Europe and US to fight global battle against counterfeit goods

July 2006

All areas

European and US creative industries have welcomed a new joint EU and US strategy launched by US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and EU Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen in Vienna aimed at fighting the soaring global trade in counterfeit and pirate goods. The US President George W. Bush and Commission President José Manuel Barroso will endorse the strategy at the EU-US Summit in Vienna. The industries from many sectors stressed the enormity of the counterfeiting and piracy problem, estimated to be worth 360 billion euros a year: In 2005 film piracy in China was calculated at $2.7 billion and in the US at $3 billion. Music piracy in the UK alone was valued at £414 million last year and in China $400 million – china has a 90% piracy rate.  Overall it is estimated that 5 – 7 % of the global economy is based on counterfeit and pirated goods which can endanger consumer safety, erodes the competitiveness of legitimate businesses, fund crime and undermine the livelihood of workers in innovative and creative industries. The IFPI add that the “June 20th announcement of a joint EU-US strategy and task force to combat counterfeiting and piracy is an urgently needed sign of political determination to tackle this drain on the global economy. The EU-US Action Strategy for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights will provide a structure in which the two administrations can identify and act on specific common projects with the support and involvement of industry. Global business particularly welcomes the joint action plan’s focus on priority countries – China and Russia. Industry is committed to contribute to the success of this joint enforcement plan by providing expertise as well as sharing information and best practice.”

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