Recording industry welcomes Interpol's new intellectual property crimes unit
London, July 29
The international recording industry has welcomed the decision by Interpol, the international police organisation, to create a Working Group to handle investigations into intellectual property (IP) crimes.
The move recognises the involvement of serious and organised criminal involvement in IP crimes and the need for industry to work in close cooperation with police, customs and other enforcement authorities to combat it.
Piracy is the biggest threat that faces the music industry. Globally, two in every five recordings sold are pirate copies. Music piracy is a US$4.3 billion a year international problem, which acts as a brake on industry investment in new artists and on the development of culture as a whole.
The Working Group will function as a forum for the exchange of information and facilitation of investigations into IP offences and will also offer support through training. The group will be multi-agency, drawing its membership from public and private sectors including IFPI, representing the international recording industry.
The decision was taken at a joint international meeting attended by representatives from police, customs, and private sector associations and companies on July 23. The initiative builds on the mandate given to Interpol's members in October 2000, and a subsequent initial meeting between police, customs and the private sector in November 2001.
Intellectual property theft, whether of counterfeited clothes, trainers, medicines, machine parts, CDs or books, costs hundreds of billions of dollars globally every year. The effects of IP crime range from threats to public health and safety to loss of government revenues, along with the extensive damage done to legitimate businesses and trade.
Ron Noble, Interpol's Secretary General says: "Interpol recognises the extensive involvement of organised crime and terrorist groups in intellectual property crimes. There is a real need for facilitation and coordination of international police efforts in combating this criminality, which operates across international borders and has very serious consequences for the public. Working in partnership with customs authorities, international agencies and the private sector, Interpol will provide an effective response to this growing threat."
Iain Grant, IFPI Head of Enforcement says: "We warmly welcome this initiative. Ultimately, the way to effectively fight the spread of music piracy, and dismantle the criminal enterprises behind it, is to work in partnership with international police, customs and other enforcement authorities."
For further information please contact: Fiona Harley, IFPI Communications, tel: +44 20 7878 7900