Replicas Versus Fakes

The exorbitant price tags and high demand for designer accessories, clothes, high-tech cell phones and other must-have items create a booming market for replicas and fakes. Why pay full price for something when you can get an identical version for half-off? While this logic may be appealing to some consumers, buying and selling fake items is illegal, and replicas walk a fine line between legal and illegal.

The difference between the terms “replica” and “fake” can be somewhat unclear. Simply put, products that are made to look exactly like original designs, including logos, labels, tags, etc., are fakes. As a result, it is possible for a replica to actually be a fake if the same original logos and labels are used. However, if a replica is only similar in style and does not use the same original logos, then it is not considered a fake. The terms “knock off” or “designer-inspired” better describe these kinds of replicas.

While many knock off products are very similar to original designs, they aren’t considered fakes because they merelyresemble the style. Retailers that sell these products use the phrases “designer-inspired” or “compare to designer brands” to highlight similarities to the originals. The legitimacy of these knock offs is sometimes questioned, but it can be difficult for designers to copyright something as conceptual as an overall design, making these knockoffs completely legal.

The Problem with Counterfeit Goods

When a seller of fake products claims that his products are authentic, this is known as counterfeiting. Designer clothes and accessories are generally considered to be the most commonly counterfeited items.

Unfortunately, items such as prescription drugs, computer hardware and brake pads also have fake versions being sold. Not only can counterfeit products be dangerous to use, the counterfeit industry is also bad for our economy. Counterfeiting costs U.S. businesses billions of dollars annually and contributes to unemployment.

Brands counterfeited the most frequently include:

  • Adidas
  • Burberry
  • Lacoste
  • Microsoft
  • Nike
  • Viagra.

Although it is illegal to buy and sell these fake products, many are easy to find. Fake designer handbags and accessories can be purchased from street vendors in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles. Many independent online vendors on sites such as Amazon.com or Ebay.com may also carry a variety of fake items, so buyers beware.

Identifying Counterfeit Items

Counterfeit products are often made of lesser quality materials so that they can be sold at lower prices. This lack of quality makes counterfeit products easy to spot. However, as the counterfeit industry grows, high quality products are becoming more and more available.

Some items are so similar to the real thing that it is difficult to tell the difference. Details such as type of materials, logo placement and even serial numbers can all be duplicated to a tee.

In order to avoid being swindled by the counterfeit industry, it can help to be aware of how to identify counterfeit items.

DVD Replication

Replicating, or “burning,” CDs and DVDs is extremely easy to do with today’s computers. With the right programs and a click of a button, you could be copying a home video onto DVDs for friends and family. The trouble comes when major motion pictures and other copyrighted materials are replicated and distributed.

While the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) is cracking down on the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials, many are still concerned over the issue of dvd replication.