Counterfeit museum helps to “make consumers aware” in Thailand


UOL - 24/07/2011

Bangkok, Jul 24 (EFE) .- Most museums display unique, valuable and irreplaceable objects, but in the capital of Thailand, a major exporting power for pirated products, there could be no shortage of plagiarism and fakes with the most curious articles.

The museum, which has existed for 20 years, houses about 3.500 products, from common items from any store in the world, such as T-shirts, belts and perfumes, to the most striking ones, such as guitars, car wheel rims and motorcycles ready for use. circulate in the streets.

The original objects and forgeries are mixed throughout the exhibition hall, distinguished only by a label that identifies the real - "g" - and the copy - "f".

The purpose of this “museum of copies”, created by a law firm, is to “raise awareness” among visitors about the importance of preserving intellectual property rights.

“For companies, the most important thing is their brand, their presentation seal. For this reason, they do not want them to be related to inferior articles ”, lawyer Clemence Gautier told Efe during a guided tour.

The law firm organizes tours where it not only tries to “educate” children, but also offers “training” for police and judges to learn how to differentiate copies from legitimate items.

With the expansion of the internet, the sale of counterfeits has multiplied, especially that of drugs to prevent erectile dysfunction.

"People, out of shame, do not buy Viagra at the pharmacy, so they prefer to buy online, anonymously," said Clemence.

According to data presented by the firm, it is estimated that 50% of sales on the Internet are forged objects.

With the universalization of the “network of networks”, “there is a change in mentality towards free” music, video games and other programs, which many companies attribute to the crisis and the current commercial model.

The idea for this museum was born in 1989 when lawyer David Lyman was in Hong Kong and bought 100 “badly made” pirated products.

"Southeast Asian countries, like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, and Eastern Europe are turning into factories for these items, relegating China to a second position," said Clemence.

The lawyer also explained that "the Asian giant is starting to cooperate in the fight" against apirataria "because it is hardening its policy to protect intellectual property".

According to her, the speed of this counterfeiting industry is such that, when a brand becomes famous, “the next day it is already possible to find pirated products on the streets”.

Clemence also pointed out low-value objects like pencils, erasers, staples and calculators as some of the most counterfeit. "It is much less dangerous to work with these products than with medicines and cosmetics, as they do not fall within the sphere of crimes against public health," he said, in front of a stationery store.

In addition to commercial matters, the creation of counterfeits is related to the violation of human rights.

"In factories of pirated products, employees have no protection whatsoever, and in many cases there are children working in them," said sources at the law firm.

Developing countries like Brazil, Thailand and India are the main market for these pirated items.

"Increases in demand and supply of counterfeit objects are evident on the streets," said the lawyer.