Law-enforcement authorities in the US and the European Union celebrated "Cyber Monday" – the internet's shopping-frenzy equivalent to brick-and-mortar stores' Black Friday – by shuttering 132 websites for selling counterfeit merchandise. "These websites were stealing from legitimate websites and copyright holders and the people …
Didn't do a very good job...
...ebay is still working.
"all of it fake, all of it substandard quality."
Like the claim that pirated movies and games are inferior quality to the legitimate product, this is in most cases complete and utter bullshit. Just as pirate copies are usually just as good as the originals they were digitally ripped from, plus are better for having the DRM crap stripped out, so too the counterfeit items are often just as good as the real thing.
The reason is that what happens with name-brand fashion items (for example, Nike) is that Nike orders say 20,000 pairs of air-pump shoes from a Chinese factory, and the factory then pulls out a run of 50,000 pairs, ships the ordered 20,000 off to Nike and dumps the remaining 30,000 into street markets from Beijing to Phuket, or into mass drop-shipping websites at a tenth of the price. But the "fake" shoes, produced in exactly the same factory as part of the same run, are obviously identical to the legitimate ones. The only difference is that the IP owner hasn't been paid for them.
I see that China's name hasn't cropped up in the list of countries cooperating on this takedown. That's because a) China doesn't give a fuck about IP and b) stands to lose too much if it cooperated with such an effort. Of course, they make token gestures like arresting the odd street-market DVD pirate, but that's purely placatory; we all know that China's economy relies heavily on ignoring IP and selling masses of stuff at rock-bottom prices.
So the IP owners would gain more respect if they focused on the issue of counterfeiting resulting in Western job losses instead of the tired old "fake items are poorer quality" bullshit. Of course, that means they'd actually have to start re-employing Western workers instead of outsourcing everything to China if they wanted to regain a shred of credibility. At least then they'd have tighter control over production runs at home and could justify the higher prices with higher wages, but I guess having to pay workers a decent wage takes too much from the shareholders' fat wallets.
You pays your money and you takes your choice. Employ Westerners at high wages and save on anti-counterfeiting costs, or outsource to China and pay the difference in IP enforcement. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, really.
Re: "all of it fake, all of it substandard quality."
Rights holders are actually a lot smarter than you think. They outsource manufacturing to China, thus saving huge gobs of money which they then cheerfully pocket. Then they outsource rights enforcement to respective govts., thus pocketing more gelt. Govt. coffers will see none of this, despite the assertions of the charmingly naive Mr Morton.
Re: "obviously identical to the legitimate ones"
You'll be one of those dodgy traders trying to shift crap on-line or off the back of a van, then.
Works for me
I hope they keep shuttering hundreds of pirated software and music websites, every month. The more criminals they send to prison, the better for the rest of us.
Re: Works for me
<= You missed the icon.
"Just think of all the jobs that are lost"
By these big-name companies moving manufacturing to the far East for cheaper labour and using IP laws to defend high prices and blocking 'grey imports' of genuine goods at lower prices?
Think Tesco vs Levis anyone?
CD Wow! versus BPI perhaps?
Who pays for operations of this kind? I very much doubt that Nike (or whoever) foots the bill, which means scarce police resources are wasted on activities such as this.
I'm not saying that copyright infringers should be allowed to get away with this sort of activity, but why should the Police and other public bodies be forced to foot the bill?
The claim they always make about lost sales etc is complete and utter bovine excrement. Anyone who buys a fake gucci handbag for a tenner knows it's fake and would not be buying it if they could afford the genuine item. There are no lost sales when fakes like this are sold at a fraction of the cost of the "real" goods.
I wonder if the rights holders would be so quick to whine about lost sales if they were presented with a very large bill when takedown/seize operations of this sorts are mounted.
The problem is that a lot of these fake gucci handbags are being sold for about 90% of the retail price - enough to think you are getting a bargain, but not enough for you to think it is too good to be true.
Send them to prison
Fraud and copyright infringement charges should send them to prison for a long time.
Maybe if that crap didn't cost so much
If these companies didn't charge an arm and a leg for this crap, there would be no motivation behind making counterfeits. I am guilty of buying counterfeit shows, the girlfriend wanted some fancy shoes for a party we were going to; buying legit would have cost me $1000 where going two streets down to the street merchants cost me $25. I would have been willing to pay $200 for them if they were as high-quality as the manufacturer says they are, although the counterfeits fell apart after 3 uses but that's all they were needed for.
Same goes for the Symantec and McAfee products, they may be a slight bit better than the free stuff, but certainly not $75/year better.