods, which generated more than 53 billion visits from users in 2010.  According to this morning's media release:
"The piracy sites are offering consumers content such as movies, music, games, software and TV shows, whilst the counterfeit sites offer everything from clothing and electronics, to luxury items and pharmaceuticals. The economic impact of this online activity is estimated to cost the UK £10 billion annually with figures reaching £129 billion worldwide.Top

MarkMonitor has identified some of the worst offending rogue sites based on traffic trends [but discreetly it isn't publicly naming them], and found the locations from where they operate - with 70 per cent of the sites located in Western Europe and North America.

Piracy has undoubtedly damaged the music and film industries as a generation of youngsters grow up believing that they don't have to pay for such content [It's strange, isn't it? Everyone expects to pay to watch a film in the cinema ...]. The UK's broadband minister Ed Vaizey has made no secret of the fact he wants ISPs to take more responsibility for the content on their pipes, whether it’s digital content or counterfeit goods".
How was this done? MarkMonitor explains its methodology, in part at any rate:
"MarkMonitor conducted the study during 2010 using a sample of 22 brands from product categories including prescription drugs, luxury goods, music, films and athletic gear. Using its patented technology, the company ran automated scans which identified more than 10,000 suspicious sites that were filtered further to include only dedicated e-commerce and digital content delivery sites which were then ranked by traffic using publicly-available Alexa data. MarkMonitor experts examined the resulting data set to determine whether sites met strict criteria for pirated digital content or sales of counterfeit goods.

Because of the small sample of brands used in the study, it provides a snapshot of the scope of online theft of intellectual property and illicit e-commerce. Given the large number of popular brands, it is reasonable to assume that hundreds of thousands of other rights-holders, brands and content creators are suffering the same damage".
So what are the solutions, short of closing down the internet? MarkMonitor's Traffic Report concludes thus:
"While counterfeiting and piracy in the physical world are serious problems, these issues are growing at a significant rate online and pose unique challenges in remediation, due to the inherent nature of the Internet with its global reach, cost efficiencies, and anonymity. Awareness and educational efforts focused on the distinctive nature of online counterfeiting and piracy are necessary in developing effective response mechanisms to this global, cross-border problem [As a didactic blogger and a passionate believer in the need to educate, the IPKat is delighted that "awareness and educational efforts" are mentioned first. Though they are not an end in themselves, they are a means of achieving the desired end. If consumers can be persuaded to detach themselves from their means of consumption, that's a pretty big first step]. Necessary government policies, corrective legislative measures, law enforcement action and, most importantly, actively-engaged brand owners are all needed to stem this growing tide of illegal Internet activity [Brand owners are actively engaged; but they have wages, taxes and dividends to pay, lots of other things to worry about, and in many sectors they are uncomfortable about sharing information in case they are viewed as collaborating with competitors. If "necessary legislative measures" can make it easier and more cost-effective for brand owners to police and enforce their rights, that would be good too]. The bottom line is that online IP theft ultimately affects the most creative and innovative sectors of the economy, contributing to billions in lost revenue and millions of lost jobs. Protecting IP rights is a critical component of our economic resurgence, and vitally important to our future; stopping the spread of pirated and counterfeit goods is a necessity".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

while a agree on the whole, I disagree with the 'billions in lost revenue'.
the people that purchase/acquire pirated goods would generaly not have bought the real good.
(luxury brands wouldn't sell more if counterfeiting didn't exist or it would be marginal)
Even if they bought some of it (like in the music or gaming or video industry) it wouldn't be even conmparable to the total "downloaded". Consumers (even pirates or free-downloaders) only have so much money to spend.
so if they could not pirate 10-100 CD/DVD they, maybe would have bought 1-2-3, but certainly not 100.
Further, any money "saved" by pirating a dvd or musical CD is spent elsewhere, and mostly in new technologies, eg in buying a new mobile or an extra-large screen, or a new PC or a new game.
Unless you know a lot of middle/low class people (most of the pirate/counterfeiting market) that have a lot of money to spare.

So I'm sure the brands argues that they lose billions in loss profit, but most of that profit would normally never have been their to make.
(I'm NOT talking about counterfeited patents or about the danger to the mark nor of loss of image).

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