Post sponsored by The European Commission
One of the inevitable by-products of being successful is imitation. Be it in music, art, fashion or science, if you do something good, chances are some people will copy you and try to make money from it.
Once upon a time counterfeit goods mainly consisted of a few dodgy music CD’s from a Bangkok market or a cheap, fake Rolex from a backstreet electronics shop in Hong Kong. However, in the last few decades ‘fake’ good production has gone through the roof, and in 2011 more than 115 million goods (with a value of over 1.2 billion euros) were impounded at EU borders .
That figure is only the tip of the ocean and estimates suggest less than 1% of fake goods is actually seized. In 2014 it’s expected to be a near trillion dollar industry, that is a lot more than a few Gucci Bags and Versace sunglasses.
The most popular fake product is Viagra, but the counterfeiters who are often backed by large scale organised crime, produce everything from fake beer and cigarettes, to footwear and clothing lines to Disney toys with toxic lead paint.
Most of the products originate in India or China where the workforce often receive poor pay in dangerous and unhealthy working conditions. The European Commission are trying to raise awareness about the problem, in part due to the huge loss in EU tax revenue and safety implications, not to mention the job losses the illegal industry is responsible for. Oh, and the products are unlicensed and nearly always sub-standard.
The message is clear; say no to counterfeit goods.