Illegal Counterfeiting of Money, Goods and Services

Illegal Counterfeiting of Money, Goods and Services

The internet is an attractive  medium  for counterfeit products.  Criminals can virtually remain anonymous, while they run a very profitable business online.

In Canada, RCMP estimated in their  2005 Economic Crime Report, the annual cost of counterfeiting to the Canadian economy is between $10 billion and $30 billion.  Michael Geist, Canada and Research Chair for Internet and E-Commerce Law disputes these figures,  claiming they  were derived largely  from media reports and the internet.

In Canada, it is difficult to calculate the true  financial  losses associated with counterfeiting, given the fact that there is no  comprehensive economic study conducted to date.  This is primarily due to the fact that Canada has no intellectual Property reporting system to maintain statistics on counterfeiting. However, experts have reported that the flow of counterfeit goods has increased from5.5 million in the mid eighties to  512 million in 2005.

Canada continues to be listed  on the 2007 Special 301 Report,  an annual report  that examines the effectiveness of the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement regimes in various countries.  We have remained on the watch list for more then ten years  due to our weak IP Enforcement system.

In a comprehensive report prepared by the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network in 2007:  “Roadmap to Change”,  experts  identified numerous problems in Canada with respect to piracy and the need for change.  Some of the recommendations include:  more coordination between RCMP, border security and rights holders, strengthen  the IP enforcement program in Canada by addressing  the weakness with border-security and  amending the  copyright and trade-mark  legislation.

This report was instrumental in waking up  the government by alerting them about the problems of piracy in Canada.  Following these submissions to the Committee on Industry, Science and Technology in 2007,  a report was  tabled  in the House of Commons, entitled Counterfeiting and Piracy are Theft.  Pursuant to a Standing Order 109, the government responded by  implementing an action plan to combat piracy. One change to the legislation makes it  illegal to record  movies in theatres in Canada. This legislation came into effect in 2007.

In 2008, Audiomaxxx.com was shut down by the RCMP in Winnipeg, Manitoba,  after a lengthy investigation conducted in conjunction with  the Canadian Recording Industry Association and my firm: Duncan Investigations.  These pirates were running a very profitable counterfeit music business  right in the heartland of Winnipeg, Manitoba, at the very expense of the creators of the product; the musicians.  This was the largest seizure by the RCMP in Canada with respect to the sale of counterfeit product.

Counterfeit products can be easily identified by some of the following means:

  1. Lack of logo or copyright
  2. Poor quality packaging
  3. Cheap prices
  4. Unknown name suppliers
  5. Poor quality product
  6. Spelling errors on the product

Combating piracy requires a continuous coordinated effort among all stakeholders, businesses, citizens and government agencies,  to ensure that we protect the rights of our creators,  the  economy and the safety of the citizens.

By: Janie A. Duncan, duncanj@mts.net
ww.duncaninvestigations.com
At Duncan Investigations, we specialize in counterfeit investigations on behalf of copyright holders, collectives and brand name owners.  If you require a comprehensive investigation with respect to your product please email us at duncanj@mts.netor visit our website above.

Learn more about other Frauds, Scams and Schemes.

1. (RCMP. Feature Focus: 2005 Economic Crime. Retrieved on November 7, 2008 from:
2. The Star: Misleading Data Undermine Counterfeiting Claims. September  17, 2007.  Retrieved on November 8, 2008: http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/257218. Tim Phillips Knock Off: The Deadly Trade in Counterfeit Goods:  The True Story of the World’s Fastest Growing Crime Wave, 2005.
4. Office of the United States Trade representative: 2007 Special 301 Report.
5.  Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, Report on Counterfeiting and Piracy in Canada:  A Road Map for Change, May 2007. Canada. Industry, Science and Technology.  Government Reponses to the Eighth Report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. Counterfeiting and Piracy are Theft. House of Commons, Ottawa. 2007.


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