Beat the criminal fakes business through legislation? Forget it. But with better practical cooperation, Europe might have a fighting chance.
That was the message come from the Commissioner for the Internal Market, Charlie McCreevy.
At the High Level Conference on Counterfeiting and Piracy in Brussels, he spoke forcefully in favour of developing the exchange of information between legitimate producers, the EU member states and its institutions. McCreevy said:
“The purpose of today’s event is two-fold; firstly to raise awareness of the dangers to health and safety as well as the real cost of buying fakes and illegally downloading material from the Internet; secondly, it is also about developing a strategy to fight these thieves who are causing more and more damage to businesses, to industries and to consumers every day.”
McCreevy added he thought more laws would be counterproductive, because the problem would have evolved by the time any EU regulations get on the statute books. Meanwhile, however, a French proposal suggests that illegal downloading from the Internet should be punished by cutting the offenders’ service off. McCreevy called the increase in tonnage of fake goods seized at EU borders “staggering”.