|The MarkMinotaur ...|
"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.TopHow was this done? MarkMonitor explains its methodology, in part at any rate:
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".
"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.So what are the solutions, short of closing down the internet? MarkMonitor's Traffic Report concludes thus:
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".
"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".