Report Says Online Piracy, Counterfeiting is ‘Rampant’

National Journal
A new report that examined online sites that offer pirated content and counterfeit goods found that online trafficking in both is “rampant.”

“While counterfeiting and piracy in the physical world are serious problems, these issues are growing at a significant rate online and pose unique challenges in remediation, due to the inherent nature of the Internet with its global reach, cost efficiencies, and anonymity,” according to the report releaesed this month from MarkMonitor, which helps companies monitor their trademarks online.

The firm used publicly available Internet traffic data to examine several sites that offered counterfeit luxury goods or prescription drugs for sale or allowed users to download, stream or share pirated movies, television shows, music, software or video games. The firm said 67 percent of the pirated sites were hosted in the United States or Western Europe.

MarkMonitor focused on 10 “media brands” and found 43 sites that offered the pirated content. The sites attracted a total of 146 million visits per day on average and an estimated 53 billion visits per year. The top visited site,, had 32 million daily visits on average, according to the report.

The 48 sites offering a dozen different types of counterfeit goods examined by MarkMonitor were much less trafficked, receiving more than 240,000 visits per day on average or more than 87 million visits per year.

The issue of online piracy and counterfeiting gained new attention last year with the approval of legislation by the Senate Judiciary Committee of a bill aimed at targeting the problem, especially among foreign websites. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is set Tuesday to outline his agenda for the 112th Congress and he is expected to reintroduce his bill.

“The MarkMonitor report underscores the urgency of enacting proactive policies to enhance enforcement tools to shut down these rogue websites,” Steve Tepp, senior director of internet counterfeiting and piracy at the Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center, said in a statement.

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