January 12th, 2011, 19:18 PM
Piracy sites draw huge traffic
Forty-three websites identified by brand-protection firm MarkMonitor as digital piracy sites generate 53 billion visits per year, according to a new paper sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The paper shows the "staggering scope" of digital piracy and trade in counterfeit goods, said Steve Tepp, a senior director at the Global Intellectual Property Center at the Chamber, in a statement. The MarkMonitor paper also examined 48 sites trading in counterfeit physical goods, and found they generated 87 million visits per year.
Twenty-six of the 48 sites in the paper that trade in counterfeit goods offered counterfeit pharmaceuticals for sale, MarkMonitor said. Those 26 sites collectively have about 51 million visits a year, the paper said.
"Websites that sell counterfeit luxury goods, fake drugs, and products that may pose health and safety risks attract hundreds of millions annually," the paper said.
Several digital rights groups have complained that past studies estimating the impact on online piracy have used faulty assumptions. But this paper shows that piracy is a major problem generating billions of site visits each year, said Fred Felman, chief marketing officer at MarkMonitor. Many groups that have tried to measure piracy have used conservative measures, he said.
"This isn't something that should be ignored," Felman said. "I think [the problem] is pretty much understated."
Full story: Computerworld