Counterfeit Goods

Information and statistics about counterfeiting and the sale of counterfeit goods. Estimated losses from counterfeits, markets where fake goods are sold, and other piracy statistics are collected from criminal justice programs and public information sources.

In a survey of over 6,000 people in Finland between the ages of 7 to 84, researchers found that on average each person who downloaded pirated content online had about 2,900 pirated music files and 90 pirated movie files.

The researchers who conducted the study beleives that downloaders have more music files is due to the ease of downloading pirated music. According to the study, downloading movie files require faster internet speeds, more digital storage space, as well as a higher technological ability to playback movies.

(See more movie piracy statistics.)

Amoung the reasons that people gave for committing online piracy were that it was cheaper, and that they could access content that was either not available in their region of before it was released to the general public.

(See more music piracy statistics.)

Source:  Samuel Gibbs, “Piracy study shows illegal downloaders more likely to pay for films than music,” Guardian, May 6, 2014.

 

According to the International Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the sales of counterfeits and smuggling of fake goods into India caused sales losses of $11.9 Billion in 2012. This amount represented 21.7 percent of sales losses to companies.

Some of the consumer sectors that are impacted by counterfeits in India are the auto parts, alcohol, computer hardware, foods, mobile phone and tobacco industries.

(Counterfeit Goods Markets by Countries.)

Source: “2014 Special 301 Report,” Office of the United States Trade Representative, April 2014.

According to financial regulators and security officers, since the introduction of the Euro in January 1, 2002, there have been over 6 million counterfeit euros and fake banknotes that have been removed from circulation. Intelligence officers estimate that over half of these fake notes were produced in the Italian town of Giugliano.

(More crime in Italy statistics.)

The European Central Bank reported 670,000 counterfeit banknotes were found to be in the money circulation and removed in 2013. The amount of counterfeit money detected represented an annual increase of mover 26 percent.

Criminal justice agencies across the European Union state that the makers of counterfeit notes sells batches in bulk to wholesale distributors for 10 percent of the value of the bill. Thus, if a counterfeit money producer sells a batch of fake bills that have a face value of 500,000 euros, then the producer will receive 50,000 genuine euros for the fakes.

The wholesaler who bought the fakes will the pay money mules to spend the money and get it into the financial system. When paying the mules, the wholesaler also charges 10 percent. The mules prefer to spend the fake bills in locations where there are a lot of people that have many cash transactions. Popular venues to pass the fake notes include Champions League football matches and at Oktoberfest.

(See how Peru’s counterfeiters make counterfeit dollars.)

Source:  Philip Johnson, “The Town That Prints Money: Europe’s Counterfeit Capital,” Newsweek, April 28, 2014.

A report by TorrentFreak stated that an online service is providing customers with the ability to set up a fully working online streaming site that displays pirated movies and television shows.

People who are looking to own their own movie streaming site pay at least $200 to the service. Once payment is complete, the service provides the scripts that automatically adds updated movies and televisions to the site. All the buyer needs is a server to host the website. According to interviews with one buyer, the total time to set up a new streaming site after payment was between 5 to 10 minuets.

The new owner of the site is then able to recoup the original investment by generating revenue from ads that are displayed on the sites.

It was previously reported that online streaming websites and other BitTorrent sites that offer users pirated movies are collectively able to make $227 Million a year from advertising clicks. A small BitTorrent site that has less than one million unique visitors per day can make around $100,000 a year from advertising.

(More earnings from illegal jobs and activities.)

Source:  Andy, “Buy a Fully Loaded Movie and TV Show Piracy Site for Just $200,” Torrent Freak, April 27, 2014.

Criminal justice agencies in Jamaica reportedly seized $14.5 Million (1.6 Billion Jamaican Dollars) worth of counterfeit goods across the country between April 2013 to April 2014.

Security agents in Jamaica state that proceeds from the sale of counterfeits are used to fund the operations of organized crime groups active in the country.

Between the time period listed above, over 13.1 million pirated CDs and pirated DVDs were seized in raids by intellectual property enforcement campaigns. In addition, over 80 people were apprehended for violation IP laws.

(More information about crime in Jamaica.)

Source:  Livern Barrett, “Counterfeit crackdown – Cops vow to clamp down on masterminds behind intellectual property crimes,” Gleaner, April 26, 2014.

Security officers in Vietnam reported that its agencies investigated over 25,000 cases of counterfeit goods entering the country in the first 4 months of 2014.

According to officials, up to 80 percent of the counterfeit goods sold in Vietnam originates from China.

On average, enforcement agents with the Ministry of Industry and Trade investigate 90,000 cases of counterfeits being sold across Vietnam. Most of the cases involves counterfeit foods and beverages, fake tobacco products, and fake clothing.

Source: Bao Van, “Vietnam could become the next big counterfeiter,” Thanh Nien Daily, April 24, 2014.

The Japan Book Publishers Association and other publishing sources reported that online piracy of popular Japanese comic books are causing sales to drop.

Popular manga series such as Naruto and One Piece are quickly posted at online websites. There have also been incidents where the manga is pirated and posted online before it was released in stores. In an investigation conducted by Japanese media, over 700 installments of the One Piece series was available for free online.

Sales of comics books in Japan dropped from $4.3 Billion (450 Billion Japanese Yen) to $2.9 Billion (300 Billion Yen) between the years of 2007 and 2011.

Source:  “Manga pirated, put online,” Japan News, April 19, 2014.

Officials in Sweden reported that 177,000 authentic Swedish passports have been stolen or lost. Security officials state that many of these passports may have been sold on the black market to criminals.

According to intelligence agencies, Swedish passports are being sold on the black market for human trafficking purposes. These passports are being sold at prices of up to $12,200 (80,000 Swedish Kronor).

(More information about stolen, lost and fake passports.)

Source:  “Swedish passports hot property on black market,” The Local, April 12, 2014.

A study on digital content by La Coalicion found that 51 percent of internet users in Spain accessed pirated content in 2013.

84 percent of all digital content, such as movies and music, were illegally consumed in Spain during the year.

43 percent of the internet users who committed online piracy stated that they had either downloaded pirated movies or watched the movie on unlicensed streaming  sites.

The report finds that pirating digital content in Spain causes tax losses of $725 Million and the loss of over 26,000 jobs.

Back in 2012, market research firm Nielsen reported that around 45 percent of all internet pages visited by Spain users had links to pirated music or movies.

Source:  “Half of Spain’s internet users download illegally,” The Local, April 9, 2014.

According to research organization Demoskopika in Italy, the mafia syndicate ‘Ndrangheta collected $73 Billion (€53 Billion) in revenue in 2013.

The various revenue streams for the syndicate is as follows:

Intelligence from criminal justice programs state that the ‘Ndragheta has around 400 key operatives working on its behalf in 30 countries. When including all people who conduct business on behalf of the group, then the number of people working for ‘Ndragheta is estimated to be as high as 60,000.

Source:  AFP, “‘Ndrangheta mafia ‘made more last year than McDonald’s and Deutsche Bank’,” Guardian, March 26, 2014.