Why was BASCAP formed?

Counterfeiting and piracy are spiraling out of control. The drain on businesses and on the global economy is now significant. It has resulted in the widespread loss of lawful employment and a massive reduction of tax revenues. The creative community is robbed of reward for effort and innovation. The incentive to invest is reduced. Consumers are increasingly being harmed by unsafe counterfeit products. All signals also point to linkages with organized crime.

In response to this threat, the International Chamber of Commerce has launched BASCAP - Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy - to connect all business sectors and cut across national borders in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. This global approach is designed to support individual company and organizational efforts and amplify business messages with national governments and intergovernmental organizations.

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What is BASCAP?

BASCAP is an operational platform established by ICC that connects all business sectors and cuts across all national borders in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

This global approach is designed to support individual company and organizational efforts and to vigorously petition local, national and international officials calling them to action, mobilizing the commitment of resources towards enforcement, and pressing for results.

BASCAP develops products that explain the value of protecting intellectual property and the harms of counterfeiting and piracy. It creates a central location for knowledge, data and other intelligence, generates messages to compel action by policy-makers, and shares enforcement strategies across sectors.

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Who is in BASCAP?

BASCAP is open to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors from around the world. To date, more than 150 companies and trade associations have championed the BASCAP initiative either through their participation in a BASCAP strategy meeting, contributing their expertise through one of the project working groups, or joining the Global Leadership Group. Others have been instrumental in public outreach, sponsoring meetings or contributing funding.

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What are the objectives of BASCAP?

  • Increase public and political awareness of the economic and social harm associated with counterfeiting and piracy;
  • Create an environment in which intellectual property is respected and protected; this is an ongoing effort;
  • Encourage government action and the allocation of resources to improved IPR enforcement.
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How will BASCAP accomplish these objectives?

  • Connecting ongoing business activities, business strategies and messages.
  • Producing information and products that have value to corporations and trade associations across sectors.
  • Leveraging ongoing and new business initiatives through use of the ICC network of national committee contacts with national governments; network of global media relationships; and, accreditation and relationships with intergovernmental organizations.
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What is the purpose of the CEO group?

  • To convey to governments and to the public that counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual property are vital issues to business at the highest levels, and that companies are committed to playing their part in creating an environment where IP is respected and protected.
  • To draw in other companies, large and small, to mobilize the global business community's collective work against counterfeiting and piracy.
  • To signal their commitment to work with governments in every way possible to put an end to this illegal activity.
  • To promote IP enforcement as a priority for government attention and action by ensuring that policy-makers understand the full social and economic costs of counterfeiting and piracy.
  • To build public awareness so that consumers are better informed about the risks they face and the harmful costs of their behaviour on others.
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Who is the CEO Group?

A high-level, Global Leadership Group has been established to bring together senior corporate officials to discuss and explore new strategies in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. These CEO members represent companies that are committed to creating an environment where intellectual property rights are respected and enforced.

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How much does it cost to be part of BASCAP?

Financial contributions are not a requirement to get involved in BASCAP, but they are needed to sponsor the work and defray the costs associated with developing and delivering BASCAP products, including the information clearinghouse. Within the global family of businesses active in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy, brand owners are largely underwriting the overall BASCAP effort through financial contributions of as much as 50,000. Other business participants, such as those specializing in brand protection products and services contribute financial support through their participation in the brand protection directory; and trade associations contribute through their presentation of relevant sector gateways.

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Why are business leaders raising the alarm now, when counterfeiting has existed for such a long time?

The luxury goods industry has been battling this for years. But what most of us dont realize is that counterfeiting and piracy has expanded to virtually every product you can imagine, every company and every sector. The problem is big with some estimates at $600 billion each year. And the problem is growing rapidly in Europe, for example, some 95 million fake goods are seized by customs officials every year. In the US, the FBI has called this the crime of the century and estimates losses to US business at $200 to $250 billion a year. If we look to Pakistan, piracy in cable TV, music and software is over 90%!

Why Enforce?, a BASCAP web page, provides more information.

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Isn't BASCAP just about protecting the corporate bottom line?

Counterfeiting and piracy are an important concern for business at the bottom line. And the reason is because intellectual property is an essential capital input that is just as important to economic growth as equipment and buildings. Companies are investing more and more in intellectual capital and the correlation between innovation and economic development has strengthened over the past 15 years. For example, technological progress is now responsible for up to 50% of the growth of the US economy and intangible assets represent 70% of corporate assets. Intellectual property, by nature, is also susceptible to theft. And this theft drains capital from companies and erodes valuable brand names.

But the point of BASCAP is that counterfeiting and piracy are much more damaging than may be currently understood. The costs are not just economic, they include social and developmental costs.

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Why is the ICC involved?

The ICC is often referred to as the world business organization because it represents businesses of all sizes and in all sectors, in every part of the world. Since 1919, the ICC has worked for companies to create an international market economy based on economic development, open international trade and investment, and sound market rules. On a daily basis, the ICC tackles the spectrum of issues critical to global business, from trade and investment and sustainable development to international arbitration and customs reform.

With the formation of BASCAP, the ICC is now prepared to tackle the critical economic and social dislocations posed by mass piracy and counterfeiting of intellectual property.

In supporting BASCAP, the ICC brings a long history of working collectively, across industry sectors and national borders to marshal resources, shape legislation, and effect sound market rules. It will also employ its global infrastructure to support the BASCAP initiative:

  • The ICCs global network of member companies, delivers immediate access to expertise and resources across sectors.
  • The network of ICC national committees operates in 90 countries, providing powerful on-the-ground resources for reaching and influencing national and local policymakers.
  • ICC is also privileged interlocutor with the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and many other intergovernmental bodies on matters affecting business. ICC will use this highest-level consultative status to elevate BASCAP messages on governmental agendas to strengthen and energize their existing mandates and to inspire renewed efforts.
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