4th maj, 2011

Europol points to Italy as IP pirate territory

Today the European Law Enforcement Agency published its annual report “EU organized crime threat assessment”. The report is a “systematic analysis of law enforcement information on criminal activities and groups affecting the EU, and is designed to assist strategic decision makers in the prioritization of organized crime threats.”

The report concentrates on 9 areas of organized crime one of them being counterfeiting. The main points about counterfeiting are:

·         China the main source country for counterfeit goods; United Arab Emirates an important transit country; EU entry via major sea ports

·         Wider range of counterfeit goods, including every day and essential items, with implications for public health

The report identifies the Southern criminal hub (Italy) as the center of with close cooperation between Chinese and Italian organized crime groups.

I found it fascinating (and new) to read about illegal downloads where “Research by Member States suggests that one particularly influential network of piracy groups, known as ‘The Scene’, has a hierarchical structure not often seen in the digital underground economy, with its own set of rules for releases and an evolved system in which access to files is granted on the basis of credits earned.”

The conclusion on counterfeiting is not very encouraging: “Social tolerance for counterfeits, already relatively high, has increased. Accordingly, organised crime groups involved in other criminal markets such as drug trafficking, have become drawn to the substantial profits, lower penalties and perceived lower risk offered by counterfeiting activities”. This calls for action educating the consumers of their support of organized crime when buying fake goods.

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