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The U.S. government has substantial anti-counterfeiting and
anti-piracy efforts in place. However, according to the U.S. Government
Accountability Office (GAO), these efforts could be significantly improved
primarily through strong permanent leadership to foster better coordination
within and among federal government agencies and between them and state, local
and foreign government authorities and private industry. Based on an extensive
review, the GAO has also concluded that the U.S. government's
anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy effort needs strong permanent leadership,
that more dedicated resources are needed to combat counterfeiting and piracy,
and that the government agencies need more efficient and effective anti-piracy
and counterfeiting operations (i.e., there is a need to "work smarter.") The
OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) reached similar
conclusions in its recent review of government efforts to combat counterfeiting
and piracy around the world.
The Coalition against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP) has
recently proposed a broad initiative of actions to be taken by the federal government
to enhance its efforts to control piracy and counterfeiting. The measures
proposed by the CACP are consistent with the GAO's recommendations. The CACP's
call for prompt stronger action by the federal government reflects the fact
that the losses to American companies and the dangers to American consumers
resulting from piracy and counterfeiting are growing rapidly as technology
makes counterfeit products harder to detect and easier and cheaper to produce.
The purpose of this report is to provide an objective
evaluation of the CACP initiative by providing estimates of the expected
budgetary costs of the actions it proposes and estimates of the expected
benefits of these actions. Reflecting limitations on the availability and
reliability of underlying data and studies, we present a range of estimates for
both the costs and benefits. In both cases, the estimates we present are
conservative-we believe that our estimates of costs are on the high side of the
likely range and our estimates of benefits are on the low side of the likely
report in its entirety here.