The Economic Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy – Report prepared for BASCAP and INTA
This report shows that the infiltration of counterfeit and pirated products, or IP theft, creates an enormous drain on the global economy – crowding out Billions in legitimate economic activity and facilitating an “underground economy” that deprives governments of revenues for vital public services, forces higher burdens on tax payers, dislocates hundreds of thousands of legitimate jobs and exposes consumers to dangerous and ineffective products.
BASCAP, together with the International Trademark Association (INTA), asked Frontier to update their 2011 report on the global impact of counterfeiting and piracy. The 2016 report found that counterfeiting and piracy continue to grow at an astounding rate despite increased efforts by the private sector, governments, international government organisations and NGOs. (Read also The Economic Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy executive summary)
Counterfeiting and piracy are highly pervasive across countries and sectors, representing a multi-Billion-dollar industry globally that continues to grow. Measuring the scale of counterfeiting and piracy helps us to understand the size of the problem, and the related social costs. It also helps inform policymakers so that they can target resources appropriately towards combating counterfeiting and piracy.
Our analysis shows that the scale of counterfeiting and piracy globally is large, that it has grown since previous estimates, and that this growth is expected to continue. Our estimates of these values across all four quadrants are shown in Table 1.S below.
We estimate that the value of international and domestic trade in counterfeit and pirated goods in 2013 was $710 -$ 917 Billion. We estimate that, in addition to this, the global value of digital piracy in movies, music and software in 20153 was $213 Billion.
We estimated wider economic costs associated with the effects of counterfeiting and piracy on the displacement of legitimate economic activity. This estimate also provides a starting point for inferring fiscal losses. We also estimated the effects of counterfeiting and piracy on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and crime.
We find significant effects on the job market through the displacement of legitimate economic activity by counterfeiting and piracy. We estimate net job losses in 2013 to lie, globally, between 2 and 2.6 million, and we project net job losses of 4.2 to 5.4 million by 2022.
We also estimated the effects of changes in the incidence of counterfeiting and piracy on economic growth. Our econometric model, estimating the impact of changes in the intensity of counterfeiting and piracy on economic growth, suggests that a percentage point reduction in the intensity of counterfeiting and piracy would be worth between $30 Billion to $54 Billion in 2017 for the 35 OECD countries.
Our forward projections begin with OECD/EUIPO’s estimates of international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, augmented by forecasts of growth in import volumes and the ratio of customs seizures to real imports. Using these, we forecast that the value of trade in counterfeit and pirated goods could reach $991 Billion by 2022.
We carry out a similar exercise to illustrate how the size of domestic production and consumption of counterfeit and pirated goods may change over time. We use data on recent and forecast rates of growth in global trade and GDP, and projected growth in the rate of counterfeiting. Using this approach, we forecast that the value of domestically produced and consumed counterfeit and pirated goods could range from $524 – $959 Billion by 2022.
Applying the methodology used in our previous study, we combine two different approaches to project digital piracy into the future. The first approach assumes that digital piracy will maintain its share of total counterfeiting and piracy over time. The second approach assumes that digital piracy grows proportionally to global IP traffic. Combining these two approaches, we forecast that the value of digital piracy in movies, music and software could reach from $384 – $856 Billion by 2022.