In 2004, ICC launched the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) to combat product counterfeiting and copyright piracy worldwide.
Counterfeiting and piracy impact virtually every product category. The days when only luxury goods were counterfeited, or when unauthorized music CDs and movie DVDs were sold only on street corners are long past. Today, counterfeiters are producing fake foods and beverages, pharmaceuticals, electronics and electrical supplies, auto parts and everyday household products. Copyright pirates have also created multi-million dollar networks to produce, transport and sell their unauthorized copies of music, video and software.
Millions of fake products are being produced and shipped around the world to developing and developed markets alike at increasingly alarming rates. Millions of consumers are now at risk by unsafe and ineffective products, while governments, businesses and society are being robbed of hundreds of billions in tax revenues, income and jobs.
The drain on the global economy is significant and the longer-term implications of the continuing growth in this illicit trade are enormous. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has reported that, “international trade in counterfeit and pirated products could be up to US$200 billion”. Taken together with the value of domestically produced and consumed counterfeits, the significant volume of digital and fake products being distributed via the Internet, and the loss of economic development, harm to health and safety, reduced technology transfer, and innovation: the total magnitude of counterfeiting and piracy worldwide is estimated to be well over US$600 billion.
A disorder of this magnitude undermines economic development, a sound market economy system and open international trade and investment. No legitimate business or country is immune to the impact of counterfeiting and piracy and no single actor can successfully fight this battle alone, which is why the ICC created the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP).