I was at a CLE (Continuing Legal Education) last week sitting in a session on intellectual property when I saw the most unbelieveable thing: another lawyer sitting in the same session on intellectual property, carrying a knockoff Louis Vuitton bag! She looked so confident. Her head held high.
Over the weekend I kept thinking, “What does this mean? There must be some sort of conflict of interest. How can Counterfeit Bag Carrying Lawyer Lady protect the interests of her client, Brand Owner, and at the same time disregard the legal protection that has been granted to another brand owner? Certainly she wouldn’t buy a knockoff of Brand Owner’s products. Is Counterfeit Bag Carrying Lawyer Lady characteristically unfit?!
Then, my concerns were confirmed when I came across this article about Professor Dan Ariely, who has done studies and written the report, “Faking It: The Psychology of Dishonesty and Counterfeits,”on how counterfeit goods influence people in other aspects of their lives. “The effect on morality, people don’t anticipate,” says the Professor. Among his findings: People who were told they were wearing “fake” designer sunglasses were significantly more likely to cheat on tests than ones told they were wearing “real” ones.
Prof. Ariely findings didn’t exactly clear things up for me. Counterfeit Bag Carrying Lawyer Lady is undoubtedly held to a higher standard. And she certainly knows better. But is she categorically “immoral” for her faux designer bag carrying ways? There’s an interesting debate about the study going on over at The New York Times. One of my favorite comments:
I question if this if the real online NY Times or the fake version. Both versions might keep me informed but the real version just gives me a certain feeling of satisfaction that is hard to explain.
How do we know Prof. Ariely is a fake and an importer? Did he fake his results after lying to all those people about the brand of their sunglasses. Who checked his morality and results after his deceptions?
Someone should do a study on women who wear hair weaves.