MarkMonitor Study: Fake Websites & Counterfeit Goods Online

January 19, 2011 § 1 Comment

MarkMonitor, the global leader in enterprise brand protection, conducted a study in 2010 of 22 brands with respect to online counterfeiting and piracy. The products varied across many categories including prescription drugs, luxury goods, music, films and athletic gear. The results of the study were shocking to say the least. The MarkMonitor study revealed that digital piracy and counterfeit goods websites generate more than 53 billion visits per year. Even more staggering, sites that sold counterfeit goods, including prescription drugs and luxury goods, generate more than 92 million visits per year.

Why aren’t these sites shut down? According to the study, 67 percent of sites suspected of hosting pirated content and 73 percent of sites categorized as “counterfeit” were hosted in North America or Western Europe, BUT they operate across multiple national boundaries. This makes it harder for law enforcement to shut the websites down, but it is not impossible.

Our initial thoughts are, do music and film lovers who visit these sites know that they are illegally downloading music? Do shoppers know they are buying a counterfeit product? It is hard to know for sure, but what this study does tell us is that these websites have extremely high volumes of traffic. MarkMonitor even estimates the worldwide economic impact of online piracy and counterfeiting is $200 billion annually. This is why we work hard to educate consumers about piracy and counterfeiting. Not only do we want to protect consumers, we also want to make consumers aware that supporting these sites hinder economic growth as well as the job market.

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