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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » WORLDWIDE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS BREACHES, COST THE MUSIC INDUSTRY US$250B A YEAR!

WORLDWIDE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS BREACHES, COST THE MUSIC INDUSTRY US$250B A YEAR!

Breaches of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) worldwide are currently robbing the industry of US$250 billion a year, says Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in Kingston, Eric Khant.

Addressing the opening ceremony of an IPR enforcement training seminar at Secrets Resort in Montego Bay, St James, Khant said the illicit trade started in basements across the world and has found fertile grounds in a number of countries over the past 20 years.

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He said because governments did very little in the past to curb the production of illicit items, criminal organizations have used the profits they gained to finance narco-trafficking, money laundering, firearms trafficking and even terrorism.

“This problem is like a cancer and it didn’t get treated very well at the early stage, so it has spread and we are playing catch-up. It is a US$250 billion a year illicit business and it drains an estimated US$700 billion a year from economies across the globe,” Khant said.

He argued that this money could be used to improve education, the standard of infrastructure and health care, among others, in these countries.

Meanwhile, Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Rohan Richards, said Jamaica has not been left out, as counterfeit trading and other breaches of IPR have been detected at various levels across the island.

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“At the local level for the financial year 2015/16, $110 million worth of goods infringed on IPR. Up to April of this year, the Jamaica Constabulary Force Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch reported that they destroyed some $1.9 billion of counterfeit goods,” he noted.

Richards said breaches of IPR is now a very lucrative business which, apart from robbing legitimate traders and producers of genuine goods of revenue, also result in countries not being able to collect taxes from the trade.

The three-day seminar is being hosted by the United States Department of Homeland Security and Intellectual Property Rights Centre.

The objective is to bring together regional partners to collaborate in identifying, disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations which benefit financially from the illicit IPR trade.

Participants include Law Enforcement professionals who have direct involvement in the investigation of suspected IPR crimes in Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.

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