Counterfeit Designer Products: Yes or No?
Debate Rounds (5)
Trips Agreements covers intellectual property and I am yet to come across a specific provision in international as well as as domestic laws which specifically prohibits counterfeit designer products. Moreover there's a term called compulsory licensing, whereby generic versions of expensive drugs are legally ripped off to serve poor patients who cannot afford original medicine. Stealing ideas , thefts are absolute but then they have been justified if they serve the greater good. Similarly counterfeit designer goods serve middle class people who might never be able to afford gucci , or armani . Moreover I find it hard to believe that the top-notch designers would make clothes for anyone other than the top 10% of the population in mind. Counterfeit goods only turn the table in favor of the have-nots of the world. Moreover most manufacturing plants of these products are located in developing -underdeveloped countries exploiting labour force taking advantage of pliable labor laws. So the argument of exploitation is untenable
Also, by purchasing fake goods, a person is supporting people they are not even aware they are supporting - terrorists, for example. The sale of counterfeit goods including designer counterfeits is a source of funding for terrorist groups throughout the world (which I read in More Magazine), and lucky for them, the worldwide counterfeiting trade is valued at $500 billion.
It is very frightening that people don't know where their money is going.
1) Counterfeiting Industry promoting child labor further substantiated with reference to Dana Thomas's book
2) The profits accruing from such projects directly funding terrorist organizations.
Let's analyze these with a broader perspective
a) Is it just the counterfeit industry which employs child laborers or other manufacturing units in those countries follow the same practice. The fact remains that the countries mentioned by Dana thomas have either a lacunae in their domestic law or a lack of will power to administer those laws which allows the evil of child labor to proliferate. That being said large multi-national corporations including Adidas, Nike have been accused of exploiting man-force with inhumane working hours , low wages and even resorting to child labor to cut costs. In fact apple in 2010 admitted employing children in one of its so called sweat shops manufacturing i-phone. So in all we can safely conclude that its not just the industry but the lack of action on the part of the governments in those countries which are responsible for these practices.
b) Rachel Ehrnfeld in her book Financing Evil succinctly describes the methods in which terrorism is financed around the world. The primary being money laundering , drug trafficking , ponzy schemes , charities and diamond trade in african countries. Counterfeit Industry is not even regarded as major source of such financing. Moreover the best way to curb such financing lies in a better fiscal control by the government, closer scrutiny of bank deposits and severe scrutiny of antecedents of deposit holders , making tax havens and swiss banks answerable to the global community. Diamonds and drugs contribute more towards such financing than counterfeit industry more so because of the very low profit margins that the industry has with per -unit sale of its goods.
and before making any further conjectures question yourself
a) Does a top designer design for the top 10% or the masses. If you think its the latter shouldn't pricing of such designer goods bear in mind the purchasing power of the masses
b) Can removing income inequality help in eliminating the counterfeit industry.
c) Design , creativity , art is a form of expression if you earn enough by selling your goods to the rich. Is an acknowledgement of the superiority of your design a reward enough for you or are you greedy enough to extract your pound of flesh from the poor.
Look, I really enjoyed debating this issue with you.
However, I am leaving debate.org because I think my account has been compromised.
(ps. I still think I'm right!)
PS: Forget about winning or losing , think about whats right
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con appears to have conceded, but Pro seemed gracious about it...I'm nulling this because I think that's what they wanted... but if I'm mistaken, let me know; Pro would otherwise win for the concession, since Con didn't wind up responding to Pro's points.
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