Establish the links between intellectual property rights (IPR) and terrorism and organized crimes. How strengthening the IPR regime in India can help in prevention of organized crime? Discuss.

Organised crime refers to transnational, national or local groups who carry out illegal activities in order to make money or profit. Activities like drug trafficking, human trafficking, financial frauds are carried out by these groups.
Terrorist groups require men, material and finances to carry out their own activities. Thus terrorist groups utilize the organised criminal groups for their wide network and money. Organised groups enjoy protection from these terrorist groups.
Intellectual Property refers to creation of minds such as inventions, symbol, literary and artistic work. IP in law are protected through patents, copyright and trademarks, which enables people to earn recognition or financial benefits.
Organised criminal groups and terrors groups are involved in IP crimes such as counterfeiting of goods, smuggling and piracy get finances. Profits from Film piracy are used for financing terror activities. Groups like D company are involved in piracy of Bollywood movies and these groups are known to  have links in Mumbai terror attacks. This is a high profit and low risk crimes as punishment under IP laws are milder. Counterfeiting of goods is another big IP crime. Trade in counterfeit goods accounts for 10% of the total global trade. Expansion of social media has made it easier to sell counterfeit groups.
In order to prevent these crimes it is necessary that:

  1. IP laws need to be strengthened and stricter punishment is awarded in case of IP violation by terror groups.
  2. Law enforcement and investigative agencies should be trained in cyber related matters as most of these crimes occur online
  3. Prevention of organised crime requires collaboration with other countries.

Strengthening IP laws in India is necessary to prevent supply of counterfeit drugs which one of the major problems, Film piracy due to which film industry loses crores of money each year.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Establish the links between intellectual property rights (IPR) and terrorism and organized crimes. How strengthening the IPR regime in India can help in prevention of organized crime? Discuss.

Published: September 25, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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