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‘Get real, don’t buy fakes’: Fashion fakes and flawed policy – the problem with taking a consumer-responsibility approach to reducing the ‘problem’ of counterfeiting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-185
Number of pages17
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Issue number2
DatePublished - 25 Apr 2015


Recent years have seen increasing concern in relation to intellectual property crime and as a result, pressure has mounted to tackle the ‘problem’ of counterfeiting. However, despite an increasing recognition of the responsibility of public policing agencies, a strong consumer-responsibility approach has emerged. This relies on the assumption that if consumers are ‘educated’ about the ‘dangers of buying fakes’ they will refrain from doing so – resulting in a reduced demand and thus, a reduced supply. This article, which is based upon a mixed-methods empirical study investigating people’s attitudes to, and consumption of, counterfeit fashion goods, seeks to problematize the responsibility being placed upon consumers and argues that fundamentally, this is a flawed approach for anti-counterfeiting policy. This article argues that not only does this approach fail to understand consumer attitudes, but it fails to understand the nature and consumption of fashion more generally.

    Research areas

  • Counterfeiting, fashion, harm, intellectual property crime



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