Human rights focus at copyright conference

2013-04-24 13:30

(Ablay Saralayev, AFP)

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Istanbul – The Global Congress Combating Counterfeiting & Piracy has focused on the link between counterfeiting and intellectual property theft and human rights.

“We know that counterfeiting and piracy have huge effects on human health,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told delegates at the start of the conference in Istanbul.

The conference seeks to find common ground on issues related to piracy and counterfeiting.

“In the eastern part of the country where there is a difficult border, we tried to fight trafficking, not for ourselves, but for Europe,” said Erdogan.


Intellectual property rights (IPR) have an impact not only with software companies and their content that may be illegally distributed on the internet, but also affects those who may unwittingly buy fake medical products.

“IPR is within the context of human rights, and counterfeiting and piracy contradicts these human rights,” said Erdogan.

He associated medical piracy with terror but was careful to insist that Turkey would work with all rights holders to ensure compliance with existing local and EU legislation.

“Toxic drugs have been terminating lives in the western world as well.”

In the US in 2012, 36-year-old Francis Ortiz Gonzalez was convicted on one count of conspiracy and seven counts of trafficking in counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

He was found to have shipped 160 000 fake tablets made to resemble Viagra, Cialis, Valium, Xanax and Lipitor.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) says that the growth of internet platforms has resulted in an opportunity for criminals to exploit the demand for products online.

Lax attitude

According to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) in the US, while 80% of adults are aware that intellectual property (IP) theft is illegal, most regarded the purchase of products at below normal prices as “normal”.

The NCPC report also found that people took a lax attitude to IP theft because of the lack of visible enforcement.

Erdogan said the protection of global copyright should become a national priority in individual nations.

“Counterfeiting and piracy is a global problem and no country can ignore this issue.”

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