Why Online Infringements Affect Everyone
Infringements on intellectual property rights (IPR) are extremely harmful to the economy in
a number of different ways of which most people are unaware, or simply choose to ignore.
Below are 4 ways in which we are all affected by online infringement.
1. The person who purchases a counterfeit product, that is, the consumer, is directly
affected. Besides losing money on a product with much lower value than expected, these
products may also pose serious health risks and safety hazards to consumers. Inauthentic
goods rarely comply with European quality or safety standards and consumers should be
very cautious of suspiciously low-priced goods or unknown vendors.
2. The economy as a whole is negatively affected by the counterfeit trade as it results in a
huge loss in public revenues in the form of taxes. On the one hand, nations experience
decreased taxes on sales from their companies and on the other hand, companies are losing
out on business and thereby their need to employ workers is reduced, leading to a loss in
employee income tax for the state.
3. As previously mentioned, a loss in business means that companies will produce fewer
goods and as a direct result, will employ fewer people. Legitimate unemployment can
therefore rise while more people may be employed on the black market with fewer rights
and poorer working conditions, not to mention slave-like wages.
4. One of the worst aspects of the counterfeit goods trade is its direct link to slave labour
and organised crime. While consumers may not think twice about purchasing a high-end
designer handbag at an affordable price, they should be aware that their money will go
directly to financing organised crime and that their purchase could be supporting modern
Naturally, IP rights-owners are directly affected by counterfeiters and should therefore
register all trademarks and work actively to protect their brands. In the end we are all
affected by these actions and it is our joint responsibility to put an end to the trade of