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Desc:In which billionaires whine about free trade and personal initiative.
Category:Business, Crime
Tags:China, brands, Intellectual Property, counterfeit, Capitalist China
Submitted:EvilHomer
Date:05/31/14
Views:1541
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Comment count is 24
BorrowedSolution
"They're turning kids into slaves just to make cheaper sneakers. But what's the real cost, 'cause the sneakers don't seem that much cheaper. Why are we still paying so much for sneakers when you've got little slave kids making them? What are your overheads?"
BorrowedSolution
Are you going to lie to us and pretend as if you wouldn't pay for a counterfeit Applejack fleshlight, EH?

Climb down off that pony. Seriously.

EvilHomer
Applejack? No, not Applejack.

Anyway, I don't know what you're on about. I'm in favour of counterfeiting, for the most part, so long as the products are being sold cheaply and without deception between the seller and the buyer - paying twenty dollars for a Nike-style shoe or a Van Gogh painted by a Chinese artist is fine, paying two million dollars for a fake Van Gogh you think is real, or buying synthetic eggs made of industrial chemicals without knowing that they're made of industrial chemicals, that's not fine. The vast majority of counterfeit transactions fall into the first category. Most counterfeit goods are made to the same specifications and by many of the same people as the "real" thing - in most cases, the word "counterfeit" does not even really mean fake or inferior (as the loaded connotations would have us believe), but is instead a legal fiction referring only to the notorious feudal privileges granted to stagnant corporations by modern intellectual property law.

If the only functional difference between your Applejack fleshlight and a so-called non-counterfeit Applejack fleshlight, is the fact that with your fleshlight, Hasbro executives do not collect profits off their extortionate brand-markup, and the perfectly reasonable amount of money I pay instead goes directly to indigenous workers, then I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

EvilHomer
Clarification: while I am very much in favor of an IP overhaul, I am not opposed to intellectual property law across the board. I am willing, for example, to support the idea of granting people limited copyrights over their original creations; however, the length and breadth of these copyrights need to be rolled back to historic levels. Fifteen years of protection is more than generous.

I am also not in favor of the most common sort of counterfeiting where *I* live - that is, DVD bootlegging. My main problem with this stems not from sympathy for the movie studios, racism against foreign/immigrant labour, or love of economic protectionism, (the Big Three rationales typically offered by supporters of strong IP law) but rather it stems from the bootleggers' methods of acquisition. Bootlegged films are offered, for free, to the entire world, by noble pirates; bootleggers simply leech off the generosity of the pirate community, then try and extort a profit from less computer-savvy individuals. If you're going to burn pirated DVDs for people, do it for free. Or, charge them just enough to recoup materials; say, ten cents for a disc. Or, instead of dling the movie, go to the cinema and film it yourself. I have no tolerance for bootleggers. They're con-men and swindlers, plain and simple.

SteamPoweredKleenex
Counterpoint: DVD Bootleggers provide the only original-run versions of WKRP in Cincinnati and any other shows where the "official" distributors can't afford to buy the rights to the music used at the time.

EvilHomer
Where did they get these episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati? If the rips were done by them, OK, but if it was material commonly found in P2P networks for free, then not OK.

I know a lot of elderly, homeless, and minority people who buy bootleg DVDs from local bodegas. They think it's great, getting movies for five bucks, but nine times out of ten it's just a 320 cellphone rip the bodega dudes got from KAT. They don't realize that all the kids are getting this shit for free.

EvilHomer
To tie this in to my first point: if bootleggers wanted to go and make their OWN movie, using the same script as a popular Hollywood movie, the same costumes, the sets, whatever, then that would be acceptable. I wouldn't outright condone it (just as I wouldn't outright condone the practice of branding and brand management), but I wouldn't mind them trying to sell it, just so long as the person they are selling it to knows it's a bootleg.

I don't mind if you make your own Nike shoes and sell them as knockoffs, even if it's done in an actual Nike factory during your off hours. I only mind a little if you steal officially-produced Nike shoes from the factory and give them away to the poor. I do mind if you steal Nike shoes from the factory and try to sell them as your own, or worse, take the Robin Hood handout and try to sell it to someone else.

oddeye
Maybe people should just forget about stupid shit like brands, labels and fashion in general. This is district 12, not the blooming capital ffs!!

Seriously though, fuck fashion in general. I used to own nothing but 4 near identical shirts, 2 pants, 5 pairs of socks, 5 underwear, 1 pair of shoes and 1 jacket (which I admit was made with large panel lamb's leather) and I LOVED it that way. Thanks a lot for buying me clothes all the damn time and expecting to see me occasionally wear them ASSHOLE wife and family.

BorrowedSolution
Just pulling your leg, Homer. All of my most cherished opinions are counterfeit.

PegLegPete
Maybe movie studios should own and operate regional/local sale/rental businesses - or maybe distributors should - and try to employ would-be bootleggers. But then again, I guess that would allow the industry to hoard more MPAA-like power and make intermediaries obsolete and kill jobs anyway, not that they care - although Netflix and the like have kinda squashed a lot of actual physical reasons for buying or renting movies, case in point Blockbuster's closure; and along with the emergence of Redbox machines video stores are just about dead; so there's Wal-Mart (and other retailers), thrifts/garage sales, counterfeits and internet? I'm throwing shit out there, forgive me if it makes no sense.

Gmork
wow wish i could one star this just because youre bringing that kid's cartoon into it

BorrowedSolution
Gmork: If I find a supply of counterfeit fun, I'll ship you a pallet of it. For you, good price! YOU PAY NOW!

ashtar.
Hi, I'm WevilHumor, and I love Your Tiny Colts™ and libertarianism! Buttersly is my favorite! See more of my wacky hijinks on egressofmalfeasanceTV.com

BorrowedSolution
And awesome sub, Homer. Watched the whole thing and thoroughly enjoyed it.

EvilHomer
I'm sorry if I offended you, ashtar. Is there anything I can do to be a better friend?

(also, Rainbow Dash is my favorite. Fluttershy is my second favorite.)

ashtar.
I'm not sure where I was going with that. There was a dumb, trollish point somewhere, but I got side tracked thinking about what a cheap chinese knockoff bizzaro poeTV would be like.
It'd be cool! I have earwigs! I'm a doorman!

BorrowedSolution
Ballpoint insulators!

Oscar Wildcat
I'd feel a lot more sympathy if the products were of high quality, and the bootleggers were making cheap knockoffs and selling them for the real thing.

But what actually happens, is that the holding company of the mark goes to china and has the shit made there as cheaply as possible. Then the factory goes on to make more; and this is called bootlegging.

What, did you think the Chinese were going to forget how to make whatever thing you sent there? Or that communists have different ideas about private property than we do? I weep hot tears for your bootlegged sneakers, Nike. Face in the pillow, and everything.
SteamPoweredKleenex
A friend of mine does t-shirt designs for a sizable chunk of his living. It drives him up a wall that Tommy Hilfiger can put three red squares on a white t-shirt and sell hojillions of them because people are idiots.

memedumpster
If you wear Nike's you're a cheap counterfeit of a human being.

Binro the Heretic
People pay more for things, not because they know they are of higher quality, but because they want people to know they paid more for them.

Gmork
5 for china's retarded fucking opinion about copyright law. Seriously, fuck china.
ashtar.
We based our economy on marketing and brand identification rather than on the intrinsic properties of the products being sold. This is one of the most benign consequences.
fluffy
The irony of watching this as a bootleg on YouTube
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