Classes in Counterfeiting Cause Controversy
We all know that counterfeit goods cost luxury companies a fortune but Forbes reports that companies such as Coach and Louis Vuitton have taken a new course of action, funding college classes on counterfeits. The International Anticounterfeiting Coalition which includes companies such as Cartier, Chanel, Calvin Klein and Tiffany gave from $5,000 to $10,000 to seven colleges for a course that instructed students in the negative effects of counterfeit goods. Colleges such as Hunter College in New York, California State University, Sacramento and the University of Miami took the money which was given for course materials. Things didn't turn out so well at Hunter College last year. Once professors found out about the class which co-taught by public relations rep., there was a bit of a protest. Check out the the article on Inside Higher Ed which details the class, including the fact that students were asked to create a fake blog that told a story about counterfeiting as seen through the eyes of a fictional college student. While it is not unheard of for corporations to sponsor certain classes or research, the particular nature of this class, which was taught by a professor with limited knowledge of the subject who was asked to present a one-sided view of the problem, has angered many.
UPDATE: In a related story, WWD reports that outside of the Brooklyn Museum Murakami event tonight, Louis Vuitton is setting up 10 street vendors to sell authentic Louis Vuitton product and special Monogramouflage canvases that Murakami has created specifically for the exhibition. The presentation is meant to highlight the issue of counterfeit goods.