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.


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  1.  
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    anonymous, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 5:08am

    and they are very good at that! so good, in fact, that when the actual truth is out there, that's what is ignored! just as all the true studies over piracy that have been done by INDEPENDENT researchers, not entertainment industry sponsored studies. what this article states, i found very interesting!

    h**p://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/11/piracy-problems-us-copyright-industr ies-show-terrific-health.ars

     

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    Krandor, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 5:19am

    who decides

    See, this is the problem with this kind of law that brings down sites without due process (or even a notice/takedown provision). Who gets to decide when a site is "bad" or "rogue"? Taking down the site and figuring it out later isn't a good idea.

    If this passes, how long before one company goes over a competitor's website because they found a few items that MIGHT be counterfeit? Think it won't happen - just look at how companies used the DMCA - my favorite being using the DMCA to prevent black friday sales prices from being listed prior to black friday.

     

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  3.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 5:28am

    Re: who decides

    "how long before one company goes over a competitor's website"

    A better question would be; how long will it take to file the paperwork. I'd bet that a lot of places (RIAA, MPAA, Monster cable) already have the paperwork written up and waiting to be rushed off. "How long" is exactly how long it will take the message to get there.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 5:43am

    Google is behind this all!!! All of the fakes and the counterfeit goods, it's ALL GOOGLE'S FAULT!!! See, Google has six letters in it. SIX LETTERS! That's an evil number!! They did this on purpose! You see how Herman Cain has a 9 9 9 plan? Do you think this is a coincidence? It's not. If you flip those 9 9 9's around, it turns into 666. Don't you guys see!!! Google is going to team up with Herman Cain, Techdirt, and the EFF to take over the world through piracy! Nostradamus even predicted this!! Please believe me! Why won't anyone believe me? I don't even believe myself. I'm desperate here! I'm a lawyer and I'm about to lose my job!!

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 5:48am

    Re:

    Well it doesn't matter that much the world will end in 2012 :)

     

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  6.  
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    justok (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 5:51am

    Maybe they were selling the real things but falsely calling them fake?

     

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  7.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 5:52am

    Re:

    "Why won't anyone believe me?"
    "I'm a lawyer"

    Kinda answered your own question.
    Funny post though

     

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  8.  
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    FuzzyDuck, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 5:54am

    It's a lost sale

    Everyone who buys a fake rolex for $10 would have bought the real thing for $1000 had the fake not been available.

    /sarc

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Re:

    Big Search is the root of all evil.

     

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  10.  
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    Pixelation, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 6:07am

    Going Rogue

    If these are truly "rogue sites", Palin and McCain must be upset.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 6:26am

    Re: It's a lost sale

    Sounds like Rolex's customers are underserved to me. They should be making their own cheap knockoffs instead of trying to shut down the competition. Maybe set up a shell company for it; I know how fussy companies can be about their brands.

     

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  12.  
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    Ninja (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re:

    That's a misinterpretation of the Mayan calendars. 2012 marks the end of a cycle of 50-something years and some idiots interpreted that as the end of times.

     

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  13.  
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    Ninja (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Site: I'm selling REPLICAS of [insert product here].
    MAFIAA: What did you say?
    Site: I'm selling lower quality replicas of [insert product here] for ppl who can't afford the original. It's written in capital letters in the front page so no1 will buy thinking it's the original.
    MAFIAA: Oh. For a moment I thought you said you were selling replicas of the original while openly and honestly telling they were 'fakes' to your customers. Officer, please arrest him.
    Site: ???

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 6:50am

    Genuine Fake Watches

    A little shop in Ephesus Turkey near the entrance to ancient Greek and Roman ruins. Sign reads "Genuine Fake Watchs".
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos?hl=en&tab=wq#photos/114591754945846656481/albums/51 31408857954559345/5670763878211103442

     

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  15.  
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    W, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 6:51am

    We have a saying: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...???? F#$% it, have ICE shut them down."

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 6:55am

    The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    "The problem with counterfeit goods is when they are tricking people into believing they're the real thing."

    Disclaimer: I'm no supporter of Rolex, wouldn't have one.

    But in general, LISTEN TO YOURSELF, Mike! You're actually advocating counterfeiting! And saying it's /good/ for not only the brand, but so idiots can parade around in status symbols. -- I bet that you wear a counterfeit Rolex, so this hits home.

    The existence of counterfeit goods is fraud in itself, and if left unchecked, you won't be able to trust whether the watch you pay $1000 for even from a fancy brick and mortar store actually /is/ genuine. The seller could just point out the laser engraved small print on the package that says it's counterfeit.

    Is that the kind of world you want? The visible emblems of success all faked? -- You should jeer at the emblems in the first place, as what fools who were born lucky decorate themselves with in absence of any real personal worth that comes from adding value to society. -- How about faked academic research, Mike? It's the same mentality: people want the emblems without having to bother doing the actual work, or bothering with such pesky details as getting their notions to match reality, not the other way round. (Hint: that last is aimed at you, Mike.)

    So, for today it's FAKE MIKE. FAKE ARTICLES. FAKE DATA. We can't believe a thing you write or even reference, because you openly advocate FAKE.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:01am

    Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    I have to agree here Mike. You are focusing narrowly on only one aspect (fooling) and working very hard to ignore all the rest (counterfeit, misused of trademarks, brand names, look, feel, appearance, design, and so on).

    Saying "yup, they are fakes" doesn't suddenly make the rest of the problem go away.

    When you write this sort of piece, when you get so narrowly caught up in things, you show why many of your posts here are easy to object to. You cannot take a single law in a vacuum, it's the effects of all of the laws on the books combined.

     

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  18.  
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    ChrisB (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:04am

    Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    Hey, communist, listen up. If the public votes with their wallets and buys counterfeit goods, who the hell are you to say otherwise? The free market is a democracy. You are advocating for communism. Just move to China, so the government can take care of you and protect you from yourself.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    What part of "The damn site admits right up front that it's about making fakes." didn't you get? Nobody is being tricked here, so there's no counterfeiting (see http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/counterfeiting).

     

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  20.  
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    abc gum, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    "Mike! You're actually advocating counterfeiting! "

    Not.
    There is an unbridled and unwarranted desire for control over that which is claimed to be a free market. Imaginary property legislation has ulterior motives, do you support this?


    "visible emblems of success "

    Ha ha - this is too funny.


    "FAKE MIKE. FAKE ARTICLES. FAKE DATA"

    This message brought to you by an authentic shill troll.

     

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  21.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re: @AC "http://icanouttrollyou/" -- We humans concede the fact.

    You've done the easiest thing in the world, strung together some gibberish. Now try SAYING something to which humans might respond. Bet you've nothing.

     

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  22.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're just no fun anymore.

     

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  23.  
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    The eejit (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re:

    No, Big Search contains the algorithm of all evil. Get it right, dude.

     

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  24.  
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    The eejit (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: @AC "http://icanouttrollyou/" -- We humans concede the fact.

    Okay, this is GENIUS.

     

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  25.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: @AC "http://icanouttrollyou/" -- We humans concede the fact.

    Pot, meet kettle.

     

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  26.  
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    The eejit (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    Consider this: it says, on the home page, that these are not genuine. The counterfeit has to be sold as genuine for it to be a counterfeit.

     

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  27.  
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    MM_Dandy, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:29am

    The existence of counterfeit goods is fraud in itself, and if left unchecked, you won't be able to trust whether the watch you pay $1000 for even from a fancy brick and mortar store actually /is/ genuine. The seller could just point out the laser engraved small print on the package that says it's counterfeit.

    Counterfeit goods are frauds only when they claim to be something they are not. And no one here is arguing that that is a good thing. But if the product includes a disclaimer stating that the article is a replica, the term counterfeit simply cannot apply. True, it's not nice if it's done in fine print, but we're not talking about the fine print here. If I walk into a store named "Replicas," do you really think I should have any expectation that the watch I'm looking at is a Rolex?

     

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  28.  
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    Another AC, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:29am

    Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    "Is that the kind of world you want? The visible emblems of success all faked?"

    I think I speak for the 99% when I say "Yes, yes we do."

    In find it interesting that you place so much value on your image - your opinion that "true success" = "appearance of success" = "fancy expensive things" makes me pity you :(

    P.S. Mike doesn't seem to say most of the things you say, maybe read the article again?

     

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  29.  
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    Sage (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: It's a lost sale

    I suspect you're attempting to be snarky, but companies have actually done this.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    eejit, a couterfeit is a counterfeit. They may not sell them as genuine, but the reason to buy them is to give your friends / whoever the impressing that you did buy the real thing.

    Further, duplicating something (and including logos, etc) is a violation of trademark, and possibly copyright on design elements, etc). You don't even have to specifically hit counterfeiting to get this one shut down (and it's down, BTW).

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Re:

    You forgot to sign in ootb

     

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  32.  
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    hothmonster, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:42am

    Re: Going Rogue

    No they only visit maverick websites

     

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  33.  
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    Another AC, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    "... but the reason to buy them is to give your friends / whoever the impressing that you did buy the real thing"

    Hey everybody, this AC is a mind reader! OK now what am I thinking now?

    "Further, duplicating something (and including logos, etc) is a violation of trademark, and possibly copyright on design elements, etc)"

    This sounds like a big assumption from you that they were doing that... oh wait you can read minds, so sure this *must* be true :)


    "You don't even have to specifically hit counterfeiting to get this one shut down (and it's down, BTW)."

    You are correct, apparently you do have to be able to read the minds of ICE to know whether they are going to shut you down or not since they don't give you any warning, notice, or even a chance to explain your side.

    You can read their minds apparently, but what about the rest of us "normals"?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    Oh look, another prick. Guys like you make this site very difficult to have a discussion on.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: @AC "http://icanouttrollyou/" -- We humans concede the fact.

    Hey, out trolling IP maximists is no easy task. These people try to associate piracy with the drug cartel and terrorism, they come up with the craziest Google conspiracy theories. Topping that is no easy task.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Rolex's are counterfeited so often and so well that when I see one now, I automatically assume it's a counterfeit. The brand to me is less valuable than Casio or Timex at this point and I think that's part of the damage companies like Rolex are afraid of.

     

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  37.  
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    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    eejit, a couterfeit is a counterfeit. They may not sell them as genuine, but the reason to buy them is to give your friends / whoever the impressing that you did buy the real thing.
    Please explain to me then how it is that there are companies that make and sell replicas of famous cars? How are these any different than someone selling a replica Rolex when this fact is disclosed prominently before any purchase can be made?

    So should Ford slam the door on Cobra or Elinore replicas? What about Chevy slamming the door on Foose and other hot-rod designers? Wouldn't that be the same as in this scenario?

     

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  38.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    They may not sell them as genuine, but the reason to buy them is to give your friends / whoever the impressing that you did buy the real thing.

    Most evidence suggests people aren't fooled by a Prado bag.

    Further, duplicating something (and including logos, etc) is a violation of trademark, and possibly copyright on design elements, etc). You don't even have to specifically hit counterfeiting to get this one shut down (and it's down, BTW).

    Yeah... Hitting a website is really going to stop people from selling (or buying) counterfeit goods for a cheaper price

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: It's a lost sale

    Sounds like Toyota's relationship with Lexus to me.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:44am

    Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    Actual counterfeiting requires fraud. If they're advertising the fact that they're not the real thing then there is no fraud and, by extension, no counterfeiting.

    "The existence of counterfeit goods is fraud in itself"

    This doesn't make sense. Absent a person to fool how can their, by definition, be fraud? There can't be, you're just making up definitions to suit your rhetoric.

    "How about faked academic research"

    If everyone knows its fake up front isn't is just science fiction at that point? Speaking of fiction isn't 'fake' a selling point for such things? OotB: Nope, fake is evil and should be hated.

     

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  41.  
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    jackwagon (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:46am

    actual police work

    If selling the counterfeits/replicas is truly illegal, here's a thought. Find the people selling the goods, shut down their operations and arrest them. Pulling their websites does very little to stop them and has the potential to shut down legitimate business due to the lack of due process.

     

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  42.  
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    Michael Long (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:51am

    Re:

    If you want to talk about being ignored, I added a few of Mike's comments to the "comment" section of the Commerce site, and got this...

    "Your comment has been queued for moderation by site administrators and will be published after approval."

    Any bets on whether or not dissenting opinions will be "moderated" and suppressed? That's "freedom" for you.

     

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  43.  
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    Michael Long (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 8:56am

    Re:

    In fact, NO article I can find has ANY comments whatsoever. Should have expected it from the start...

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:03am

    copy everybody

    You miss the point once again mikey. Illegal counterfeiting is the problem, how would you like it if someone stole your market by making cheap knock-offs? Oh yeah that's right you aren't capable of making jack shit, that's why you think everything should be free.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:11am

    Re:

    If that were true then there would be no market for genuine Rolexes or for knockoffs. Neither is true. In fact a vibrant market for fakes would imply the opposite, that Rolex is far from being damaged and is actually in such a good position that people would pay to even look like they own one.

     

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  46.  
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    AC, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Re:

    What happens when the disclaimer that states that the product was a replica is destroyed and the item is sold as a genuine item? Who is responsible for this if there is no [easy] way to discern the difference between the genuine product and the replica?

     

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  47.  
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    Mike Priz, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:17am

    Real Rolex

    I bought a genuine Rolex in Indonesia for $12.00. I know it was real because the street urchin from whom I bought it, pointed at it an said, "Wo-lex."
    All of the knock offs are made in China. Isn't China one of Rolex's biggest markets?
    If you make a plastic gun that looks like a Glock, does it hurt Glock sales?

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    A counterfeit is a counterfeit, yes, but not all imitations are counterfeits. For an imitation to be counterfeit it must be counterfeit i.e. A fraudulent imitation of something else. It's not enough to imitate, there must also be fraud.

    Tricking your friends into thinking you own a genuine Rolex when you don't isn't illegal and it has nothing to do with the original sale, when you bought something you knew wasn't real. Trademark law exists to protect buyers from unscrupulous sellers, not to protect the buyers friends from being fooled into think the buyer has a better watch than he really does.

    Duplication is not a violation of trademark a priori even when the trademark itself is duplicated. There is no fashion copyright. It is true though that you don't have to specifically hit any legal argument that's true to get things shut down. You just have to have friends in high places, like ICE.

    I can't believe you would actually argue 'well obviously they're guilty or why would we have seized the domain' and think it's people other than yourself that make it difficult to have a discussion on this site. Suspicion and police action on that suspicion prove nothing on their own.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re:

    That depends on who sold the item knowing it was not genuine but sold it as genuine anyway. If and only if this happens is there an issue.

     

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  50.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:18am

    How a Status Symbol Can Become A Sub-Prole Artifact.

    Someone who can afford to spend perhaps $100 on a watch is not going to buy a $10 fake Rolex. Instead, he is going to buy a Casio "Atomic" watch, so he can brag about how much more accurate it is than a mechanical Rolex, and if you give him half a chance, he'll bend your ear, telling you all about the WWV radio broadcast time service, and the cesium clocks which drive WWV, all of which keep his watch within a tenth of a second of true time. The next step, of course, is a watch with a GPS receiver built in, accurate to tens or hundreds of nanoseconds perhaps. The Casio-wearer can look at the Rolex-wearer, and say something patronizing about "fools with more money than brains," or words to that effect.

    Of course there is a certain element of falsity in the Casio-wearer's position, as well. A timekeeper is only as good as the process of relating its reading to the real world. If you need to keep time to tenths of a second, the timekeeper needs to be built into some other machine, so that it can automatically record or initiate events. It cannot be a watch anymore, in short. The kind of watch a strictly rational person buys is therefore a cheap digital watch, which can be kept within generally accepted limits of punctuality by being adjusted once a year or so.

    However, the real issue is going to be that the kind of people who work at McDonald's, and who obviously cannot afford a real Rolex will be wearing fake Rolexes, not as "passing," but as a kind of cargo-cult reaction, an expression of a fantasy totally detached from reality, of being a rock star instead of asking "Do you want fries with that?" The Casio-wearer might like you to think that he got a bigger bonus than he actually got, but, if you know him, you know approximately where he works, and in what kind of job, and you aren't very likely to mis-estimate his income by a factor of ten. The kind of person who is wearing a fake Rolex will be someone who will never even be within reaching distance of a real Rolex. If there are a hundred fake Rolexes for every real Rolex, someone wearing a real Rolex will be presumed, at sight, to be McDonald's counter help or something like that, and the people who could afford to buy Rolexes will refuse to buy Rolexes.

    Suppose you see a woman on the street, wearing a tiara of "diamonds," comparing favorably in size and number with the British Crown Jewels. You don't for a moment think the things are real, of course, and you assume they were borrowed from a little girl's dress-up set. The only question remaining in your mind is whether the woman is a crazy street person, or an actress doing street theater (eg. a political demonstration). Suppose you raise a Rolex to that level. Back during the last war, the one in Vietnam, the Yippies had a star turn, two men in travesty of military uniform, with plastic airplane models glued to their hats, who were known as "General Hershey Bar," and "General Waste-More-Land," in mockery of the actual generals, Lewis Hershey and William Westmoreland. and who gave comic speeches. Imagine an Occupy Wall Street demonstrator, with about forty fake Rolexes stitched to his coat, in neat rows running all the way up the sleeves to the shoulders, declaiming "I am the uber-capitalist! The new Anti-Christ, and and I am the number of the Beast! I need all these six-hundred and sixty-six Rolex watches to keep track of how many jobs I am shipping to China!" And much more to the same effect. He gives a stylish performance, and gets lots of television coverage. At that point, it is conceivable that a great many potential Rolex customers would simply not want to wear Rolexes.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re:

    You miss the part where I said "to me". Stop thinking in absolutes.

    For some part of the population, the brand is devalued by counterfeits. Mike is claiming that for a different part, the aspirational aspect of knock-off goods helps the brand. Nobody knows what the net result is.

    > Rolex is far from being damaged and is actually in such a good position that people would pay to even look like they own one

    I don't understand why anybody would buy a $5,000 watch that is going to be perceived by most to be a $50 watch. I do understand that people will buy a $50 watch to try to fool others into believing they have a $5,000 watch.

     

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  52.  
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    MrWilson, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: It's a lost sale

    Look at Old Navy, the Gap, and Banana Republic. They're covering several demographics and price points with their diversity of brands.

    Want $150 pants? Banana Republic. Want $75 pants? Gap. Want $25 pants? Old Navy.

     

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  53.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: It's a lost sale

    That kind of thing is old hat. Even Techdirt has a story about a company in South Africa that created its own counterfeit brand so they could corner the market on counterfeits of their real brand.

     

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  54.  
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    MrWilson, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Who needs a watch any more anyway? Get a goddam gold-plated cover for your exclusive edition smartphone if you want to show off your wealth and success, you luddite.

     

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  55.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re:

    Then whoever sold the item as genuine but knew it wasn't is the one at fault. Questions of liability are not that hard.

    Now let me ask a question. Who is held liable when someone is stabbed by a pencil? Is it:
    A) The manufacturer of the pencil
    B) The person who bought the pencil
    C) The person who did the stabbing

     

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  56.  
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    Willton, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    Please explain to me then how it is that there are companies that make and sell replicas of famous cars? How are these any different than someone selling a replica Rolex when this fact is disclosed prominently before any purchase can be made?

    Because the original manufacturer of such cars is no longer selling them. A trademark only has value if it is being used to denote the source of the goods. In the case of replica cars, if the original manufacturer is not currently selling cars that display the mark of these famous cars, then there's no infringement because the manufacturer has no rights to the mark. On the other hand, Rolex still makes watches and uses the ROLEX mark to signify the source of such watches. Therefore, making a replica watch that displays the ROLEX mark would be an infringing use of the ROLEX mark.

    So should Ford slam the door on Cobra or Elinore replicas? What about Chevy slamming the door on Foose and other hot-rod designers? Wouldn't that be the same as in this scenario?

    Is Ford currently selling cars with the Cobra or Elinore mark? Is Chevy currently selling cars with the Foose mark? If not, then no, it's not the same. Why? Because if you're not using the mark, you have no rights to the mark.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Is the pencil connected to the internet in some way? If yes then the answer is obviously:
    D) "Big Search."

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually you're missing the part where it doesn't matter what the watch is worth 'to you.' What matters is what happens in aggregate. We actually do know what the net result is when Rolexes continue to be sold at full price because the only way for that to happen is for enough of the population to value them at that price which means the net result is: they're still worth the retail price. So there is no net damage.

    "I don't understand why anybody would buy a $5,000 watch that is going to be perceived by most to be a $50 watch."

    And yet they do so regardless of your understanding. That's what's actually important, not that you understand or that Rolxes be an attractive brand to you.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: How a Status Symbol Can Become A Sub-Prole Artifact.

    I can't really tell what your point is. Is it that items which are designed to be symbols of opulence are unpopular in uncertain economic times because even those that can afford them don't want to appear opulent in said times?

     

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  60.  
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    Ninja (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry =(

    But it would be a good thing if the world actually ended ;)

     

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  61.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re:

    Wait...are you saying they have a Comments section after their articles but not one single comment in there? At all? BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! Thank you! Just goes to show you, not even the copyright trolls like to gather there; they'd rather come here.

     

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  62.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: @AC "http://icanouttrollyou/" -- We humans concede the fact.

    Agreed. Best parody of OOTB ever.

     

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  63.  
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    Bergman (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    And ICE did such a good job getting rid of Lifetime Replicas. They're now a .info site instead of .com, and a Google search turns up the new site just fine.

    But if you actually go to the .com site, you get a defamatory statement then get redirected to that PSA video that is (apparently) itself pirated by ICE.

    wouldn't it be nice if a government obeyed its own laws?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    MM_Dandy, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, if I'm in a store called "Replicas," I would not assume that the product is genuine.

    If I really were curious about the authenticity of an item and couldn't determine authenticity myself, I would ask an expert to appraise it. If the expert cannot determine authenticity, I wouldn't buy it, or at least wouldn't buy it for any more than the price of a replica.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    You really need to do a little research. Carroll Shelby is incredibly protective of his name and brand, and routinely uses legal action to protect it. He even at one point was suing the Shelby Registry... you can imagine.

    The automotive world is full of lawsuits, and likely more to come considering that both Ford and Chevy have gone back into the business of making "body in white" reproductions of their 60's classic cars (Ford with the original Mustang, Chevy with the original Camaro).

    Can you give me an example of a replica of a famous car, that uses the car's name, and is an actually replica and not just a 'tribute'?

    Trademarks are trademarks. You can't get around them very easily, especially if you try to use them in exactly the same marketplace.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If the product cannot be simply seen not to be the original, there is a problem. Regardless of disclaimers, if the watch as the Rolex logo on it, and appears to be a Rolex, and the only thing seperating it is a disclaimer on a website, then there is a problem. The disclaimer does not and cannot absolve them of a claim of trademark infringement.

     

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  67.  
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    mike allen (profile), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 3:00pm

    what are you looking for in a watch for me it accurate time keeping if it looks good too then great but that is a matter of personal choice.
    I don't care if it says ROLEX and isn't as long as it is accurate. My own watch is radio controlled from the atomic clock cost 25 UK. That keeps me in line with the clocks at the radio station.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The problem with counterfeit goods is that they're counterfeit.

    Why are you talking about yourself in the third person?

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 5:00pm

    Re: copy everybody

    He makes a great website. What do you make? Apart from snide remarks?

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 6:28pm

    Techdirt has become absurdist theater. Few, if any, of the arguments, opinions and cockamamie notions that get passed around this echo chamber of the insane aren't laughed at by the people elected to make policy in this country. Please keep showing what extremists zealots you are. It only makes it that much easier to discount the few legitimate arguments against expanded intellectual property law.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 10:07pm

    flagged ICE videos on youtube as spam

    going to the website in question shows the warning then a badly framed youtube embedded video of some guy trying to selll bootleg videos.

    I flagged is spam mass advertising... hehe

     

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  72.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 2:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The only old way to determine (quickly) the authenticity in a rolex used to be the second hand, it moves continuously on a real rolex, and 'ticks' on a fake.
    Yes, there probably are people who can make the continuous movement, but most cheap replica makers won't bother - it's expensive and therefore would put the price of the replica up, making it less desirable.

    That's my two penny's to this discussion, probably not entirely relevant, but hey, that's me, not entirely relevant.

     

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  73.  
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    brian, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 6:45am

    meh

    Ummm did you ever think that they took it down because of trademark infringement? You can't hijack a brand and sell it as your own even if you're being honest about its inauthenticy. It's called piggy backing and it happens a lot in e-commerce. In addition, people can knowingly buy fakes and then re-sell them as the real thing. It's not rocket science people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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