Countries to Watch, (Intellectual) Piracy Wise

Did you know there was a Congressional Anti-Piracy Caucus? (I’ll take a chance and guess not). Neither did I.

The caucus has been in place for six years. The primary goal is laudable — protecting intellectual property, particularly for the entertainment and software industries. I just didn’t know it took a caucus of members of Congress to focus on this issue.

Anyway, the group released its watch list of countries to keep a close eye on. The caucus will offer briefings for congressional delegations traveling to these countries.

The five countries range from the expected (China and Russia) to several surprises (Canada, Spain and Mexico). Do you agree or disagree that these countries are threats? Any anecdotes you can share?

Georgia Feeling Ripped by Rippers

The U.S. Chamber’s blog had an interesting post today about the problematic nature of counterfeiting and piracy and their impact on legitimate economies. Namely, it seems Georgia is especially plagued by these problems. (Is that why they call it Hot-lanta?):

The U.S. Chamber has sponsored a Gallup study which took a look at the impact of counterfeiting and piracy in Atlanta. The survey found that nearly 1 in 5 consumers have purchased an illicit product in the past year; 41 percent in the 18-24 age group have purchased an illicit product in that period; more than 80 percent say the ability to easily obtain them influenced their purchase decision; and a majority greatly underestimate the economic impact of these crimes. Despite the high incidence of these crimes, a vast majority of respondents favor tougher laws and penalties against these crimes.

The prevalence of counterfeiting and piracy in Atlanta should alarm consumers, the business community, and governments alike. Where these crimes exist, consumer health and safety, workers’ jobs, companies’ reputations, and government revenues are at stake. 

Regarding the 1 in 5 consumers part, that’s not surprising. In fact, consider me guilty as charged. But the only reason I purchased that bootlegged street copy of "You Don’t Mess with the Zohan" was that I simply could not wait until its official DVD release. What’s a guy to do?