One person’s junk can be another’s treasure
The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development is rightly cracking down on fake goods, but Kipp thinks confiscated goods should be put to use.
May 25, 2010 10:15 by Samuel Potter
Yesterday, Kipp reported on the Abu Dhabi government’s destruction of more than 11,000 items of counterfeit goods.
The move was part of an effort to crack down on counterfeit and fake goods, and included the destruction of more than 5,000 electrical products and more than 3,000 items of clothing. The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development is planning further crackdowns this year.
Kipp supports the efforts of the government to combat the counterfeit goods trade. Many of the profits from this industry go straight back into organized crime, and many of the products are produced by laborers suffering terrible conditions in the Far East.
But we have to wonder: why did the goods have to be destroyed? They have been seized, and are no longer on the market (thus legitimate business has been protected) and in the process the criminals have not been allowed to profit from their merchandise. Why couldn’t the government put the goods to use, and provide them to poorer members of society, or to laborers who would surely benefit from new clothes and other assorted goods? There are many volunteers and charities collecting donations for these sections of our society.
Kipp is sure local businesses wouldn’t complain, as these people are unlikely to be customers of genuine designer goods retailers – their customer base would not be eroded.
The only other argument Kipp can see is that the recipients might sell the goods on themselves. But even if they tried, it seems the authorities are getting pretty good at preventing the market for fake goods.