Counterfeiters going global, says France

14th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

SEOUL, April 14 (AFP) - A top French official said Thursday that counterfeit industries are becoming increasingly global and linking up with international crime rings and terrorists.

SEOUL, April 14 (AFP) - A top French official said Thursday that counterfeit industries are becoming increasingly global and linking up with international crime rings and terrorists.

Benoit Battistelli, head of the French National Institute for Industrial Property, said in an interview with AFP that to fight piracy therefore, requires international coordination and cooperation on an unprecedented scale.

"It's expanding and becoming more and more industrialised. It does not only involve little producers trying to copy some brand name products but networks which are organised internationally," he said.

These networks have links with organised international crime rings and in some cases are connected with terrorists, he said.

"It requires well coordinated efforts for all the countries concerned to uncover, trace and destroy organised international crime rings," he said.

"We know some networks are dealing with drugs, engaged in arms trafficking and in some cases, they are linked with terrorist activities," he said.

Battistelli said other countries should follow the example of France and pass new laws to punish not only producers and distributors but consumers of counterfeit goods as well.

"We have seen it is very efficient. Now, there exist almost no counterfeit producers in France," he said, noting that in France, buyers of counterfeit products can be fined heavily for using just one pirated T-shirt.

The production of pirated goods account for 10 percent of world trade or EUR 500 billion annually, he said.

Battistelli arrived here Tuesday for a three-day visit for talks on protecting intellectual property rights.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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