Paradox: IP theft in Russia brings huge profits to respectful owner of infringed works

IndustryWeek publishes detailed article on IP (Intellectual Property) theft issues, and makes it the cover story.

Foreign governments play a key role in fighting IP theft, but unfortunately, there is a wide variance in how countries are attacking the problems of counterfeiting and IP theft, according to a 30-nation study by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). The top performing countries are: U.S., UK, Germany and France. Also among the best performers, in descending order: Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia.

Of course, to be any good, a decent article on IP theft must mentioned the main “bad guys” in the field –

At the other end of the spectrum, responders named China and Russia, respectively, as the two worst performing countries, followed by India, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine.

“Study may seem to suggest that IP theft and counterfeiting is a well recognized problem, but in reality many firms are just coming to terms with it, says Brian Monks, vice president of anti-counterfeiting operations at safety certification organization Underwriters Laboratories (UL). And even if an organization hasn’t been victimized yet, chances are good it soon will be, he warns. Brand volume and good margins increase the risk.”

Author of the article is quite good at describing IP theft/counterfeiting as a combination of challenges – read entire article here.

But as it turns out, Russian counterfeiters may cause not only headaches to western companies – Slashdot writes:

“Author Paulo ‘Pirate’ Coelho leapt out of obscurity and onto the
best-seller list by giving away his books on the Net. The best-selling
author of ‘The Alchemist’ will even help you pirate his books via his

His publishers were not pleased, but then his books went from
selling 1,000 copies to 100,000 and then over a million. He gives special
credit to pirate translators who are making his work accessible to a
wider audience and convincing more people to read his book.”

In particular, Coelho denotes works of Russian pirates – he talked about how uploading the Russian translation of “The Alchemist” made his sales in Russia go from around 1,000 per year to 100,000, then a million and more.

Coelho seems to be pretty enthusiastic about – he’s been actively posting to his blog, latest post is dated jan 23 and he announces what “I added more books in 7 different languages“.

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