January 11, 2011

U.S. Chamber Highlights Report Indicating Rampant Traffic of Online Counterfeiting and Piracy

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today highlighted the findings of Traffic Report: Online Piracy and Counterfeiting, a recent report by global brand protection firm MarkMonitor that found rogue websites—those dedicated to counterfeiting and piracy—generate more than 53 billion visits per year. The report’s findings further underscore the urgency to fight intellectual property theft online in order to create jobs and grow our economy.

“Online counterfeiting and piracy is a destructive force that threatens consumers, hurts our businesses, and costs American jobs,” said Steve Tepp, senior director of internet counterfeiting and piracy for the Global Intellectual Property Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The MarkMonitor report exposes the staggering scope of this problem—rogue websites generating more than 53 billion hits annually. These websites are profiting off the hard work of America’s innovative and creative industries and the thousands of Americans that they employ.”

MarkMonitor’s report, using 22 major brands as criteria, combed the Internet for sites suspected of offering counterfeit goods or pirated digital content. Since the study used a sample of only 22 brands, it provides a small glimpse of the nature of online IP theft and the dark side of illicit e-commerce. The results yielded alarming numbers that illustrate this enormous and growing problem:

  • The 43 sites that were classified as ‘digital piracy’ generated over 146 million visits per day, representing more than 53 billion visits per year.
  • The combined traffic to the 48 sites selling counterfeit physical goods is more than 87 million visits per year.
  • The 26 sites selling counterfeit prescription drugs (separate from the counterfeit physical goods analysis) generated 51 million visits per year.


“Whether it is the sale of counterfeit bags and fake pharmaceuticals or illegal distribution of movies, music, and software, online IP theft is theft—plain and simple,” added Tepp. “Rogue websites have no place in a legitimate online market. If left unchecked, these sites will continue to flourish at our expense and further hinder our economic growth. The MarkMonitor report underscores the urgency of enacting proactive policies to enhance enforcement tools to shut down these rogue websites.”

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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