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 Business Software Alliance, 80 percent of all software used in China in 2008 was pirated. The software piracy rate was down from the 90 percent reported in 2004.

Source:  Bruce Einhorn, “Software Industry Loses Patience with China,” BusinessWeek, March 10, 2010.

In 2009, financial institutions in the United Kingdom lost $121.3 Million (80.9 Million British Pounds) to counterfeit credit cards. The losses were down from the $280 Million (169 Million British Pounds) that were lost in 2008.

(Impact of counterfeit money to the financial system.)

Source: Jeremy Kirk, “Counterfeit Card Fraud Drops by Half in the UK,” PC World, March 10, 2010.

A study released in 2010 found that despite peer-to-peer networking downloading falling by 15 percent, Internet piracy of content increased by 3 percent over the same period.

The study found that the cause of the increase was due to less people using file-sharing networks but instead downloading songs directly from websites and utilizing streaming content services on the Internet.

Source:  Sebastian Seibt, “Study shows how downloaders skirt anti-piracy laws,” France 24, March 10, 2010.

Cigarette smuggling in Taiwan leads to losses of $156 Million (5 Billion Taiwanese Dollars).

The Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation states that almost 10 percent of the cigarette market in Taiwan consists of black market cigarettes.

Source:  “New way of cigarette smuggling discovered,” The China Post, March 9, 2010.

Between 2005 and 2008, computer manufacturer HP conducted 4,620 counterfeit investigations that lead to over seizures of counterfeit electronic goods worth nearly $800 Million.

Source:  Brandon Bailey, “HP says stolen components found in ink cartridges sold on-line,” San Jose Mercury News, March 8, 2010.


The largest US companies spend between $2 Million to $4 Million a year to combat counterfeit activities.

Source: “Knock-offs catch on,” The Economist, March 4, 2010.

In 2009, luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton initiated action that lead to nearly 9,500 seizures of counterfeit goods bearing their logo, such as counterfeit purses.  The total counterfeit goods seized was 31 percent higher than the 2008 total.

Source:  “Knock-offs catch on,” The Economist, March 4, 2010.

Internet piracy though the use of file-sharing networks decreased by 25 percent from the previous year in 2009.

Source:  Greg Sandoval, “P2P music use down; users may be stuffed,” CNet News, Media Maverick, March 1, 2010.

A report by the US Commerce Department in January 2010 reported 9,356 incidents of counterfeit electronic parts found within the defense industry, an increase of over 100 percent from the 3,868 found in 2005.

Source:  Rachel King, “Fighting a Flood of Counterfeit Tech Products,” BusinessWeek, March 1, 2010.

Web video hosting sites similar to YouTube has severely impacted the porn industry, according to executives.   In 2009, DVD sales decreased by 20 percent, with Internet piracy playing a key role.

There are up to 1,000 “tubes” sites that either play pirated movies or amateur content. Industry leader Vivid Entertainment stated that it sends several hundreds of take down notices to websites that are pirating their content.

Source:  Jon Swartz, “Free porn on ‘tube sites’ puts a big dent in industry,” USA Today, March 2, 2010.