Can You Find It?
All throughout the United States, the rallying cry of many different industries is,“Beware of counterfeits.” Software companies continually ask us in advertise-ments if we are using the genuine article. The music and movie industry continuethe same theme. They tell us to stay away from pirated products that you down-load from the Internet. With all this rhetoric about forgeries, it might appear thatthese manufactures are concerned about our well-being. Unfortunately, these in-dustries are not concerned about protecting us from defective products producedby phony businesses. Instead, these different manufacturers are simply lookingfor ways to maximize their proﬁtability.Counterfeits cost companies. In the United States alone, it was estimated thatthe software industry lost 9.2 billion dollars from piracy in 2003. The musicindustry calculated that it lost 4.6 billion in the US during the same time frame.Worldwide, the movie industry thinks it lost 3.3 billion dollars in 2003.The software, music, and movie industries have attacked this rampant piracyby education, identiﬁcation, and lawsuits. These different businesses have beenreminding us that taking anything without the owner’s expressed permission issimply theft. When one rips software, music, or movies illegally, people are hurt.Some people will not get their royalties and others will not be paid for the efforts.Not only do these industries have advertisements that tell consumers why theyshould not make illegal copies but they also have now made it easier to distinguisha copy from the original. Currently, CDs and DVDs have fancy artwork, whichis more difﬁcult to copy. Microsoft has “certiﬁcates of authenticity.” These arepieces of paper used to visually identify true versions of Microsoft products. If these two approaches do not work, the industries will be happy to throw the lawat you.The concern for ﬁnding counterfeits is not limited to the digital world of soft-ware, music, and movies. People want to know what they are getting themselvesinto whether it be a fashion handbag from a big name designer, a piece of ﬁne2