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Copyright Theft Now Hits One In Four Copyright Works,
Cost to Copyright Owners Approx $1.25 Trillion

In a CNN Report in late 2011, it was broadcast that Copyright Theft now running into “… $250,000,000,000 annually in the USA alone.” As the USA represents only about 18% of the world's economy, this extrapolates to around $1,250,000,000,000 ($1.25 trillion US) worldwide – about $40,000 every second. 

Similarly, in a 2011 report commissioned by the giant broadcaster NBC, it has been estimated that 23.8% – nearly a quarter – of ALL Internet Traffic “…infringes copyright.”

How Does Copyright Work?

‘Copyright’ is an automatic, natural right of any citizen of the 171 countries that are members of ‘The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works’.

This International Agreement was first established in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886. Amendments to the Convention are made in Switzerland – so Switzerland is the ‘home’ of International Copyright for the 171 Countries that are signatories to the Law.

The Berne Convention now covers all of Europe, The United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South America, most of the former Russian Federation and most of Africa and Asia. (See full list under the 'Country Check' tab.)

To cut a long story short, if you are a citizen of, or located in any of the member states, then the moment you record your work, on paper, canvas, as a digital file, on a postcard even… then it’s YOUR copyright*. (You don’t even need to use the © sign any more, contrary to popular belief.)

This means that when you do copyright your work, then it’s automatically copyright in the 171 countries that signed the Swiss Convention – not just in your own country.


Following the attacks on the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan in 2001, many governments have passed new laws to protect their citizens against the threat of terrorism. In general, these laws give government security agences the power to investigate citizens and often gain covert access to confidential financial details, personal computer files, password-protected internet sites etc.

The most controversial of these is the USA PATRIOT Act and the use of NSLs.*

*Excerpt from Wikipedia "A National Security Letter (NSL) is a form of administrative subpoena used by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and reportedly by other U.S. Government Agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense. They require no probable cause or judicial oversight. An NSL is a demand letter issued to a particular entity or organization to turn over various record and data pertaining to individuals."

"Perhaps one of the biggest controversies involved…the FBI. Because they allow the FBI to search telephone, email, and financial records without a court order, they were criticized by many parties. In November 2005, The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has criticized the law as unconstitutional, especially when 'the private communications of law-abiding American citizens might be intercepted incidentally', while the Electronic Frontier Foundation held that the lower standard applied to wiretaps 'gives the FBI a 'blank check' to violate the communications privacy of countless innocent Americans.'

"Another provision of the USA PATRIOT Act has caused a great deal of consternation amongst librarians. Section 215 allows the FBI to apply for an order to produce materials that assist in an investigation undertaken to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. Among the 'tangible things' that could be targeted, it includes 'books, records, papers, documents, and other items'.

"BusinessWeek reported that the FBI had issued tens of thousands of NSLs and had obtained one million financial, credit, employment, and in some cases, health records…

"An anonymous Justice official claimed that such requests were permitted under section 505 of the USA PATRIOT Act and despite the volume of requests insisted 'We are not inclined to ask courts to endorse fishing expeditions'. Before this was revealed, however, the ACLU challenged the constitutionality of NSLs in court. In April 2004, they filed suit against the government on behalf of an unknown Internet Service Provider who had been issued an NSL, for reasons unknown. In ACLU v. DoJ, the ACLU argued that the NSL violated the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution because the USA PATRIOT Act failed to spell out any legal process whereby a telephone or Internet company could try to oppose an NSL subpoena in court…"

PLEASE NOTE:  Copyright is a natural right under the terms of the Berne Convention. Without prejudice, and without other comment, our policy is that should any government agency wish to examine copyright records, the only course should be through the copyright owner.logo_400