Dear US Chamber Of Commerce: If A Site Advertises That It's Selling Fakes, How Is That Fooling Anyone?
from the rogue-sites? dept
The US Chamber of Commerce’s point man on destroying the internet, Steve Tepp, has been doing a silly “rogue site of the week” feature on his blog, trying to promote PROTECT IP/E-PARASITE/SOPA. But he seems to have an odd interpretation of “rogue sites” at times. Take, for example, his recent post about a site called “lifetimereplicas.com” — a site that no longer exists, because it was among those seized by the US government with no due process or adversarial review (the US doesn’t censor, right?). But here’s the thing: how is this a “rogue” site? No one is being fooled into thinking that the Rolex’s on the site are somehow real. The damn site admits right up front that it’s about making fakes. The problem with counterfeit goods is when they are tricking people into believing they’re the real thing. Remember that whole “likelihood of confusion” bit in trademark law? Who’s confused when they go to a site that advertises you’re buying fakes?
Furthermore, seeing as multiple studies have shown that when people are knowingly buying counterfeits, it’s an aspirational buy, and they quite frequently later buy the real thing… it’s hard to see how such products harm the economy in anyway. If anything, it suggests the opposite: such products help build up loyalty and sell more of the “real” product. So why would the US Chamber of Commerce, and Steve Tepp, go around claiming that such a site is “rogue,” when it doesn’t try to fool anyone? Perhaps it’s because the Chamber can’t find any examples of any real problems, and the check from certain monied interests doesn’t come in unless they can fabricate a big problem that doesn’t exist.