Canadian coppers admit making up piracy figures

19 September 2007

Nick Farrell

FOR MONTHS, Canadian coppers have been claiming that software piracy costs the country $30 billion.

The figure has been used by countless lobby groups to get the Canadian authorities to bring in some tougher anti-piracy laws.

US Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins even quoted the figure in a March 2007 speech critical of Canadian law.

However bogger Michael Geist thought there was something fishy about the figure and asked for the sources behind the Royal Mounted Police's $30 billion claim.

The letter came back from red-faced coppers confessing that they made up the figure based what they had read on the Internet.

The RCMP did not conduct any independent research on the scope or impact of counterfeiting in Canada, but rather merely searched a couple news stories.

The sources for the outrageous claim came from an unsubstantiated telly news piece, which in turn got the figure from the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, which happens to be the movie, recording and software industry in drag, and which simply made it up

It seems that the RCMP just saw the figure which was plucked out of the bottom of the IACC and printed it as its own. Soon they'll try solving their cases by looking to see who did it on Wikipedia.

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