When counterfeiters dupe a movie or make a knock-off Louis Vuitton handbag, the harm accrues only to the companies that would have sold the genuine article. But ersatz goods can kill, or do grievous bodily harm, too, as we learned with tainted pet food from China recently. And businesses that hold copyrights deserve protection like everybody else. Trying to rein in the king of all counterfeit countries, China, has been tough. But China's burgeoning economy is being threatened by bad publicity over counterfeiting, and they have decided to cooperate with the US Customs Service to combat piracy, according to an interview with Ralph Basham, commisioner for US Customs.
memorandum of cooperation signed this week, U.S. Customs will provide
China with information on the source of seized goods, and Beijing will
report back within 90 days on the status of efforts to track down the
counterfeiters, Basham told reporters.
got to start dealing with the source of the problem. We can't expect to
rely upon interdiction to be our tool in order to stop these products,"
has long been the world's leading source of illegally copied goods
ranging from designer clothes to movies and music. But concern about
possible danger to the public has risen following the discovery of a
toxic chemical in Chinese-made toothpaste.
The tainted food problem is being addressed by the US FDA in a separate series of talks. Hang in there, Fluffy.