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Pro sports leagues win lawsuit to seize websites selling fake jerseys


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TSN.ca:

 

The National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have convinced a U.S. federal court judge to close down 1,057 websites that are selling counterfeit sports jerseys and memorabilia.



 

As part of a Dec. 21 court ruling in U.S. federal court in Chicago, companies including MasterCard, Visa, and GoDaddy have been ordered to turn over any documents and records relating to the identities and locations of 727 named defendants.

 

Chinese e-commerce website Alibaba has also been ordered to turn over information about online sellers that have used its site to sell fake sports items.

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As for me being on the uniform good guy team, I'm glad this happened. It protects piracy and keeps knockoff work out of here. I've never even considered buying one because I'm so anal about the little nuisances that are incorrect. The devil on my shoulder says 1. How are you going to stop all counterfeit websites? 2. Why are you feeling bad for billionaires losing money? And 3. If they didn't charge upwards of $500 for an authentic or $150 for a half ass replica, they wouldn't have this big of a problem.

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Anyone know why jerseys are so expensive in the first place? I mean other than "they can" charge that much? Honestly they can't be more than $5 to produce right? So let them triple, quadruple, etc for a $20 jersey but $100+? If they are selling old ones for $10 at Marshall's my guess is that's still making a slight profit.  

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43 minutes ago, Pabig said:

Well, if they wouldn't charge way too much money for authentic jerseys then there would not be a market for knock-offs. The leagues brought that on themselves. There is no reason a jersey should cost more than 40 bucks.

Take an economics class, learn just the basics of supply and demand and you will see why. All you are thinking about is costs of goods sold, not about trying to get the most profit out of them because they know people will pay for them because of the value the consumer puts to the item.

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21 hours ago, hormone said:

Why are you feeling bad for billionaires losing money?

 

I own my apartment.  Should you feel bad for me if somebody broke in and stole my property?  Would it matter if that burglar was poorer than I?

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5 hours ago, dont care said:

Take an economics class, learn just the basics of supply and demand and you will see why. All you are thinking about is costs of goods sold, not about trying to get the most profit out of them because they know people will pay for them because of the value the consumer puts to the item.

 

Yeah, this.  

 

The jerseys are that expensive because that's what the market will bear. 

 

The mere presence of counterfeiters doesn't signify much of anything.  Drop the price of authentics to $30 and there'll still be those who buy $20 fakes. 

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I'm always intrigued when people complain about the cost of non-essential items.  Somewhat related, I know a guy who is a cattleman, and he once complained about the high cost of sporting event tickets while, during the same conversation, rejoiced that beef prices were through the roof.

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13 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

Yeah, this.  

 

The jerseys are that expensive because that's what the market will bear. 

 

The mere presence of counterfeiters doesn't signify much of anything.  Drop the price of authentics to $30 and there'll still be those who buy $20 fakes. 

The fact that there is a huge market for counterfeits indicates that market isn't bearing it.

 

Think of songs. You can listen to the radio, for free. Popular songs get played again and again and again. For free. People BOUGHT cassettes, CDs, etc, to be able to play them whenever they wanted. But, nobody considered their to be a cost to the audio when they were literally giving out the songs for free on the radio. The explained cost of cassettes and CDs were because of the cost of production. But, switching to CDs didn't lower cost. But, other than just radio, there wasn't much of an alternative. Legal or illegal. Along comes the internet and things like oth.net, napster, Limewire, etc, to give people what they felt was already 'free'.

 

In a way, you can argue the same with clothing. People think of the value of clothing as the cost of manufacture. They don't see buying a team's shirt or jersey as 'supporting' the team (financial support, not rah-rah, fandom support), because a shirt without a logo costs little. They're not paying for something they can otherwise get at a greatly reduced cost.

 

Same argument with attending games over watching television. As the 'free' (real or imagined) act of watching at home gets closer or better to attending in person, the 'cost' of attendance is no longer seen as a net benefit. It's simply an excuse to separate you from your money.

 

Sure, it can be argued 'supply and demand', but when supply is purposefully limited, that doesn't negate the feeling that, as fans, you're being fleeced. And the cheaper option, closer in line to what you buy sans logos/wordmark becomes much less a moral decision and a 'supply and demand' option from the buyers point of view, rather than the team or league's point of view.

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And yet enough people buy the official jerseys to warrant the price tag.  That's how supply and demand works. 

 

Counterfeiters are more a symptom of increased access to technology than anything - we used to pirate music back in the 70s and 80s too, but we didn't have the tools to do more than pass around increasingly-defeated copies of cassettes.  That doesn't mean music was priced too high then or now.  

 

If the counterfeit Jersey industry had access to materials and international commerce when jerseys retailed for $75, then there would have been fakes then too. It has little to do with the reasonableness of the price point.  

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While unauthorised production of jerseys would most likely exist to some extent no matter what the licenced versions cost, it's silly to deny the reality that price gouging has turbo-charged the market for fakes.  

 

For having amplified the demand for knockoffs to a level that is far beyond what it otherwise would be, the ultimate responsibility lies with the leagues and their licencees.  

 

 

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2 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

While unauthorised production of jerseys would most likely exist to some extent no matter what the licenced versions cost, it's silly to deny the reality that price gouging has turbo-charged the market for fakes.  

 

For having amplified the demand for knockoffs to a level that is far beyond what it otherwise would be, the ultimate responsibility lies with the leagues and their licencees.  

 

 

Not with the people making fake jerseys?

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On 12/31/2016 at 7:35 AM, Pabig said:

Well, if they wouldn't charge way too much money for authentic jerseys then there would not be a market for knock-offs. The leagues brought that on themselves. There is no reason a jersey should cost more than 40 bucks.

 

Thats along the same lines of saying it's a woman's fault she got raped because she dressed hot. It's not the victim's fault that someone else decided to violate laws. 

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5 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

While unauthorised production of jerseys would most likely exist to some extent no matter what the licenced versions cost, it's silly to deny the reality that price gouging has turbo-charged the market for fakes.  

 

For having amplified the demand for knockoffs to a level that is far beyond what it otherwise would be, the ultimate responsibility lies with the leagues and their licencees.  

 

3 hours ago, Cosmic said:

Not with the people making fake jerseys?

 

It's possible to claim that the responsibility for any given act of producing an individual knockoff lies with whoever took that act.  That's true as far as it goes; but that is an argument that ignores economic reality and so intentionally misses the larger truth.

 

The only important point is that the responsibility for the emergence of the phenomenon of fake jerseys as a significant sector of the sports apparel economy lies with the people who control this industry; it lies with those who, by their excessive pricing practices, created the incentives that led to the inevitable explosion of the knockoff sector -- namely, the leagues and their licencees.

 

 

 

On 12/31/2016 at 7:35 AM, Pabig said:

Well, if they wouldn't charge way too much money for authentic jerseys then there would not be a market for knock-offs. The leagues brought that on themselves. There is no reason a jersey should cost more than 40 bucks.

 

2 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

Thats along the same lines of saying it's a woman's fault she got raped because she dressed hot. It's not the victim's fault that someone else decided to violate laws. 

 

This, quite frankly, is offensive.

 

Rape is a fundamental violation of a person's body, an absolute evil.  By contrast, intellectual property rights are just technicalities; they are matters to be determined entirely within the political arena.

 

There is no fundamental morality involved in I.P. issues, as different societies have differing prevailing standards on the question.  Furthermore, within any one society, there is a great deal of diversity of opinion; even here in the U.S. there exist plenty of people who favour the drastic weakening of I.P. laws as a matter of public policy.

 

From this point of view, the widespread breaking of intellectual property laws is a sociological good in that it may help redefine the legal standards going forward, just as the widespread breaking of marijuana laws has at long last begun to produce significant reform of those laws.

 

From an economic standpoint, the knockoff sector is performing an important function by siphoning money away from an industry that unduly benefits from improperly strict I.P. laws.  Additionally, the existence of widespread unauthorised production serves as an objective economic indication that the licenced producers are exploiting the existing I.P. laws to an inappropriate and unhealthy degree.  

 

I totally get that people who work in design tend to favour strong I.P. laws.  This is not surprising, as people often support policies that are in line with their own economic interests.  But we mustn't lose the ability to see the distinction between self-interest and the greater good.  Any I.P.-related arguments that are based on "morality" constitute symptoms of the loss of this ability; and a comparison to rape surely represents a particularly egregious expression of this lack of perspective.

 

The basic point here is that the knockoff sector has become a significant economic force as a result of the behaviour of the licenced sector.  The incontrovertible fact is that the size of the knockoff sector increases commensurate with the profit margins of the licenced sector.  If the licencees wish to reduce the impact of the knockoff-producers, they have it entirely within their power to accomplish this, simply by lowering their margins.  

 

For the powerful to complain about an economic battle whose terms they themselves have unilaterally set is extremely unseemly.

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@Ferdinand Cesarano I don't want to live in the world you seem to be hoping for.  It seems like a "guilty until proven innocent" style reversal. So the onus is on a designer/inventor to price their products so low that nobody would bother to make a fake? What if New Era prices their hats paying people in NY a fair wage, and someone makes a knockoff by paying a kid 7¢ Per day? New Era is supposed to keep up? Companies are supposed to "keep up" with the quality of fakes that normally look like factory seconds at best?  By protecting creative rights, you encourage creativity... THAT is a sociological benefit.

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7 minutes ago, Cosmic said:

@Ferdinand Cesarano I don't want to live in the world you seem to be hoping for.  It seems like a "guilty until proven innocent" style reversal. So the onus is on a designer/inventor to price their products so low that nobody would bother to make a fake? What if New Era prices their hats paying people in NY a fair wage, and someone makes a knockoff by paying a kid 7¢ Per day? New Era is supposed to keep up? Companies are supposed to "keep up" with the quality of fakes that normally look like factory seconds at best?  By protecting creative rights, you encourage creativity... THAT is a sociological benefit.

 

That scenario which you mention is an issue of labour law (an area which also needs significant reform, to be sure), not of I.P. law.

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18 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

That scenario which you mention is an issue of labour law (an area which also needs significant reform, to be sure), not of I.P. law.

... like an airplane crashing isn't the fault of the airline, but rather the fault of the Earth for being so massive.

 

Dismiss it however you want, but unless you can get the entire world under one set of labor laws, you're basically taking away companies' rights to make their goods where they want and how they want.

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5 hours ago, Cosmic said:

... like an airplane crashing isn't the fault of the airline, but rather the fault of the Earth for being so massive.

 

Dismiss it however you want, but unless you can get the entire world under one set of labor laws, you're basically taking away companies' rights to make their goods where they want and how they want.

 

Every company in the U.S. has to deal with labor laws. But, you seem to think that these jerseys and apparel are being made IN the U.S. They're not. They're being made in the same third world environment that is producing the knockoffs. Which prove that pricing is out of whack.

 

The argument for cheaper products from China, India, Taiwan, Pakistan, Thailand, etc, is that it will reduce the price of the product to the end consumer. What we see many times is that it is simply a mechanism for the 'rich to get richer' by creating a larger margin between production price and sale price.

 

And there's push back. You think the current political environment has little to do with the fact people are ticked that their jobs are leaving the country, and yet the actual net benefit for the loss of work isn't actually reaching them. People don't mind automation in production reducing jobs, or even outsourcing reducing domestic jobs, as long as we BENEFIT from it. When the price of an item or service remains the same despite those costs, we've been fleeced.

 

That's the argument about $100 jerseys. You can argue supply and demand, but most people don't care that the reason something costs $100 is because the seller, who is awarded protection by the government to enact and maintain a monopoly (via IP laws creating exclusivity), says it costs $100.

 

 

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