How Online Infringements Affect Everyone
Infringements on intellectual property rights (IPR) can be extremely hurtful to the economy, people and society in a number of different ways of which most people are unaware, or simply choose to ignore. Here are just four different ways in which online infringement can affect people in a negative way.
1. The consumer
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
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. The job market
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.The innocent victims
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 day slavery.
A Yellow Brand Protection Initiative
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 counterfeit goods. This is why Yellow Brand Protection has started the #ImForReal initiative in the hope of raising awareness about the negative consequences and dangers that the counterfeit trade can have on individuals and on society as a whole. Get involved by using the hashtag #imforreal and finding out more about the initiative here.