IT is estimated counterfeit goods cost the world’s economy around £348billion.
So what you might say?
That figure is so unfathomable it’s quite easy to ignore it but, to me, buying and selling counterfeit goods isn’t something we should just dismiss because it seems a relatively faceless crime.
Fife Council is asking residents what they think about the ‘counterfeit goods industry’ as part of its Fake Free Fife 2012 campaign and I for one would be happy to fill out that survey.
There are many reasons why I despise counterfeits. First and foremost it’s stealing and, put simply, stealing is wrong.
If a company or individual comes up with an idea for a product, then manufactures, copyrights and markets it well enough for it to become a success then they deserve to be paid for their efforts in my opinion.
All manner of goods are counterfeited including clothing and accessories, perfumes, cigarettes, alcohol, electronic products and DVDs and CDs.
I understand people’s arguments that if some of these items weren’t so expensive, dare I say overpriced, then people wouldn’t need to buy fakes.
But that’s business.
If someone has a good product that people want, it’s up to them to charge what they think is right to cover their costs, improve their business on the back of it and make a profit.
If you can’t afford something you want then you save for it and if you can’t do that then tough.
There are many things I would love to own but I don’t as I can’t afford them.
The quality of counterfeit goods isn’t as good as the real McCoy anyway.
The chemical stuff is the worst.
Google ’fake perfumes’ and you will find one of the most commonly used ingredients in a bottle of ‘eau du fake’ is horse urine!
Booze and fags are damaging enough never mind in their fake guise.
Who knows what is in them? Paint stripper, arsenic? If you are willing to put unknown chemicals in your body then you’re off your head.
Clothing isn’t much better, though admittedly it isn’t likely to kill you.
For example, if you are to spend X amount of pounds on a pair of designer shoes you find the build quality and materials used in the manufacture are far superior. When buying fakes instead of getting full grain leather what you are buying is most likely some plastic, manufactured in a sweat shop and they are just not going to last and will hurt your feet.
So not only are you stealing, you’re buying inferior products, putting your life at risk, doing no favour for the human rights of those paid a pittance to manufacture them and driving the price up of genuine goods for the honest consumer as companies try to recoup their losses – all so you can pretend to be someone you’re not.
And about that figure of £348 billion; just think how many schools and hospitals it could build with the money the government would receive in tax.
Follow Paul Cardwell on Twitter @paulcardwell