Trademark and Rights holders Against Piracy is increasing pressure on worldwide marketplaces and auction sites to tackle IP thieves, having issued more than one million copyright and trademark notices against sellers for online piracy in less than four years.
TRAP (as it is better known) has said that while one million infringement notices may seem like an extraordinary number, it represents only a fraction of the total infringing products pushed by criminal networks on platforms like Amazon and eBay.
Commercial merchandise piracy costs the industry more than £375 million in lost sales each year. TRAP , whose mission its is to protect intellectual property rights with direct action, currently reports 300 infringing listings per hour worldwide.
The initiative has resulted in the removal of goods worth an estimated £39 million and the suspension of 27,394 seller accounts, but according to TRAP, there is much more to do.
Over the course of the year so far, TRAP has been increasing pressure on worldwide marketplaces and auction sites to enforce stricter registration criteria for business seller accounts, as well as partnering with law enforcement agencies and supporting criminal litigation against persistent offenders.
TRAP also plans to work with sellers, helping to educate them on their rights.
Online piracy remains a huge threat to producers, rights owners, licensees and artists, jobs, output and tax collection. It also threatens the future development of primary trading platforms, vital to the growth of online retail.
TRAP secretary, Alex Mitchell, said: “TRAP has been taking the battle against online merchandising piracy to the counterfeiters and IP cheats for four years and, with growing industry support, we are now stepping up our efforts.
“One million notices is a great response to this threat, but prevention, protection and education are equally important and will form a growing part of the work we do for our members – and the artists we represent.”