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Feds Grab 163 Web Sites, Snatch $21.6 Million In NFL Counterfeit Gear

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the without-expressed-written-consent dept.

Crime 133

coondoggie writes: "As they have for the past few years the US Customs department teamed with the National Football League to cut into the lucrative counterfeit sports gear market. In what the feds called 'Operation Team Player,' special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and officers from Customs and Border Protection worked with the National Football League (NFL) and other sports leagues along with law enforcement agencies to identify illegal shipments imported into the U.S., as well as stores and vendors selling counterfeit trademarked items."

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For A Non-Profit, The NFL Sure Has A Lot Of Pull (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46117827)

title says it all

Re:For A Non-Profit, The NFL Sure Has A Lot Of Pul (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 8 months ago | (#46117865)

The AFL-CIO, and any other union for that matter, is a non-profit organization with a lot of pull.

Re:For A Non-Profit, The NFL Sure Has A Lot Of Pul (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118211)

And I think for those that don't follow or care about the game and its hefty income...

They're a billion dollar corporation, and yet are "tax exempt" and apparently can buy off Feds help to take down counterfeit NFL merchandise, making sure they can add a couple million more to there bottom line.

They also hired there own "medical commission" to ignore the fact repeated head trauma causes brain disease, despite leading neurologists having slices of brain, and findings that suggest otherwise. Any contact sport really, PBS and Frontline ran a 2 part special over the NFL's denial..

Pretty much a monopoly.

Re:For A Non-Profit, The NFL Sure Has A Lot Of Pul (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118375)

They also hired there own "medical commission" to ignore the fact repeated head trauma causes brain disease, despite leading neurologists having slices of brain, and findings that suggest otherwise. Any contact sport really, PBS and Frontline ran a 2 part special over the NFL's denial..

Pretty much a monopoly.

I really don't know why the NFL is going through all that trouble. Those elite professionals who even make it to the NFL know damn well the dangers of playing the game. It's not like ANY kid eligible for the NFL draft doesn't know this, or it's some big secret that you can get hurt or killed on the field. I know damn well the dangers of stepping into a 3,000-pound steel box and sending it hurtling down a freeway at 75MPH, inches from thousands of other steel boxes. I still get up and do it, every single day. Not just on Sundays for 3 months out of the year. Every single day.

People put themselves in positions of danger for fucking minimum wage because they have to. These guys make millions of dollars every year for playing a game. A game they love. A game they've dedicated their lives to. I fail to understand the conspiracy here that does NOT carry over to sports equally as dangerous. It's like NASCAR hiring their own doctors to help disprove that concrete walls are deadly at 200MPH. Why the hell bother. We ALL know it's a dangerous sport. If the people engaged in the sport accept this, then who gives a shit.

Re:For A Non-Profit, The NFL Sure Has A Lot Of Pul (2)

JeBradSus (960680) | about 7 months ago | (#46118977)

But the NFL is accused of hiding the dangers of the game from the players. They withheld their own studies which showed links of repeated concussions to a variety of mental health illnesses:

http://www.campbell-trial-lawy... [campbell-t...awyers.com]

From the above link:

The NFL Committee did everything within its power to deny any causal link between multiple concussions and later-life cognitive decline. DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA, described this NFL Committee policy: “[u]nfortunately, the NFL...diminished [independent] studies, [and] urged the suppression of [independent] findings...for years.

This is more like NASCAR hiding evidence from its drivers that repeated neck strain from cornering quickly has severe life altering impacts as you age.

Re:For A Non-Profit, The NFL Sure Has A Lot Of Pul (0)

Kilo Kilo (2837521) | about 7 months ago | (#46121605)

Those elite professionals who even make it to the NFL

Have you ever heard a football player speak? I don't really want to defend these idiots, but I think that some of them might not understand the severity of the trauma they're subjecting their bodies to. Most probably are too stupid to care, but they are actually getting hurt at work and their employer is denying that the job is causing the injury.

Re:For A Non-Profit, The NFL Sure Has A Lot Of Pul (2)

flyneye (84093) | about 8 months ago | (#46118643)

The Feds involved cooperated so much for the PUBLICITY!
Had it been some other copyright infringement, it may not have even happened.
THIS, however, so close to the bowl, generates FREE PUBLICITY in the media.
Kind of like when they send in a SWAT team to a K.C. burb to bust a yuppie household for marijuana because they ordered hydroponic equipment off the internet.
No pot found, but they DID send those teabags to the lab and found themselves a whole lotta PUBLICITY, yup, the good ol boys, cleanin up the county for you.
Lesson: Dont use legal hydroponics or the cops will raid your house, grow outside in the dirt during LEGAL growing seasons or the porkers will confiscate your tomatoes with extreme prejudice.
They realize there is no such thing as bad publicity. Morons.....

Re:For A Non-Profit, The NFL Sure Has A Lot Of Pul (2)

pnutjam (523990) | about 7 months ago | (#46119891)

This goes back to a point I have made repeatedly. Wealthy people and corps should pay more taxes because they use our legal framework more often (and it's usually crafted to their benefit).

More versus Fair (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 7 months ago | (#46120847)

Wealthy people and corps should pay more taxes because they use our legal framework more often (and it's usually crafted to their benefit).

They generally DO pay more taxes. The question is whether they pay a fair amount. What constitutes a "fair" amount is the matter under debate.

Re:More versus Fair (0)

pnutjam (523990) | about 7 months ago | (#46121883)

Thank you for your (invalid) point and the straw man arguments I see you have seeded through this discussion.

I'll have to tag this as one of Commissioner Goodell's accounts.

Re:For A Non-Profit, The NFL Sure Has A Lot Of Pul (1)

Kilo Kilo (2837521) | about 7 months ago | (#46121623)

So now they can put on their cars:

"ICE is the official police force of the NFL"

It's all the same chinese shit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46117853)

Probably made in the exact same factory by the same people.
I love how they call it counterfeit, like it's somehow of lesser quality than the chinese shit they sell themselves.

Re:It's all the same chinese shit (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 7 months ago | (#46118883)

It quite well may be. One thing the Chinese do on request is quality control. The same factory churning out cheap electronics may very well be the same factory assembling expensive quality gear. The difference is the "counterfeits" may be the result of a skeleton crew working after hours to produce goods off the books. The first thing they get to do is ditch the oversight and quality control.

It may well be the same product from the same factory but that doesn't necessarily mean the quality is the same. And yes it is possible to set the bar even lower than most brand name made in Chinese crap.

Re:It's all the same chinese shit (1)

westlake (615356) | about 7 months ago | (#46119403)

It quite well may be. One thing the Chinese do on request is quality control.

The other side of the coin is that legitimate Western retailers and corporate partners like the NHL don't like being called out for labor abuses abroad.

Re:It's all the same chinese shit (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about 7 months ago | (#46120297)

Or it may well be that the quality control on the counterfeit merchandise is HIGHER than the QC for the official NFL. Just because the counterfeit is cheaper in price doesn't mean it is lower in quality. 90% of the price of the merchandise is the logo.

It's not just the logo - it is what the logo means (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 7 months ago | (#46121449)

Or it may well be that the quality control on the counterfeit merchandise is HIGHER than the QC for the official NFL. Just because the counterfeit is cheaper in price doesn't mean it is lower in quality. 90% of the price of the merchandise is the logo.

Two problems with that. First is that if you haven't addressed the free rider problem [wikipedia.org] . There are lots of costs besides simply the cost of manufacturing the good. Advertising, distribution, brand building, R&D, marketing, etc. These are very significant and the counterfeiters do not have to pay them but still reap the benefits of them. That is a HUGE problem and is 100% of the reason we have patents and copyright.

The second is that the reason the logo has value is because of the relationship between the customer and the seller. Counterfeit goods often damage that relationship. If I buy something I want to be sure it is exactly what I thought it was. I want to be sure of who made it, where they made it, how they made it and what they will do to stand behind it. Sometimes those things are important to me and if I cannot be sure of those things then the person selling them is committing a fraud. Maybe sometimes we are ok with knowing that something is a knockoff but most of the time there is a lot more to be lost by condoning counterfeit goods than there is by allowing them.

Think of it this way. If someone who looked kind of similar to you (maybe eerily similar) showed up at your place of work tomorrow and started working your job and collecting your paycheck despite never having had to pay for your education, would you be ok with that? Same situation here. Someone has invested a lot of time and money and resources into developing and making that product and then someone else simply copies their work without having to do the hard and expensive bits and claims it as their own. If you cannot figure out why that is a bad thing then I'm not sure you'll ever understand economics.

Re:It's all the same chinese shit (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 7 months ago | (#46119517)

Many are indeed run off on the same machines that make the official product. This is, of course, a much graber problem for car or aircraft parts (which may often use cheaper metals) than shirts (though have you seen the average football fan lately?)

Free Rider Problem (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 7 months ago | (#46121257)

I love how they call it counterfeit, like it's somehow of lesser quality than the chinese shit they sell themselves.

It might be the identical product off the same line but when you buy something you aren't just paying for the good itself. You are paying for a brand and what that implies including the entire process of how that product is delivered to you and who stands behind it if there is a problem with it. Counterfeit goods are a problem because of the free rider problem. If you can solve that problem then you might have a point.

The problem is that those people selling it out the back door don't have to pay for advertising, product development, brand development, R&D or any of a number of other costs that make it worthwhile to sell that product in the first place.

The War on Sports Gear? (2)

Lodlaiden (2767969) | about 8 months ago | (#46117879)

When was the last time we heard about a 21 million dollar drug bust?

Re:The War on Sports Gear? (2)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 7 months ago | (#46119469)

When was the last time we heard about a 21 million dollar drug bust?

Forget that, when do we hear about billion dollar banking fraud busts?

Re:The War on Sports Gear? (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 7 months ago | (#46119905)

When was the last time we heard about a 21 million dollar drug bust?

Forget that, when do we hear about billion dollar banking fraud busts?

Thank you! More like this please.

Re: The War on Sports Gear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46120269)

Are they using the street value or the NFL's inflated team store prices to determine how much the counterfeit equipment is worth?

The drugs would probably actually be worth $21 million in street value.

Priorities (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46117883)

Because counterfeit football merchandise is such a "clear and present danger" that it rates diverting resources from, you know, actual crime like bank robbery and human trafficking. Maybe the NFL should be made to hire its own private security for this kind of stuff so public law enforcement can get back to protecting the public!

Re:Priorities (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46117917)

Why are you upset at customs agents doing their jobs?

Re:Priorities (1)

lxs (131946) | about 8 months ago | (#46117937)

Because it's a pointless job.

Re:Priorities (3, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46118009)

Probably because they only seem to do their job for things like this. Toxic pet food gets through just fine.

Re:Priorities (1)

operagost (62405) | about 7 months ago | (#46120577)

This. A few hundred pets die from melamine every year, and life goes on.

Re:Priorities (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 8 months ago | (#46118061)

Why are you upset at customs agents doing their jobs?

Because their job is to prevent dangerous contraband from entering the country.

Instead, they are wasting the taxpayers' money doing bidding for private companies -- to attempt to curtail unauthorized sports memorabilia.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118397)

Why are you upset at customs agents doing their jobs?

Because their job is to prevent dangerous contraband from entering the country.

Instead, they are wasting the taxpayers' money doing bidding for private companies -- to attempt
to curtail unauthorized sports memorabilia.

I see. So, arguably the biggest sporting event of the year that generates billions of dollars in merchandising for US resellers, should somehow NOT be a focus of attention in the month of January?

Mind telling me exactly what the fuck they should be focused on this month, if their very job is to stop illegal trafficking of all kinds? Seems there's just a tiny bit of justification out there after a 20+ million-dollar bust, but hey, I could be wrong...

Re:Priorities (1)

Calydor (739835) | about 8 months ago | (#46118557)

generates billions of dollars in merchandising for US resellers

20+ million-dollar bust

Seems to me like their efforts amount to a drop in the ocean, even if 20 million dollars is a lot of money.

Re:Priorities (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118595)

If the NFL is paying 100% of the full and total cost, fine.

If my tax dollars are being used, then fuck the NFL.

Re:Priorities (2)

westlake (615356) | about 8 months ago | (#46118633)

Mind telling me exactly what the fuck they should be focused on this month, if their very job is to stop illegal trafficking of all kinds? Seems there's just a tiny bit of justification out there after a 20+ million-dollar bust, but hey, I could be wrong...

To put things in perspective, the total take from bank robbery in the US is around $30 million a year. Bank Robbery [fbi.gov]

Re:Priorities (1)

Moral Judgement (2865819) | about 7 months ago | (#46119847)

This is a pretty good point, but surely the reason why we disapprove of bank robbery isn't so much the financial loss (though that undoubtedly is an issue) but more the attendant violence associated with such a crime. That is we care about bank robberies because the people that commit them tend to commit assault and murder during the commission of said robberies. Whereas counterfeiting represents a purely financial loss; there is little sports memorabilia crime.

What is more this isn't a financial loss like destroying a productive asset, such as a factory. The reason why counterfeit goods have value at all is because there is an artificial scarcity created by only certain parties being licensed to create official goods. While the creation of these goods may represent a nominal loss of $20 million to the licensed manufacturers, it isn't even a nominal loss of $20 million to the NFL, who only have to suffer reduced prices of licence fees (due to brand dilution caused by counterfeit products). An argument could even be made that counterfeiting enhances the value of branding; people only counterfeit desirable commodities, after all who counterfeits Walmart products? The point, I think, is that although someone can say that the value of goods seized if they had been sold as legitimate products would have been $20 million, it is difficult to quantify how much real harm has been experienced by anybody. Now the same is true of bank robberies; after all the $30 million stolen won't have been destroyed, hell it will most likely have been spent on goods and services. The purely financial loss of bank robberies seems related to the opportunity costs associated with insurance pay outs, which will be much less than the nominal $30 million sum. However, we put so much attention to catching bank robbers because people get shot in bank robberies the whole time, not cause we're concerned about productive losses.

Re:Priorities (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 7 months ago | (#46119499)

I see. So, arguably the biggest sporting event of the year that generates billions of dollars in merchandising for US resellers, should somehow NOT be a focus of attention in the month of January?

I am saying that the IPR enforcement should be restricted to goods that actually harm consumers and contain a meaningful misrepresentation about what the product is. For example: items that have substantial value per unit, such as fake Rolex. Or electronics phony branding.

A "fake" T-shirt with a team logo actually directly benefits the people. The government is hurting people and adding more fuel to this "product with sports logos" racket, by giving welfare to these companies, at the expense of higher product prices for the American people.

Re: Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46119695)

A story I heard on the radio today about this claimed that the counterfeit goods were harming consumers by driving prices higher for legitimate shirts. I said WTF to myself. The counterfeit shirts, at lower prices, should drive prices overall down.

The whole thing is a racket, though.

Re:Priorities (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 7 months ago | (#46120371)

I would say a "Fake" T-shirt with a team logo directly benefits the team. Why should I have to pay for a shirt that advertises for your team? Shouldn't you be paying me? Of course, I buy neither official nor counterfeit NFL merchandise since I can't reach an advertising agreement with the NFL that we both find mutually beneficial.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118055)

Because counterfeit football merchandise is such a "clear and present danger" that it rates diverting resources from, you know, actual crime like bank robbery and human trafficking. Maybe the NFL should be made to hire its own private security for this kind of stuff so public law enforcement can get back to protecting the public!

We really don't want private corporation to own their paramilitary security and law enforcement agency. The NFL should just be told to fuck off. If they didnt sold their crap so overpriced, nobody would be able to undercut them so easily. They made themselves victim by exploiting the gullible sport fan.

Professional sport get too much visibility anyway. It is really like McDonals Vs Burger King match. They do not represent city or country, there is no reason to cheer for them, there is no reason to care about them. The only reason the state tolerate such welfare leeches is be because they provide the games need to distract the plebeian from politic.

Re:Priorities (1)

anubi (640541) | about 8 months ago | (#46118107)

Its only lucrative because we make it so...

We seem to be so enamored by sports that we will pay for whatever someone markets as sports-related - for what reason I will never know. The whole concept of paying extra for some sports logo emblazoned on a coat or shirt completely escapes me. Even a Star Trek logo does not mean that much to me. If I want some marking on myself or my things, I will put it so myself. I will not mark other's stuff - that's called vandalism.

( I guess that's why I trained for engineering... its about the only thing I seem to understand. Why people will pay for stuff like this is completely beyond me; I cannot even stand having to sit through a game, much less pay attention to it. I would rather post on Slashdot. That oughta tell ya how low on my priorities a game is.... actually it does rank above doing my taxes - which I hate even worse. )

Re:Priorities (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | about 8 months ago | (#46118135)

Why people will pay for stuff like this is completely beyond me

Ask a Texan politician, either party, given the ratio of spending on football compared to say - health or education, the answer should be interesting.

Re:Priorities (1)

ancientt (569920) | about 7 months ago | (#46120207)

Are you wanting to compare voluntary spending or involuntary spending?

Some miniscule amount of tax money goes to defending sport franchises' rights, where a very significant percentage of the taxes people pay goes toward education.

Now comparing voluntary spending on education to sports related spending would be a very interesting number indeed. People pay for college and private school but only some of them and generally only for a limited period of their life. The spending on sports is much more prevalent and is generally spread over a lifetime.

Spending on health is another issue entirely, but voluntary verses involuntary numbers would indeed be interesting.

Re:Priorities (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 8 months ago | (#46118359)

I guess I'm a nerd, I feel the same way.

I never really liked team sports. I'd rather ride a bicycle.

I do think I understand why people are into sports teams, though. It's a tribal ritual that seems to serve a function of group cohesiveness. I got that from reading the evolutionary biology stories in New Scientist and Science.

Re:Priorities (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 7 months ago | (#46119921)

I enjoy team sports as well as individual sports. I just don't enjoy watching either one unless I'm supporting someone I am personally involved with; like a child, friend, or family member.

Re:Priorities (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118613)

I cannot even stand having to sit through a game,

Probably because you derive no pleasure out of watching a bunch of millionaires chase a ball around a field.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46121743)

You know, when you put it that way...

I think we have "the next big thing" here. Get a bunch of investment bankers and politicians, and make them try to get a greased-up beach ball in to a goal. Surround them by thousands of screaming people, put it on TV. Hilarity ensues.

Re: Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46119993)

My way of looking at it is similar. People pay extra money for merchandise, be it clothing, coolers, or kitchen utensils, that has the Coca-Cola logos on it. Me, I feel like they should pay me, or at least subsidise the price of the item, for it having their advertising on it.

Re:Priorities (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 8 months ago | (#46118141)

so public law enforcement can get back to protecting the public!

Will Goldilocks let down her hair too?* The modern state exists primarily to protect corporate profits. Anything else it does is just window dressing to set a level of tolerance among the people to perpetuate that state despite it acting against their best interests. This story is _entirely consistent with expectations_.

"Why, that can't be true - if it were, there'd be a Snowden briefing on that! Oh."

(* yes, I know, it's not right)

Three hots and a flop. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 8 months ago | (#46118603)

The modern state exists primarily to protect corporate profits. Anything else it does is just window dressing...

I'll admit to being curious about how you manage to make a living.

Re:Three hots and a flop. (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 7 months ago | (#46120037)

Corporations can exist, and employ people, without owning the government like they do now.

Re:Three hots and a flop. (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 7 months ago | (#46120211)

Corporations can exist, and employ people, without owning the government like they do now.

They can only do that when government is so small as to make no difference. Big business and big government are two parts of the same organism, and rarely exist without the other.

If the fastest way to get rich is to have your friends in the government give you billions of dollars of taxpayers' money, that's how many big corporations will make their living.

Re:Three hots and a flop. (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 7 months ago | (#46121609)

They can only do that when government is so small as to make no difference.

You know, I keep hearing this claim, because a certain segment of the population cuddles the talking point to their breast like a teddy bear, but you know what? I've never seen any empirical evidence that there is any truth to the claim whatsoever. And in fact, I think it's false.

I think that a government that is radically smaller than the largest organization it is supposed to regulate is incapable of regulating that organization because it can't keep up. For evidence, I point to the current state of affairs. I say, our bank regulators are understaffed. There should be more people with more government jobs specifically to regulate the banks, and because the part of the government that is supposed to do that job is so small, it's helpless to rein in behemoth multinational banks that can generate paper faster than a regulator can read it.

You want your small government? Forbid megacorporations. Forbid too-big-to-fail. If a business gets bigger than its corresponding regulatory agency X 5 (we can argue about the scale factor), mandate that it be broken up, by law, no excuses, no dodges, no exceptions or exemptions, and only the most minimal of grace periods.

I also think that small government is in no way immune to the corruption we currently see. On the contrary, if you look around at the world, small government corruption runs in lockstep with big government corruption. You get the same percentages, regardless of the size of the government entity. And this makes sense, because government organizations are made of people, and the percentage of people in the population who are morally bankrupt is the same for both.

Or get over the small government lunacy, and admit that we need honest government, and the size should be whatever it takes to get the job done.

"Just the facts, ma'am." (1)

westlake (615356) | about 8 months ago | (#46118547)

Because counterfeit football merchandise is such a "clear and present danger" that it rates diverting resources from, you know, actual crime like bank robbery and human trafficking.

"Actual crime" is what the law defines as crime.

Crimes with an interstate or foreign dimension or a federal constitutional dimension become a federal responsibility.

Clear and present danger was a doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States to determine under what circumstances limits can be placed on First Amendment freedoms of speech, press or assembly.

Clear and present danger [wikipedia.org]

Law enforcement multi-tasks.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for enforcing the nation's immigration and customs laws. ICE has more than 20,000 employees working in 400 offices in the U.S. and around the world.

Careers [ice.gov]

No law endorsement agency is an island.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

With more than 42,000 frontline CBP officers and Border Patrol agents protecting nearly 7,000 miles of land border and 327 ports of entry --- including official crossings by land, air, and sea --- CBP is uniquely situated to deter and disrupt human trafficking.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

USCIS helps protect victims of human trafficking and other crimes by providing immigration relief. Two types of immigration relief for victims of human trafficking and other crimes are available through USCIS: T Nonimmigrant Status (T Visa) and U Nonimmigrant Status (U Visa).

Human Trafficking: Our Partners [ice.gov]

For a look at the reality of bank robbery in the U.S:

Wanted Bank Robbers [fbi.gov]

Google Map and 287 photographs of robberies in progress,

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46121433)

Let me guess - you also think we should stop space exploration because the money would be better spent on feeding every last hungry child on earth first.

You fucking idiot.

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46117907)

thank you mister feds for protecting us from those evil terrorist counterfit NFL gear. you're not in any way useless humans with pointless jobs.

Re:Yay! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46120765)

Now, if it were counterfeit FIFA gear and domains stealing from real football, now that would be a crime against humanity...

Whew! (4, Funny)

willoughby (1367773) | about 8 months ago | (#46117915)

I feel safer already!

Re:Whew! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118567)

This is what "national security" means: Maintaining the political and economic status quo [theguardian.com] , even against the will of the people. [wikipedia.org]

Since they dropped law enforcement from their mission statement and donned "national security" the FBI won't have to worry about their actions exposed as they directly support de-facto communist corporate interests, not the people or the capitalism we're told is at play.

Think about it: How capitalistic is it to confiscate a bunch of goods to prevent competition? The sportswear price is inflated because the state ensures a monopoly for the normalization the product. Hello, that's communism. In a free market capitalism the cheaper "counterfeits" would compete with the "official" sports gear on price, and quality, allowing the public access to a cheaper product for less money.

The FBI prioritizes copyright issues over missing persons. [techdirt.com] You live in a corpro-communist dictatorship where your votes don't count. [snagfilms.com]

Re:Whew! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46121781)

While I can agree with where you are coming from, I advise you learn more about Communism before you run around spouting off things like that.

Great article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46117969)

Page 2 is my favorite!

Re:Great article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46117991)

That's where the economic impact is stated...

How??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46117971)

Counterfit merchandise??? How could Richard Sherman let this happen??? He's a better human being than all of us put together. Just ask him.

apropos nothing (4, Insightful)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | about 8 months ago | (#46118127)

Which country are the non-conterfeit items made in?

Re:apropos nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118163)

You're missing the point. It has nothing to do with where the crap is made. Probably made in the same place the counterfit stuff is made. The point is that the NFL doesn't get their cut of sales on the counterfit stuff. Just like you can't bring in your own food and drink into the stadium. It's the same food but the NFL and/or team doesn't get a cut of sales that allows them to pay the players $20M/year...

Re:apropos nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118379)

The TV rights and all the other shitty subsidies support their salaries you faggot.

Re:apropos nothing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46119727)

Don't forget the ridiculously expensive "ticket sales" to what is most likely taxpayer funded stadiums.

Re:apropos nothing (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 7 months ago | (#46120651)

The TV rights and all the other shitty subsidies support their salaries you faggot.

I feel the anti-gay slur really enhanced your point.

Re:apropos nothing (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 7 months ago | (#46118895)

Which *factory* are the non-counterfeit items made in.

Big sports fan and I've bought counterfeit stuff (4, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 8 months ago | (#46118181)

The jerseys (the good sewn ones) are simply way too expensive. They're upwards of $250-300 and taht's more than I'm spending on a player who might be with the team for 3-4 years. In fact, all the gear and items are obscenely inflated in price. However, the counterfeit stuff is hit or miss. I've got a Woodley jersey that looks like cartoon lettering was used for the player's name. Some items I'm sure are straight off the assembly line. Maybe they ran it another day and sold the extras on teh black market.

The NFL can't be surprised this is happening. When Americans started to realized that goods were being produced at cutrate prices overseas and sold to us as a huge markup, lots of us gave the finger to tradition stores and elected to cut out the middle man as well. I'm probably being hypocritical based on my stand on illegal downloads, but I have no sympathy for Goodell's NFL.

Re:Big sports fan and I've bought counterfeit stuf (2)

stiggle (649614) | about 8 months ago | (#46118551)

Often the manufacturers of the legitimate sportswear get a contract to make 10,000 shirts. So to cover the expected rejects, they make 12,000 shirts with the knowledge they'll have 10,000 good shirts to supply to the customer. Now what to do with the 2000 shirts they made extra and/or were rejected due to manufacturing issues (label upsidedown, etc) - they sell them on. They don't get the little hologram label saying its legit, but its made in the same factory by the same people, its just outside of the contracted numbers.

Re:Big sports fan and I've bought counterfeit stuf (1)

Silentknyght (1042778) | about 7 months ago | (#46118809)

My brother's girlfriend got adventurous one christmas and purchased NFL jerseys from some shady chinese website. Reportedly, she got them for about $20 each, plus shipping. We gushed over them--and scrutinzed them carefully--as we couldn't believe the quality at the price she paid. After that experience, I'm 100% convinced they're not "counterfeit" in the manufacturing sense, but instead they're pulled straight from the line on which the same "$200" jerseys are made, and sold on the side.

Re:Big sports fan and I've bought counterfeit stuf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46119577)

For Christmas a few years ago we got three 'china jerseys' for my 10 year old son because who wants to spend $100+ for a jersey, especially if it will only fit a year or two. $20 or so each, and I couldn't believe the quality. Sewn on lettering, numbers, etc. They also had Nike and NFL 'official' tags on them. (Yes, I know tags can be counterfeit as well). The Cam Newton jersey even had the 'Keep Pounding' embroidered in the inside collar. I was amazed, and looking at them would support your theory.

The only downside: the other two were Wes Welker New England and Percy Harvin Minnesota... Both traded about three months after Christmas.

Re: Big sports fan and I've bought counterfeit stu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46120479)

You're lucky. The counterfeit windbreaker I saw someone wearing was pretty obvious that they'd cut some corners in the manufacturing... like leaving off the S at the end of the team name. The good part? It was in a European country and the guy wearing it probably didn't even know it was wrong.

Real goods through unauthorized sources (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 7 months ago | (#46120927)

After that experience, I'm 100% convinced they're not "counterfeit" in the manufacturing sense, but instead they're pulled straight from the line on which the same "$200" jerseys are made, and sold on the side.

Happens all the time actually. I've been to China and spoken with business owners there. It is ridiculously common for contract manufacturers to do exactly what you are describing. They'll make extra and simply divert some through a distribution channel other than what the customer intended.

Re:Big sports fan and I've bought counterfeit stuf (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | about 7 months ago | (#46121021)

Actually a lot of them don't do this anymore (pull them off the same line). That was a very common practice a few years ago where the company that produced the official product did so with the intention of running a "third shift" to make goods that would go unreported and sell them under the table. Now the guys making fakes (and nothing but fakes) are so good at what they do that something simple like an NFL logo is just too easy to copy perfectly. I buy them all the time and rarely ever see any kind of big gaff on their part. One exception was a jersey I ordered for a Saints fan friend who wanted to piggyback on my jersey order. He wanted a Pierre Thomas jersey for his wife and he got it. Problem was it came in as "THMOS" on the back of the jersey instead of "THOMAS". I told the people I ordered it from about it and they sent me a replacement, no questions asked. I was really surprised at that kind of customer support from basically a counterfeiter. Then we opened it and saw that it too said "THMOS" on the back. Oh well. Win some you lose some...

Note also that Feds destroy rather than donate (2)

langelgjm (860756) | about 7 months ago | (#46119397)

Due to a law passed after Hurricane Katrina [nytimes.com] , when trademark holders got upset that poor and displaced people were wearing counterfeit clothing, the feds have to destroy all the seized clothing rather than donate it to charity.

China tends to donate seized counterfeit goods to charity. The US actually sued China at the WTO over this practice, and eventually lost [twnside.org.sg] .

Re:Big sports fan and I've bought counterfeit stuf (1)

Lodlaiden (2767969) | about 7 months ago | (#46119745)

You're still purchasing a product from the manufacturer. Not the same as an illegal download.
Potential copyright infringement, but that's more on the manufacturer. I want a #12 Jersey, and I might pay 50 bucks for it, regardless of where it comes from, but like you, I'm not shelling out 250+ for a shirt I wear once a week and do no work in.

Re:Big sports fan and I've bought counterfeit stuf (2)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 7 months ago | (#46120697)

The jerseys (the good sewn ones) are simply way too expensive. They're upwards of $250-300 and taht's more than I'm spending on a player who might be with the team for 3-4 years.

Wait, an official NFL jersey costs $250-$300?? Fucking really? No wonder they need the government to enforce their monopoly!

Discretionary purchase (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 7 months ago | (#46120963)

Wait, an official NFL jersey costs $250-$300?? Fucking really? No wonder they need the government to enforce their monopoly!

Sure because people are willing to pay that. It's not like anyone has a gun to their head when buying one. It's the very definition of a discretionary purchase.

I think the people spend that much money on a jersey have a room temperature IQ but it's their money...

More mission creep (2)

putaro (235078) | about 8 months ago | (#46118275)

Customer and Border Patrol should stick to enforcing customs laws AT THE BORDER. Once it's entered the country they should have no authority. We've also seen them trying to enforce copyright, as in the recent Google Glass case [washingtonpost.com] . They're already out of control at the borders with their warrantless searches, their authority should be rolled back, not expanded.

Re:More mission creep (1)

c4tp (526292) | about 7 months ago | (#46119179)

Customer and Border Patrol

Border Patrol is just a small part of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. CBP mainly inspects people and goods that come into the U.S. through any port, whether it's by land, sea or air. So they have officers all over, and intercepting counterfeit imports is part of their mission. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the other agency within DHS that has boots on the ground to find violators after they get past customs. They should be part of a task force to find illegal imports as well.

Border Patrol is probably what you're thinking of, they are the ones actually patrolling the border. Or are you thinking of the TSA, which is yet another part of DHS?

your tax dollars at work (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 8 months ago | (#46118281)

Your tax dollars subsidize the stadiums, the wealthy owners, the games, and their idiotic and useless "trademarks" too.

Didn't we elect someone to stop crony capitalism? Oh, right: he's now the crony capitalist in chief.

Re:your tax dollars at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46118879)

Didn't we elect someone to stop crony capitalism?

But if we stop crony capitalism, it'll cost JERBS!

Re:your tax dollars at work (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 7 months ago | (#46120825)

Your tax dollars subsidize the stadiums, the wealthy owners, the games, and their idiotic and useless "trademarks" too.

Didn't we elect someone to stop crony capitalism? Oh, right: he's now the crony capitalist in chief.

I have come to the conclusion that when a President takes office he either gets with the program or the program gets with him. Not entirely, of course. He can have an agenda, but he can't color too far outside the lines.

Is the NFL paying Customs for their services? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118585)

If not, the why the hell are my tax dollars going to assist a private, for profit, enterprise in their desire to increase their profits?

Re:Is the NFL paying Customs for their services? (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 7 months ago | (#46120839)

If not, the why the hell are my tax dollars going to assist a private, for profit, enterprise in their desire to increase their profits?

Actually, the NFL is a non-profit organization. So they don't even pay taxes for this enforcement!

Re:Is the NFL paying Customs for their services? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46121173)

With the exception of the Packers (who are, for the purposes of this discussion, owned by their city), the teams themselves though, of course, are for profit.

It's just the ruling body - the league office - that's a non-profit. You can be a big business as a non-profit, and you can pay your employees well, but non-profit means exactly what it means. Goodell makes like 30mil, but the money the teams and players get is certainly not immune from taxes.

Most of the money from the $200 jersey goes to the team, with the NFL (the organizing body) and the NFLPA taking their cuts to (a) manage the league, and (b) provide a player's organization.

While you can certainly argue that the NFL (organizing body) shouldn't make so much money, it's hard to argue that they should have a goal for individual profit. Their goal is to grow and manage the league, for the benefit of the for-profit (and fully taxed) teams. If they're for-profit, then they have a direct interest in, for example, moving small market teams. [Moving a small market team might help Goodell himself, in that he's got hefty bonuses for his performance, but the NFL (organizing body) itself doesn't make more money -- since it doesn't make money -- by moving the Vikings to Tokyo.]

Every big CEO, even those that work for non-profit companies, have bonuses.

Why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118621)

Would anyone want to spend 3-4hours of their life watching a bunch of millionaires chase a ball around a field?

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46119191)

If you also refrain from watching a bunch of millionaires play "Let's Pretend!" (aka acting) I'll give you credit for not being a hypocrite.

Until then, I'll just assume you are a faggot.

But isn't that what the internet is for? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46118783)

... to sell useless shit to morons?

Dont shaft your own economy (1)

PsyMan (2702529) | about 7 months ago | (#46119227)

So many high end brands move their production to China sending blueprints of their lucrative products to sweatshops and then wonder why the market suddenly gets flooded with counterfeit/perfect copies. They only really have themselves to blame for selling out their own countrys workers in the name of more profit. +1 for making them foot the customs bill though, hopefully at a vastly inflated rate plus expenses.

Re:Dont shaft your own economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46119953)

That is the new american way. Export the jobs to China and keep the profits in offshore accounts to avoid paying US taxes.

But then RUN to the US government for protection, enforcement and court time all of which they haven't paid for.

Keep going (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 7 months ago | (#46119861)

Way to go guys! Now go after Wall Street...

Good way to stimulate the economy (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | about 7 months ago | (#46120257)

Shut down businesses comprising millions of dollars worth of economic activity.

Who is it really costing? (1)

unixcorn (120825) | about 7 months ago | (#46120403)

From the article: "Counterfeit goods cost the global economy an estimated $250 billion each year. More than 1.2 million jobs in New Jersey, 900,000 jobs in Colorado and 1.2 million in the state of Washington depend on IP intensive industries meaning counterfeits have a direct impact on the economy in the home states of both teams and the host of the Super Bowl."
How, exactly, do people purchasing a good cost the world economy anything? Someone makes a product and another person buys it, viola, you have an economy where none was before. What they really need to say is that counterfeit goods are costing some rich sports agent and their marketing team who prey on the simpletons who elevate athletes to superstar status. That would be the truth.

The cost of counterfeit goods (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 7 months ago | (#46121139)

How, exactly, do people purchasing a good cost the world economy anything?

In a variety of ways depending on the nature of the counterfeit good. Some problems with counterfeits are more serious than others.

1) Many counterfeit goods are produced by criminal (think Mafia, etc) organizations. Purchasing these goods subsidizes these organizations.
2) Counterfeit goods weaken incentives to produce innovative and/or higher quality goods
3) Many counterfeit goods are not produced to appropriate safety standards and constitute a health/safety hazard.
4) Counterfeits undermine the relationship between customer and buyer as the buyer can no longer be sure of the product they are receiving
5) Counterfeits damage brand reputations and value (and yes these are important)
6) Counterfeits weaken incentives to conduct research and development. No point in paying for research if everyone else doesn't have to.
7) Many counterfeit goods are not produced to appropriate performance and quality standards. Some are outright frauds such as placebo pills.

thank god we are safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46120699)

from the life threatening dangers of textile commerce.

Buying Authentic is usually a mistake (2)

JudgeFurious (455868) | about 7 months ago | (#46120955)

I only buy counterfeit jerseys now and if you find the right source they're rarely much different from the real thing. The only "level" of jersey that shows a great deal of difference is the genuine "on-field" jersey that is supposed to be exactly like the one the players wear. In the case of those yes, the real ones are made of better, thicker material with stronger seams. I can get one for a fraction of the real price though that is almost indistinguishable from the real thing at 10 feet and that's all I care about. I own two real jerseys. Both cost upwards of $250 and both players are long gone from the team I follow. Won't make that mistake again. Buying a real jersey is something you do towards the end of a HoF players career, not on draft day before you know anything about them or the career they're going to have. It's so easy to waste your money on this stuff if you go authentic. Every year I contact "My man in China" via email and get his latest URL. he moves all the time and gets busted every now and then. He's back up in days at a new site and his jerseys are around $30 for a beautiful copy with all sewn letters/numbers. He has new players available within weeks (sometimes even days) of their coming to a team. I buy about 4-5 jerseys a year this way and when a player gets traded, or cut I don't get burned like I did before. What always amazes me is how good the fakes are. A really bad screen-printed pretend jersey at Academy is over $60 and I can get a great looking fake on-field jersey for $30. Who in the hell is guying the screen-printed crap? Every time they shut him down he pops back up. That's the new economic reality IP holders. Time to get your prices back to reality. If Keki in China can afford to crank out hundreds of thousands of jerseys like this and ship them in small packages all over the US then it's hard to miss that the NFL is fucking over it's fans with overpriced crap.

Re:Buying Authentic is usually a mistake (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46121231)

I made a plunge on a "real" jersey last year. A large part of my decision was finding a player I liked who had a high likelihood of being with the team in 5 years.

For $300 jerseys, they should offer a trade/injury guarantee. :(

can't have it both ways (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 7 months ago | (#46121475)

Corporations want to be free to exploit cheap labor in developing countries. Well, developing countries want to exploit the demand and deep pockets of the first world. Counterfeits are a natural and essential part of a true competitive market. But corporations would rather operate under an imperialist market, where they use the force of big government to control the flow of goods and capital.

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