Intellectual Property Crime: The Urgent Need for Global Attention

In the last couple of months I have spent considerable time with police officials in India. I am worried, very worried about the conversations I have had with them which were largely centred around the state of the informal economy, in which Intellectual Property (IP) crime plays a huge part.

The most unsettling linkage is the one between the proceeds of IP crimes and terrorist activities. A senior police officer with whom I have had extensive discussions on the subject acknowledged some recent reports that many terrorist organisations now source their funding through IP crimes. According to him the terrorist outfits or organised criminal networks do not operate in a vacuum but very much in the real world. They need an interface with real commerce in order to fund their nefarious activities. These organisations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are beginning to control the majority of IP crimes that are taking place, particularly in developing countries.

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