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.

According to the CEO of Bohemia Interactive, server access logs show that for ever three legitimate game buyers who are accessing the video game serves, there are one hundred attempts to access multiplayer games from pirated copies.

Source: Nathan Grayson, “Interview: Bohemia Interactive’s CEO on fighting piracy, creative DRM,” PC Gamer, November 17, 2011.

A study has found that companies in developing countries that use pirated Microsoft software save over $2.9 Billion in costs.

Companies and manufacturers in China save up to $837 Million dollars through the use of using free pirated software, followed by India saving $505 Million, Brazil saving $186 Million, and Russia saving $115 Million each year.

Source: Julie Bort, “Pirated software saves companies over £1.83bn a year, claims Microsoft,” Computerworld UK, November 18, 2011.

In 2011, the rate of counterfeit Nokia phones in Nigeria was reported to be 4 percent.

Source: Zakariyya Adaramola, “Counterfeit Phones Reduce to Four Percent in the Country – Nokia,” All Africa, November 14, 2011.

There are an estimated 2,500 institutions around the world that award fake degrees and are considered to be degree mills. The number of fake institutions in 2010 was 48 percent higher than the number of degree mills discovered in 2009.

Source: Sarah King Head, “GLOBAL: Degree mills tarnish private higher education,” University World News, November 13, 2011.

Between 2006 and 2011, the rate of piracy of video games in the United Kingdom increased by 20 percent.

In 2010, the top five games were estimated to be illegally downloaded from the Internet almost a million times during the year.

Source: Dan Whitworth, “Illegally downloaded games ‘up 20% in five years’,” BBC News, Newsbeat, November 11, 2011.


In the first half of 2011, over 77 percent of digital content consumed in Spain was pirated, according to the Coalition of Creators and Industries of Content. The piracy caused the movie, music, book and video game industries to lose $7.2 Billion (5.2 Billion Euros) in earnings.

74 percent of all digital movies watched in Spain in the first half of 2011 were obtained from services other then the legitimate owner of the movie.

Source: Pamela Rolfe, “Over 77% of Digital Content Consumed in Spain is Pirated,” Hollywood Reporter, November 8, 2011.

A United States Senate investigation in 2011 found about 1,800 incidents of counterfeit electronic parts being sold to the U.S. military. The incidents involved over 1 million counterfeit parts.70 percent of the counterfeit items were traced back to China.

The counterfeit parts were used on aircraft like the Air Force’s C-17 transport airplane and the CH-46 helicopter, as well as weapons systems such as the Army’s Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.

Source: Associated Press, “Lawmakers: Counterfeit electronics flood Pentagon supply,” USA Today, November 7, 2011.

The National Hockey League (NHL) has reported that the seizures of counterfeit jerseys of teams in the league has quadrupled between the 2008-2009 season and the 2011-2012 season.

In the first nine months of 2011, authorities seized a total of 3,200 jerseys.

Source: Sean Gordon, “Counterfeit: One of these jerseys costs $375 and the other costs $30,” Globe and Mail, November 4, 2011.

The sales of counterfeit products in Indonesia causes tax losses of up to $4.8 Billion (43.2 Trillion Indonesian Rupiahs) in 2010.

The following is the percentage of counterfeit goods that make up all sales in that category:

Product                     Counterfeit Percentage

Leather products              35.7

Software                             34.1

Automotive Parts             16.8

Electronic goods              13.7

Cigarettes                          11.5

Beverages                          8.9

Pesticides                          7.7

Cosmetics                          6.4

Drugs                                  3.5

Source: “Fake products cost RI Rp 43.2t in lost taxes,” Jakarta Post, November 5, 2011.

During a four month long campaign against counterfeit drugs in 2011, Chinese authorities seized over 65 million counterfeit drugs and arrested 114 people.

During the seizures of fake medicines, police found  starch, corn powder, animal feed and chemical pigments in the factories that were used to make the counterfeit drugs.

Source: Associated Press, “China seizes 65M counterfeit pills, some harmful,” Google News, November 4, 2011.