Like Clockwork, ICE Stops Sports Fans From Advertising Their Favorite Teams For Less Than Full Price

from the this-is-so-dumb dept

Two things that happen, like clockwork, every Super Bowl? Bogus completely fabricated claims that sex trafficking increases whereever the Super Bowl is held, and ICE making bullshit seizures of "counterfeit" sporting goods. This year, both Associated Press and the local Miami Herald ran bogus stories claiming that sex trafficking ramps up around the Super Bowl -- a claim that every single year is debunked and unproven. Reason always does a good job debunking those claims. so I'll just point you there for now.

On the "counterfeits" front, we've got a silly press release from ICE and plenty of news sources, like Fox News, gleefully cheering on the fact that fans won't be able to provide free advertising to their favorite sports teams without paying the monopoly price set by the NFL. We've covered just how messed up these ICE raids are in the past, but just as a refresher: it's completely fucked up that it's somehow illegal for people to make or sell unauthorized sports wear.

It used to not be this way. It used to be that if you made your own fan ware, sports teams actually liked the fact that you were advertising their brand to the world for free. And then some trademark lawyers came along and said "hey, but we could sell people the right to advertise our stuff for us" and began going to court to stop people from promoting their teams without first paying. An astounding number of people buy into this ridiculous myth -- but think about it: why should people have to pay monopoly prices to help advertise your sports team? It makes no sense at all.

What makes even less sense is the idea that ICE should be spending any time at all seizing goods that would allow fans to provide free advertising at slightly cheaper prices. How is this in the interest of Immigration & Customs Enforcement? I mean, if it means they're not rounding up and kicking out people who have lived here their whole lives, I guess I'd rather them wasting their time on this, but somehow I get the feeling it's not mutually exclusive. Anyway, the real bullshit here is that ICE -- which does this before every single major sporting event -- actually wants to pretend that it's somehow doing a good thing for the world, rather than doing this because they know every single news org wants some dumb story with a "big sports event" hook, and so they know they'll get press.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced Thursday the seizure of more than 176,000 counterfeit sports-related items, worth an estimated $123 million manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), through a collaborative enforcement operation targeting international shipments of counterfeit merchandise into the United States.

Also, note the $123 million. To their credit, at least the press release admits that that's the MSRP price. That's not the real price by any stretch of the imagination. ICE did not seize $123 million worth of goods. But, of course, the news reports leave out that detail, and just run with the $123 million number.

Even worse, ICE pretends that this is "protecting" fans, rather than actually fucking over the fans:

“Operation Team Player remains one of the most important national initiatives for protecting sports fans from the sale of counterfeit products and counterfeit tickets. The joint efforts of the NFL, the IPR Center, HSI, CBP, and Miami area law enforcement have helped ensure that Super Bowl LIV remains an authentic and outstanding experience for our fans,” said NFL Vice President of Legal Affairs, Dolores DiBella. “The NFL is committed to supporting these anti-counterfeiting and consumer protection measures, and extends its gratitude for the year-round support of law enforcement partners who drove the success of Operation Team Player.”

It's not consumer protection. You're just forcing your fans to pay more to give you advertising. Meanwhile, reports have the NFL making somewhere in the range of $15 billion last year (some say the number is even higher). Why are they having to use your tax dollars to force the prices of their merchandise to be jacked up even more?

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Filed Under: advertising, cbp, counterfeit, ice, licensing, sports, superbowl, trademark
Companies: nfl


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  • icon
    hij (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 9:41am

    Green Bay wants its "G"

    Good thing the Green Bay Packers did not make it this year. Any "G" that is a bit squashed would be a trade mark infringement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 11:03am

    Why are they having to use your tax dollars to force the prices of their merchandise to be jacked up even more?

    Because the wealthy own so much of the countries wealth that they need help to increase their share even further.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 11:42am

      Congratulations, you just described capitalism!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 5:14am

        Re:

        Well, unchecked capitalism, anyway.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Tweedle Dee, 7 Feb 2020 @ 11:44am

          Re: Re:

          Catch this, AC chatbot!

          Out of my Bum, another one comes, right in your face!

          ({⊙})

          Eat shit, AC

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 7 Feb 2020 @ 10:53pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            Dude, I’m not an AC, nor am I a chatbot. You might be able to tell that I’m not an AC, at least, by the fact that

            1. the name the comment is under is not “Anonymous Coward” but “bhull242”,

            2. next to the name is a black silhouette of a person’s head rather than a solid-colored patterned square, and

            3. after the name is the word “profile” in parentheses that acts as a hyperlink to my Techdirt profile.

            None of these would be the case if I was commenting as an AC.

            Also, I’m not sure what in this conversation at all, let alone my comment in particular, would provoke such a response.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              AC Liberation NOW!, 11 Feb 2020 @ 12:07am

              Re: Re: Re:Who will flag this racist AC?

              bhull, sometimes (frequently ) when responding to these racist /tribalist /cowardly ACs, the comment doesnt show up where it is supposed to show up, i.e. underneath the ACs post, or above it

              I dont know why that happens, and I am still testing it.

              But maybe, stop kidding yourself that these forums arent under the direct and indirect influence of:

              • partisan trolls and insiders

              • shitbag derailers from racist pig-fucking groups like B’nai B’riths ADL, or any of the many NGOs like IJM, Save -a -ho foundations, etc., and other extremely wealthy speech crushers and derailers who mask their hatred of the other under pre-emptive war, and speech suppression as they create Golem after boogieman after strawman to hide their criminality and activity that assaults free speech at all levels

              • military trolls, DoD and MiT, Brookings Institute etc. sponsored chatbots, trolls, and other derailers as I have outlined (and those paid speech assassins participate here at TD as defacto speech censors, and narrative control agents )

              THAT said, you might also notice that, directly to the left if your comment, are several dark lines, that form a symbolic sewer pipe, with the hypothetical cyber-turd dropping into it, sliding by your comment, and falling directly into that ACs eye, right below your post.

              So, apologies that you chose the apartment next to this ongoing discussion that you were not necessarily invited to, but that you jump into the sewer pipe every chance you get and complain that you got shit dropped in your eyes.

              I mean, you are welcome-and at liberty -to read, or not read such comments, as opposed to the ADL model of offensive speech that pre -empively sets an agenda of acceptable speech (speech acceptable to it and that labels all discussion or criticism of topics like Israeli Occupation of Palestine as hate speech, or criticism of bad actors and tribalists as antishemititiscysticalismcisisms and so on.

              Because thats what started this discussion several years before you joined in.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                bhull242 (profile), 11 Feb 2020 @ 5:05am

                Re: Re: Re: Re:Who will flag this racist AC?

                So, basically, after setting aside the stuff about the ADL (a separate topic that we’ve discussed elsewhere in various threads and may get into again later), that other comment was meant for someone else, and you don’t know why it showed up under mine.

                If I had to guess, based upon your past explanations for previous typos and grammatical errors, combined with the fact that that comment is word-for-word identical to another of your comments, I’d say what likely happened was that you made an error when posting it that led to it being posted in replies to two separate comments, including mine, or you mistakenly clicked on my comment and didn’t realize it because the mini-window for your reply appeared to be below a different comment or something.

                I say that because 1) I’m pretty sure that I’ve made a similar mistake (and I know it was a mistake on my end because I caught it immediately after hitting “Submit”), 2) I believe at least two others have made a similar mistake, 3) I’ve never heard of anyone else who has ever known that the comment was placed in the wrong place by anyone but themselves, and 4) if it was a part of an agenda, what would the motive be, anyways? It wouldn’t really cause us to go after each other since you could just correct the record very easily, as you just did.

                Still, I’m glad that you confirmed that that was not meant to be a reply for me. I was really confused about that, so good to know!

                For the record, though, which AC did you mean to reply to? Was it the one who said:

                Because the wealthy own so much of the countries wealth that they need help to increase their share even further.

                (which was probably sarcasm), the one who said:

                Between the "Ass-Time Show".. and the congratulatory remarks by our President directed at "The Great State of Kansas"... I errr.. I forgot where I was going with this... I wonder if stupid is contagious?

                or some other AC?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                bhull242 (profile), 11 Feb 2020 @ 5:43am

                Re: Re: Re: Re:Who will flag this racist AC?

                Now, regarding the ADL, I think many of us would agree that, at the absolute minimum, they are often overzealous in their defense of Jews and/or Israel, and they are absolutely wrong to conflate any and all criticism of Israel or its policies (and a lot of discussions about them) with antisemitism. There is also an unfortunately sizable number of people who accept the ADL’s PoV as a good authority, much like a number of people do the same for the SPL Foundation (who have their own problems). Frankly, organizations like the ADL often do a lot of a similar kind of overgeneralization that they (often rightfully) criticize others for.

                I also wouldn’t be surprised if they did have some sort of cyber-infiltration strategy in place or something. I, personally, don’t know that for sure, but I don’t dismiss it out-of-hand, either.

                I don’t believe that these forums are under the direct control of the military, DoD, MIT, Brookings Institute, etc., or the ADL or any other similar NGOs, and any indirect control they might have seems rather weak to me. You assert the existence of trolls, which is not exactly unlikely and I’m not really going to argue against that per se, but I’m not seeing anything for which an organized effort is a better explanation than typical anonymous trolls. I also don’t see evidence of undue influence from “insiders”. Of course, I don’t have the evidence you seem to have, and this topic is apparently years old, meaning I don’t know how it started, but I can only work with what I’m given. I don’t suppose you have a link to the start of it all, do you? If not, no biggie, but it’d be nice to see what in the world you’re talking about when arguing about what started it.

                That all said, this is all really, really off-topic for this subthread, so I won’t really go into more depth or detail here and now. I don’t really want to derail things any further.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    For Norma Jean Almodovar, 3 Feb 2020 @ 11:28am

    SSuper Bowl sex trafficking hoax

    It was Norma Jean Almodovar (and Maggie McNeil, and other proud loud whores )bold resistance, and exposure, and testimony against corrupt LAPD gangs of police (and Rodney Kings beating ) who raised my awareness of that Super Bowl sex trafficking fraud, waged by religionists like IJM, and others ( in league with ten or more other organizations actually ) .

    And, despite ongoing harassment, aka gang stalking by crypto-religionists, she occasionaly gets respect from the alt -press, and the honors she deserves.

    http://citypages.com/news/how-prostitution-abolitionists-manipulate-our-worries-of-sex-tra fficking/431123113

    I hope the SuperBowl goes the way of the Cretaceous period terrasaurs, and leaves the rest of us out of Americas war and glory porn sports industrial complex.

    Then, again, if that happened, who would continue to capitalize China, via NBA....?

    (Michael Eisner, Haym Saban, et al, crapping in their yoga pants at the prospect )

    Google ROGS and sex trafficking for an eye poker.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 2:06pm

      Re: Fat stupid and racist is no way to go through life son

      “Google ROGS and sex trafficking for an eye poker.”

      It’s weird that you would be bragging that you are into sex trafficking bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Google TD ACs, 7 Feb 2020 @ 11:40am

        Re: Your Onanist impulse, again?

        Citation, please?

        But calling out .mil contractors, ADL trained trolls, and their affilliated NGOs like International Justice Ministries AC commenters has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with you derailers like you*.

        Sadly, TDs flag button enables astroturfing chatbots an trolls like trolls like you, who contribute nothing, despite your many baseless charges, not surprisingly, TD flaggers never catch it, or flag you appropriately (maybe because Masnick is asleep at the wheel ).

        Try not to eat a bullet in your face on the way home from your .mil, NGO, ADLified, #Broinfused troll farm tonight, Tweedle Dum.

        And dont worry, lots of people wont cry if you die in a fire.

        Be stoic, be heroic #Bro!

        Just DO IT.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 11:31am

    Between the "Ass-Time Show".. and the congratulatory remarks by our President directed at "The Great State of Kansas"... I errr.. I forgot where I was going with this... I wonder if stupid is contagious?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Lt. Mohammed Alshamranis Ghost, 3 Feb 2020 @ 12:03pm

      Re:

      Well, we are not in Kansas anymore.

      And, the fact that I was sexually harassed, and humiliated on a Navy base, AFTER,I filed a,sexual harrassment complaint against my harasser, and then cyberstalked by a rabid anti -muslim Zionist Intel group that is known to use child pornography entrapment schemes (Rita,Katz, SITE intelligence )and only THEN I went on a rampage seems to indicate that SOMETHING is contagious.

      And, it definitely is NOT Superbowl marketing, or cliche’d ass dancers, appealing to sexually repressed hetero -normie Neanderthal wankers.

      Stupid is so contagious in fact, that security state syndicalism has leapt the communist bloc, and has overtaken democracy, one binary thinking fascist at a time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 2:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Stupid is so contagious in fact you are patient zero.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 2:22pm

        Re: Re:

        And, the fact that I was sexually harassed, and humiliated on a Navy base, AFTER,I filed a,sexual harrassment complaint against my harasser, and then cyberstalked by a rabid anti -muslim Zionist Intel group that is known to use child pornography entrapment schemes (Rita,Katz, SITE intelligence )and only THEN I went on a rampage seems to indicate that SOMETHING is contagious.

        ... and yet it is your abuse of the common comma that I find most abhorrent.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 5:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I had more of a problem with the weird spacing.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Jane D#53, 6 Feb 2020 @ 7:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I thought you might enjoy that.

            But are you following along about the substance of what I post that gets the flag brigade worked up?

            Im pretty certain I am the only one in the comments who addressed the Super Bowl sex trafficking hoax in substance, or who has an actual world famous friend whose literal ocupation was, in her own words, to be a whore,and who has consistently argued with these abolitionist liars (and flaggers, and flag brigades) for decades.

            bhull, notice that its that information that got flagged.

            Everything else is just spice.

            So, I dont wonder who the flaggers are, I have met many of thede shitbags in person

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Feb 2020 @ 7:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Im pretty certain I am the only one in the comments who addressed the Super Bowl sex trafficking hoax in substance, or who has an actual world famous friend whose literal ocupation was, in her own words, to be a whore,and who has consistently argued with these abolitionist liars (and flaggers, and flag brigades) for decades. "

              ...and you still aren't getting it.

              The fact that almost every political decision in the US of A is run by cis-gendered heterosexual caucasian males in their 60+ who keep catering to the vocal puritan-flavored "morals über alles" part of the electorate is not new.

              And it's not a conspiracy either, because the driving force behind the phenomenon are all too happy to stand out in full public view and lambast the "sinful beliefs" of everyone who doesn't think exactly the way they do.

              At the end of the day we're talking about bigots who define themselves less by what they like and more according to what they DON'T like. And who aren't shy about hanging on the horn to the congressman, police commissioner, or mayor 24/7 and nagging about the sinful hellions imperiling the souls of all the Good christians around.

              It's not a conspiracy. It's a religious doctrine. The same one which caused prohibition, has held back liberal progress for decades, and yes, causes law enforcement to go harass whatever people have caught the eye of the local puritan bingo parlor. Because when the mayor gets no peace, he'll make sure to spread the "joy".

              Honestly, no one needs to be told this. We know.

              In recent years this has gotten way worse. Naturally. When women burned their bras and proclaimed the sexual revolution back in the 60's the entire puritan community got it's knickers in a twist and is today, with first Roe vs Wade, then gay marriage, and finally legalization of weed on the horizon, in a state of genuine frothing-at-the-mouth demented hysterics.

              Things keep improving but as they do, the reaction of religious groups and bigots get ever more extreme.

              I'm not really sure what to think of it. As a european I'm looking at half of the US burning down over issues we were taking for granted ten or twenty years ago.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Agreed,mostly, 10 Feb 2020 @ 5:52am

                it is individualized, targeted, and coordinated

                You write very effectively, with good humor.

                But, no, its not merely religion targeting the other(s) in a business as usual scheme of mob activity, re It's not a conspiracy. It's a religious doctrine for reasons I will explain later.

                Notice that I have never, ever referenced a broad conspiracy here, EVER. Not once.

                Then, note that case after case, I indicate that these can be studied and validated with evidence (the Pensacola,shooter, a total ROGS bingo), with actual perpetrators named, and possibly prosecuted.

                Chiefly, we cannot agree, for reasons that I and others who have been “othered”find to be a literal, and existential challenge to our actual lives.

                So, your approach is to leave the lynching victim dangling, whereas mine is to load up some buckshot, and aim it at the crowd, asking nicely a few times, for someone to assist me lifting down a dangling victim or two, and then, to liberate that victim from the psychiatric meta -narrative.

                And, my approach now has others taking a forensic linguistics approach too, so that we can exorcise the tainted terminology from a mired dialectic.

                For example, Dr. Brian King, of HK city college writes extensively about gang stalking, and its affect on him, personally (and I note that he has taken a forensic linguisticsapproach to legitimizing the term gang stalking but also to examine the organization, and organizations behind it.

                https://jeezcanada.com/

                “ motivated by my belief that the mainstream treatment of the issue as a mental health concern needs to be challenged and evaluated as a potential bona fide subject for serious academic inquiry by unbiased scholars from different fields...”

                And from his HKU bio:

                “Dr. Brian W. King is a critical sociolinguist who researches the discursive performance of identities and embodiments at the intersection of ethnicity, gender and sexuality. His work on these themes sits within sexuality education....”

                You are also wrong to an extreme when you say that gang stalkers are all too happy to stand out in full public view because they deliberately, and specifically delight in the anonymity that the internet gives them, and then, their power and ability to hide their involvement in harassment behind social mechanisms ranging from Infragard, to SAR reports, and bogus CVE practices, etc.

                Their online commentary on that is so well known that the common expressions bring the cockroaches into the light is expressed by many angry victims, and in many of the written works on this topic.

                Then, gang stalkers other common threat /utterance/inference of blackmailing to an online target is a biblical reference what goes on in darkness.

                So, again, you are wrong, though I appreciate your frustration at my persistence, and my redundance.

                But again, you state:
                no one needs to be told this. We know is affirmative, between you and I, but, MANY people DO NOT KNOW this, and some of those might be readers of Techdirt now, or in the future when.they research this topic, and find this or other threads.

                Why is it important to raise awareness of anything? As you state, Roe v Wade is one good reason, but there are others -like protecting the lives of those being gang stalked by validating their complaints with linguistic evidence, rather than assisting the psychiatric meta-narrative which is currently winning.

                It truly is a battle over one phrase, and that phrase used in ONLY two ways:

                • victims (non -conforming seculars, gay people, black, brown, othered people, whistle blowers, journalists, etc.), who say they are gang stalked and describe the bizarre depths of the activity directed at them, including death threats, and squad cars trying to run them off the roads, and worse

                • perpetrators/ gang stalking denialists (forensic psychologists, onlune profilers, CVE funded private contractors, PIs, LEIU and CVE club members, prescribing psychiatrists, etc.) who relegate that single phrase to a delusional basis

                So, there is very good reason why your approach can only lead to stasis, and false diagnoses for current and future victims, and worse, not least of which is that it simply doesnt get talked about, or when it does, victims are silenced with the tinfoil hat smear, and flagged off of the internet, as I have demonstrated.

                On the surface, I might appear to be an annoying person, a troll, or a deviant spammer mucking up TDs sacred partisan bickering forum, but in reality, I have created, and demonstrated a method to linguistically prove a concept, and others are taking note, and some of them validating the term itself, to take it away from police, psychologists, and religious fanatics who use community policing resources to target, harass, and gang stalk individuals, in specific, localized cases that CAN be validated with names and evidence, and blame assigned to these actors, and actions taken to prosecute them (Infragard working as the go-between on the FBI to -community spies pipeline, for example wage insane amounts of time to illegally cyberstalk, and target individuals internet connections and webs of associations, against the law, but from within darkness of official cover. )

                One of the difficulties of proving any kind of stalking is that its the victims word against his or her stalker, but when its highly organized, its more difficult because of the bizarre nature of official conduct; but not impossible with evidence of the crime in plain sight because these shitbags are quite sloppy in their OpSec (photos, videos ) and internet activities like redirection, hijacking, etc. all leave traces on local systems(Wireshark, for example, will reveal an air gapped hackers or war drivers MAC addresses and router logs can show redirection to the local pigsty, law offices, and Fusion Centers) where this shit is indeed highly organized

                It happens across the political spectrum to victims of all stripes, and its not simply religious people doing it, and although they are perhaps more reprehensible, the left are using these tactics also.

                You and I agree on so much, but on this point whether it is --organized and selectively targeted-- I have documented both over years of time, and others are now too, with forensic evidence of actual state crime, directed at individual, potential influencers.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 6:56am

        Re: Re:

        1. This really has absolutely nothing to do with anything in the article. Like, I don’t really see any connection at all here. It has nothing to do with the NFL, the Super Bowl, sex-trafficking, false statistics, ICE, or trademarks.

        2. [citation needed] regarding everything in the second paragraph.

        3. While both—at a minimum—show certain tendencies towards authoritarianism and all that entails, there are still significant differences between fascism and communism (even authoritarian communism).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    drpiper@gmail.com, 3 Feb 2020 @ 11:34am

    The numbers don't add up

    123 million divided by 176,000, makes each item worth $699. Who the hell estimated the worth of the items, the cable industry?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 11:52am

      Re: The numbers don't add up

      I believe that would be the recording industry

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Bobvious, 3 Feb 2020 @ 2:47pm

      Re: The numbers don't add up ($699 per item)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 7:03am

        Re: Re: The numbers don't add up ($699 per item)

        Well, it’s pretty dumb. I’m guessing there were some goods that were equivalent to something absurdly expensive that skewed the average, but I’m having trouble thinking of any kind of sportsware that would be legitimately worth $699+. I was going to ask who would spend that much on a single item of branded clothing, but then I remembered that there are some fans of anime, manga, comic books, and/or video games that probably would spend that much on related clothing (such as costumes), and fashionistas can be even worse.

        But seriously, what are these expensive products that they’re using to estimate the price of this stuff?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 2:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: The numbers don't add up ($699 per item)

          the 'gold' lettering is apparently real gold on these counterfits, to make the $699 price point seem reasonable....

          I mean who doesn't want to wear a gold plated jersey of their favorite team???

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 7:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The numbers don't add up ($699 per item)

            Wait, so the counterfeits (allegedly) have real gold?

            You know what? If that’s true, then I think just about everyone involved in this whole mess is stupid. Who in their right minds would make or buy a friggin’ sports jersey with real gold? A diamond-studded suit or some sort of accessory, sure, but there really isn’t any way to make a jersey make you look rich, famous, or particularly fashionable, and most people probably wouldn’t notice the difference between real or fake gold on a jersey. Plus, clothing goes through a lot of wear and tear, moreso than other gold-plated objects would be, and gold is also really heavy and really soft, so any gold-plating would probably come off pretty easily and would probably reduce the comfort. Seriously, that’s just stupid.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Feb 2020 @ 7:28am

          Re: Re: Re: The numbers don't add up ($699 per item)

          "I’m guessing there were some goods that were equivalent to something absurdly expensive that skewed the average, but I’m having trouble thinking of any kind of sportsware that would be legitimately worth $699+."

          Copyright math never made sense. They haven't changed the formula much ever since they estimated the "loss of profit" they exemplified through the pirate bay, which has "piracy" costing the entertainment industry some 42 times more money than actually exists in the world.

          Here's how it goes. Your T'shirt, if bought, would have been bought instead of other products in the same brand-display bracket. That doesn't mean they tally it 1:1. They decide the existence of that counterfeit T-shirt cost them the sale of every possible variation of that T-shirt, including the one designed and signed by <celebrity X>.

          So if they impounded 1000 counterfeit T-shirts they calculate the amount of the lost sale based on the 1000 highest-end T-shirts they would otherwise be offering.

          They certainly aren't comparing the sale of a $5 grungy counterfeit to the $10 genuine one which might have been sold.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobob, 3 Feb 2020 @ 12:06pm

    I think that law enforcement should follow through on stopping all this sex trafficking by eliminating the super bowl. We certainly cannot support a business enterprise that draws crime into the neighborhood.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 12:12pm

    I see how the government does the industry's dirty work but I'm not sure why ICE is busting fake t-shirts probably made in some dude's basement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 12:17pm

    So should LucasFilm not be allowed to stop people from selling STAR WARS t-shirts and caps?

    I mean, after all it's free advertising for their movies. Why should they be allowed to stop other people from cashing in on their IP?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 1:16pm

      Re:

      "So should LucasFilm not be allowed to stop people from selling STAR WARS t-shirts and caps?"

      Last I knew, LucasFilm was not a branch of the US government and it did not get tax payer funding for use in improving its market share.

      "Why should they be allowed to stop other people from cashing in on their IP?"
      Why is the government pursuing these civil cases for a private industry?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 7:21am

        Re: Re:

        Last I knew, LucasFilm was not a branch of the US government and it did not get tax payer funding for use in improving its market share.

        Funny, the Super Bowl shouldn't meet those requirements either.

        Why is the government pursuing these civil cases for a private industry?

        If you have to ask.....

        So should LucasFilm not be allowed to stop people from selling STAR WARS t-shirts and caps?

        Yep. They may own the franchise but refusing to allow others partake in it is a sure fire way to kill the franchise off. Prohibiting others from promoting your franchise at no cost to you is a suicidal business strategy. People want to be a part of their respective fandoms and to share that passion with others. Deny them that and they will move elsewhere. To put it another way: "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

        Corporations seem to have forgotten that the products they make are to be consumed. They want their cake and to eat it too. They may have "shareholders" or "investors" to appease, but the biggest shareholder they must please is the one paying everyone else's paycheck and boosting their stock price: The consumers. Fail to appease them and the rest will leave for greener pastures eventually. No matter how much you think you can live without them.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 10:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nice try but you did not answer any of the questions.
          I think we all know the answers don't we?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          btr1701 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They may own the franchise but refusing to allow others partake in it is a sure fire way to kill the franchise off.

          That's not a decision for the government to make. If it's a bad business decision, the market will exact its punishment.

          Prohibiting others from promoting your franchise at no cost to you is a suicidal business strategy.

          One they are free to make if they choose. It's not the proper place of the government to do it for them.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 10:58am

        Re: Re:

        Same reason he Secret Service pursues credit card fraud and bank fraud.

        Same reason the SEC pursues insider traders.

        Etc., etc., etc.

        The cops catch criminals. The fact that the victims of the crime are businesses, not individuals, doesn't make arresting the criminals any less legitimate.

        Also, I'm not sure why you think these are merely civil cases. Mass infringement and sale of the copies for profit easily falls under criminal copyright infringement.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Secret Service pursues credit card fraud and bank fraud."
          They do not do a very good job of catching the crooks.

          "The cops catch criminals."
          Some of the crooks the cops let go, others the DA lets go, and then some get a pardon. Funny things happen when they find out that accepting a pardon means admission of guilt.

          "Same reason the SEC pursues insider traders"
          Funny that - insider trading is not illegal for congressional members

          "doesn't make arresting the criminals any less legitimate."
          Who make such a claim and where?

          Some dude making t-shirts in the basement is not really commerce is it? How much could one actually make doing such a thing? Twenty thirty bucks? - If yer lucky.

          Did you have an actual point to make?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 12:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Same reason the SEC pursues insider traders"
            Funny that - insider trading is not illegal for congressional members

            Yes, it is illegal, even for members of Congress:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STOCK_Act

            Some dude making t-shirts in the basement is not really commerce is it?

            Yeah, it is.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 7:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well, technically the making of the T-shirts in the basement isn’t itself commerce if it wasn’t being done as an employee for someone, by commission or contract, or for a customer. It’s the selling and/or transportation of the T-shirts that would be commerce. If you just made some T-shirts in your basement for fun, for personal use, and never leave the house with them, then I’m pretty sure that that’s not commerce.

              Though, based on what follows, that isn’t really the scenario the AC is referring to. Since they mention selling them for $20-30, that would clearly be commerce since they’re being sold. The quantity sold and the revenue/profits earned are immaterial to whether or not something is considered commerce so long as they are intended to be sold.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, this is trademark infringement, not copyright infringement, so it wouldn’t fall under criminal copyright infringement.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 8:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Also, I’m not sure that these were all made, sold, or purchased by the same individual/organization, and its only criminal if a bunch of copies were made by the same entity.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 2:45pm

      Re:

      Why isn't ICE busting all the fake Ster Wers t-shirts and caps? I mean if they bust for the AA, they gotta bust for the EY, amirite?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    AC Liberation Front, 3 Feb 2020 @ 12:26pm

    re: Norma Jean

    Norma Jean Almodovar, who helped break the story of LAPDs corruption /Ramparts scandal, and the actual pimping that goes on in police departments could use a hand keeping up with statistics on this yearly fraud :

    https://www.policeprostitutionandpolitics.com/operation_do_the_math_2018.html

    These lying abolitionists are human garbage, straight out of George W. Bush / former state dept. head Gary Haugens IJM gang stalking evangelical fold.

    They are heavily involved with blackmail and other sexual psyops across America, but significantly prominent in East Asia.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    tz, 3 Feb 2020 @ 12:32pm

    Piracy is still piracy

    Maybe they should just be distributing cracked copies of software instead? Or cracked e-books. Or burn the torrents to Blu-Rays. ICE is the agency that handles IP theft. You could try to make a case against it, but it is hardly "free advertising" when the item is pirated. Instead there are complaints about enforcing immigration. I don't like the NFL, even worse when they try to be Politically Correct. This is another aspect (Hollywood is worse - FanFiction is even more crushed - heard of ST:Axanar?). Your complaint is with the NFL calling the police, not the police. Maybe everyone should "take a knee" during the national anthem to object to the NFL using ICE to aggressively enforce their Trademark. (They have to at least complain lest they lose the Trademark, like Xerox, Kleenex, Band-Aid, etc.). I'd be with you in that. Complain more about the NFL, not ICE. And get Congress to change the laws back to rationality, instead of what the Disney Deathstar wants to do - extend copyright forever so nothing ever more in the public domain. The problem is Congress. Maybe Schumer and Pelosi should try to fix that instead of the show trials.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 1:23pm

      Re: Piracy is still piracy

      "ICE is the agency that handles IP theft."

      No one really knows what ICE is supposed to be
      https://qz.com/1316098/what-is-ice-supposed-to-do-the-strange-history-of-us-immigration-and-custo ms-enforcement/

      Some say ICE is the new gestapo, what do you think about that?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 4:13pm

        The New Gestapo

        Considering ICE did the Dotcom raid in New Zealand, January 2012 (the legal proceedings of which are still going on), I'd argue they are the new international gestapo.

        Though arguably, when ICE is not seizing and interning or deporting innocent civilians (often do their death or capture into human trafficking) they serve as a private security contractor for large companies that want their will enforced.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 2:04pm

      Re: Piracy is still copyright infringement

      That’s a whole lot of words to bitch about the Impeachment bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 2:26pm

      Re: Piracy is still piracy

      ICE is the agency that handles IP theft.

      Oh my dog! You mean someone snuck in and nabbed trademark and copyright registrations? Or forged their names onto someone's patent?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 6:44am

      Re: Piracy is still piracy

      Piracy is still piracy

      Uhhh… trademark infringement and counterfeiting aren’t piracy. Piracy, when talking about IP, consists solely of copyright infringement, not trademarks or counterfeits.

      Maybe they should just be distributing cracked copies of software instead? Or cracked e-books. Or burn the torrents to Blu-Rays.

      See, that is all (at least arguably) piracy, as that all involves copyright. It’s also completely different from what is described in the article, which is about trademark.

      ICE is the agency that handles IP theft.

      Exactly what falls under the purview of ICE is uncertain, but I do know that few would argue that all “IP theft” is handled by ICE. At most, they are supposed to handle counterfeit goods and goods that infringe upon someone’s trademark, and even then only if the goods physically cross the border of the US. (Though ICE has tried to expand its powers to enforce other things, most believe that anything regarding IP “theft” beyond what I said would clearly fall outside ICE’s authority.) And even there, a lot of people would argue that enforcing trademark should also fall outside ICE’s authority, so this point is debatable even if we restrict it to what’s covered in the article.

      Also, neither copyright infringement, patent infringement, nor trademark infringement are theft. Copying, misrepresentation, and fraud aren’t theft, nor is any form of IP infringement.

      You could try to make a case against it, but it is hardly "free advertising" when the item is pirated.

      Again, this isn’t piracy. At most, it’s trademark infringement. And even piracy can be free advertising, as has been discussed in numerous articles on this site. Same with some cases of trademark infringement. Again, it’s debatable.

      I don't like the NFL, even worse when they try to be Politically Correct.

      I’m not sure what you’re talking about here about them being PC, but then I don’t really follow football.

      This is another aspect (Hollywood is worse - FanFiction is even more crushed - heard of ST:Axanar?).

      “This is another aspect” of what? “This is another aspect” of the NFL you don’t like, or “[t]his is another aspect” of the NFL trying to be PC? Or did you mean something else?

      And while I haven’t heard of ST:Axanar (or at least I don’t recognize the name), I am aware of companies crushing fanfiction. Though, again, that’s primarily about copyright, which is very different from trademark. Honestly, I don’t get why people lump trademarks in with patents and copyrights considering how different they are and the massive differences between the purposes behind them.

      Your complaint is with the NFL calling the police, not the police.

      Again, some would argue that this falls outside of what ICE should be concerned with (drugs, child porn, counterfeit goods (not merely those that infringe upon trademarks), banned weapons like explosives, stuff banned by a court order, immigration, fleeing fugitives, and maybe some other illegal goods, not stuff that is merely unlawful like trademark infringement). That said, the article does also complain about the NFL.

      Maybe everyone should "take a knee" during the national anthem to object to the NFL using ICE to aggressively enforce their Trademark.

      I’m not opposed to some sort of organized protest against the NFL over this, but this is greatly misinterpreting what taking a knee during the national anthem represents; it was intended as a peaceful and silent protest of police violence and discrimination occurring under the same flag while also still respecting the troops. I don’t think that has any real similarities to what’s going on here.

      (They have to at least complain lest they lose the Trademark, like Xerox, Kleenex, Band-Aid, etc.).

      IANAL, but while this is technically true, it can be fulfilled through lawsuits, C&Ds, some publicly made declaration, etc. It also is primarily for unregistered trademarks; registered trademarks are given a lot more leeway with using discretion in enforcement. The cases you reference are a little different in that they involve genericide, which is slightly different from the enforce-it-or-lose-it thing you describe, and it’s highly unlikely to occur with any of the NFL’s trademarks. That’s really only a concern when the trademark is used to refer to a distinct product or invention of some sort, like Velcro or Google. It doesn’t really apply to something like team names or any logos.

      Complain more about the NFL, not ICE.

      As mentioned, they did complain a lot about the NFL, and there is some argument as to whether ICE is actually supposed to enforce trademark at all.

      And get Congress to change the laws back to rationality, instead of what the Disney Deathstar wants to do - extend copyright forever so nothing ever more in the public domain. The problem is Congress.

      Again, I completely agree with you on that, but that has nothing to do with what this article is about, which is trademark. Copyright law and trademark law are completely different beasts. And actually, as written, US trademark law is a lot less problematic (though I do think we should have a similar use-it-or-lose-it requirement to the EU). Some issues come from the USPTO granting dumb or broad trademarks (which isn’t exactly the fault of Congress), companies and individuals overenforcing trademarks (same), ICE enforcing it (same), and the pressure to crack down on anything close to similar (created by how the courts have ruled rather than what Congress enacted).

      In fact, I’m pretty sure that ICE itself was created by an executive order, not an act of Congress, and I’m certain that how they enforce trademarks has nothing to do with any acts of Congress. So yeah, Congress doesn’t really have much to do with these issues, and I don’t know if they could actually do much about them.

      Maybe Schumer and Pelosi should try to fix that instead of the show trials.

      First, I don’t think Schumer has anything to do with the impeachment beyond serving as a member of the jury due to his position as a senator. Everything else has been up to (mostly Democratic) members of the House, Mitch McConnell, the White House’s defense team, the Chief Justice, and the Republicans in the Senate (especially the House, and currently the Republican majority of the Senate).

      Second, the impeachment trial has nothing to do with anything here, so please leave that out of this.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:06pm

        Re: Re: Piracy is still piracy

        And while I haven’t heard of ST:Axanar (or at least I don’t recognize the name), I am aware of companies crushing fanfiction. Though, again, that’s primarily about copyright, which is very different from trademark. Honestly, I don’t get why people lump trademarks in with patents and copyrights considering how different they are and the massive differences between the purposes behind them.

        ST:Axanar refers to Star Trek: Axanar, and it's a fan film project that got nuked by Paramount. Techdirt's covered the case.

        As for why people lump trademarks with patents and copyrights, it's a threadbare excuse to explain why Disney freaks the fuck out about copyright and Steamboat Willie. "If Strike 3 Holdings cannot sue grandpas for porn they didn't download no one will ever purchase food from a supermarket again" is fucked-up logic meant to convince idiots that stricter IP laws are necessary.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 7:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Piracy is still piracy

          ST:Axanar refers to Star Trek: Axanar, and it's a fan film project that got nuked by Paramount. Techdirt's covered the case.

          Ah, yes. I remember that now. I just didn’t recognize the name.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    bhull242 (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 12:44pm

    Actually, there is the third thing that happens like clockwork around the time of the Super Bowl: people talking about the NFL’s overenforcement of its trademark in the term “Super Bowl” and the various euphemisms people use when referring to the Super Bowl.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 1:04pm

      You forgot the fourth: reports of numerous human trafficking busts in the Big Game’s host city.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 5:27am

        Re:

        I figured that that fell under this bit from the article:

        Bogus completely fabricated claims that sex trafficking increases whereever the Super Bowl is held

        Isn’t that essentially the same thing as what you said?

        Plus, I’m surprised that the bit about the trademark on the term “Super Bowl” wasn’t mentioned as one of the things that happen like clockwork around this time simply because Techdirt does at least one article about it every single year, including one last week. It seems odd that Masnick forgot about it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 1:25pm

      Re:

      .. and halftime show complaints,
      as if these people were forced to watch the thing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 1:30pm

        If anyone complains about the J-Lo/Shakira halftime show, they don’t deserve to be heard. Anyone who thought the show wouldn’t be the least bit sexy was a fool to believe that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 1:54pm

          Re:

          Anyone who thought the show would be the least bit sexy was a fool to believe that.

          Fixed that for you.. no charge.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 3:32pm

            Re: Re:

            I did not see the show, nor do I want to, so I have no comment about what did or did not take place, especially concerning the seediness of the content. For a bit of clarification though, there is a difference between sexy and sexual, and it is mostly in the eye of the beholder. Given the reputations of the two I have seen mentioned in the news with regards to that show, I could see them shooting for one and only achieving the other.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 5:29am

            Re: Re:

            Anyone who cared whether the show would be the least bit sexy was a fool to get so worked up about it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 1:15pm

    Old times..

    I loved Wide world of sports..
    It showed the WORLD around you and hte sports others have and use..
    Even now, they seldom show even the Olympic pre and post seasons..People that DONT GET PAID $1,000,000 per year..

    When are they removing ESPN from my cable box?? And giving me back that $8 per month charge?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Feb 2020 @ 2:37pm

    It's not counterfeit if it isn't pretending to be a particular product from a particular company (who may have a licensing deal with another company). It may be unauthorized use of a logo (although a player name and number are merely facts, as is the mere name of an event as well), but it isn't counterfeit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 6:11pm

    Disney's and EA's treatment of Star Wars...

    ...have hardened my resistance to fictional franchises. Controlling ownership of fan-favorite stories and rent-seeking by their owners has done far, far more damage to them than all the piracy and Rule 34 combined.

    Oh, and to Hell with IP and ICE.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 5:33am

      Re: Disney's and EA's treatment of Star Wars...

      …I don’t disagree with that stuff about Star Wars (on the contrary), but I’m not sure what it has to do with the article other than the fact that both relate to IP overenforcement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 4:08pm

        Star Wars and football IP

        I think what happened was I was fuming about the trademark overreach and all this big game nonsense, which really, yes, just makes it harder for the audience to engage.

        And then I heard Princess Leia's voice in the back of my head The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers. And I just started typing on the pretense that everyone else had similar chains of tangential thoughts.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Châu, 8 Feb 2020 @ 6:18pm

    IP Tax

    Want pay for ICE? Use trademark IP tax, 10% of revenue every year. Fail pay cause lose trademark.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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