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The Ethics of Counterfeiting in the Fashion Industry: Quality, Credence and Profit Issues

by Brian Hilton, Chong Ju Choi, Stephen Chen
Journal of Business Ethics ()


One of the greatest problems facing lux- ury goods firms in a globalizing market is that of coun- terfeiting. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the different types of counterfeiting that take place in the fashion industry and the ethical issues raised. We argue that the problem partly lies in the industry itself. Copying of designs is endemic and condoned, which raises several ethical dilemmas in passing judgment on the practice of counterfeiting. We analyze the ethical issues in a number of different types of counterfeiting encountered in the fashion industry. We conclude with some obser- vations on the general implications for ethics in intellec- tual property rights.

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