On April 16, 2018, contributions from participants in the EU consultation on "Counterfeiting and piracy online" were sent to the European Commission. All stakeholders concerned have participated in the consultation to support the value and importance of legality on the web.
Infringements of intellectual property rights, in particular counterfeiting and piracy on a commercial scale, generate significant losses for right-holders and companies that legitimately operate on the market, including outside the borders of the European Union.
Therefore, the European Commission has launched an initiative to identify online and physical markets outside the European Union, asking right holders to identify the perpetrators of the most serious violations suffered for -after a careful verification of the information received- the intent of publishing a "Counterfeiting and Piracy Checklist for 2018".
A regularly updated list, which will describe the most problematic markets -with a particular focus on online markets- in order to encourage their operators, as well as local authorities and governments, to take the necessary actions and measures to fight the provision of goods or services in violation of third parties' intellectual property rights.
The European Commission has set itself the goal of monitoring the measures and actions undertaken by the competent local authorities and market operators, also with regard to listed markets.
In this regard, such operators will be encouraged to adopt business models based on the distribution and provision of content and products lawfully introduced into the market, as well as to cooperate with rightholders and competent local law enforcement authorities to fight possible abuses.
Finally, with this consultation it is hoped that government authorities will intensify their efforts to investigate the complaints received from rightholders who have been affected and to prosecute against the responsible of such unlawful conduct.
The "list" will therefore also be an effective tool to sensitize consumers about the risks of shopping in online markets, and will reflect what, to date, seem to be the most dangerous players to be monitored in order to protect the EU market and its consumers.