The study- Roles and responsibilities of intermediaries: Fighting counterfeiting and piracy in the supply chain -looks at key intermediaries in the physical world and those providing infrastructure and services online, yielding the most comprehensive review to date of the many types of intermediary channels that are being utilized by criminal networks to sell and distribute fakes and pirated content.
Commenting on the study, BASCAP Director, Jeff Hardy said: “Trade is being revolutionized by the emergence of integrated global value chains and the explosion of online commerce. Intermediaries-from express shipping firms through to online search engines-are now a central part of the global economy. This is an overwhelmingly positive development, but intermediaries must ensure they have adequate systems in place to address growing counterfeiting and piracy risks.”
The study exposes a number of shortcomings in the global network of infrastructures and services that produce, sell and deliver products to customers worldwide, and calls on responsible intermediaries to enhance their systems to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods and pirated content.
Mr Hardy added: “Most intermediaries, when better informed about potential exploitation and the damage done by counterfeiting and piracy, demonstrate a willingness to secure their portion of the supply chain from abuse. This is, quite rightly, a core reputational issue for leading firms. The BASCAP study outlines a range of measures to help responsible businesses deal more effectively with potential vulnerabilities in their operations and platforms.”
Intermediaries-from express shipping firms through to online search engines-are now a central part of the global economy. They must ensure they have adequate systems in place to address growing counterfeiting and piracy risks.
“We’ve identified a range of best practices from express shipping companies implementing robust monitoring frameworks, through to search engines implementing enhanced takedown systems for infringing content and websites. But more can-and must-be done to eliminate weaknesses that are currently exploited by criminal networks. With the publication of this study no company can now say ‘this is not my responsibility’ or ‘there is nothing we can do’.”
The study highlights how supply chain vulnerabilities currently put consumers at risk from unsafe and unauthentic products. According to the OECD more than US$250 billion in counterfeit goods moves across borders each year. When Internet infringements, in-country sales or indirect losses to governments and consumers are included, the estimated global impact of these illegal activities could add up to more than US$1.7 trillion annually.
Mr Hardy concluded: “Intermediaries must make combatting counterfeiting and piracy a first-order priority. We’ve seen intermediaries take steps to protect the supply chain from illicit and illegal activities in other areas-such as money laundering and the sale of narcotics. The challenge is to encourage all intermediaries to follow best practices and apply similar preventive measures to counterfeiting and piracy.”
“Our study shows this is achievable by using readily available technologies and standard business practices. The BASCAP recommendations should be seen as a starting point on how to embed best practices throughout supply chains and in online systems globally. We need rights holders and intermediaries to work together to make that happen.”
The report can be accessed here.
Learn more about the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP).