I met Will Nix, former head of the Motion Picture Association’s Anti-Piracy program, while researching my book on trademark counterfeiting. He provided invaluable information, including speeches he had presented and personal interviews about the MPAA’s piracy problem. He was instrumental in establishing the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) in 1983 to battle what was a huge piracy problem in Europe, especially the United Kingdom. London was the center of motion picture piracy with an estimated eighty percent of the market gone pirate. Belgium was an estimated 70 to 75 percent; Ireland 50 percent. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, a Steven Spielberg film and one of the most popular films of all time, was never legitimately released on video cassette in any country outside the United States because of piracy.
Today FACT is the UK’s leading trade organization to protect and represent the intellectual property rights of its members’ intellectual property (IP). The creative industries support 1.7 million jobs in the UK and account for over 5% of the UK economy.
FACT has many innovative programs, like the Fact Certification Scheme, which currently covers over 110 companies of all sizes and is administered by FACT on behalf of its members. Businesses wishing to provide services to the audio-visual industry must satisfy members they have sufficiently high levels of security in order to safeguard the intellectual property rights of FACT.
One of the largest online pharmacies in Canada, NorthWestPharmacy.com, a large Canadian online pharmacy, has recently issued a warning to consumers about unaccredited “Canadian pharmacies.” Of particular concern are websites that purportedly offer Canada’s drugs from a Canadian pharmacy without a prescription to Americans.
The warning comes in the wake of the indictment of Ram Kamath of Downers Grove, Illinois by the U.S. Justice Dept. for allegedly participating in a conspiracy to distribute $78 million worth of non-FDA approved counterfeit cancer medications through CanadaDrugs.com. The indictment was filed in US district court in Montana charging CanadaDrugs and its affiliates in the United Kingdom and Barbados with smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy.
CanadaDrugs’ affiliates bought their non-FDA authorized or mislabeled drugs abroad and shipped them to the United States to sell to physicians at lower prices compared with the U.S. equivalents, according to the indictment. The money would go to the company’s Barbados affiliate, which would then send the profits to Canada, the indictment said.
The FDA began investigating CanadaDrugs.com’s distribution of counterfeit versions of the cancer drug Avastin in 2012. Narinder Kaulder is alleged to have helped supply fake Avastin and is believed to be the head of operations for a U.K. drug wholesaler called River East Supplies, LTD. According to the indictment, River East was a subsidiary through which CanadaDrugs conducted its “clinical sales.”