The BBC reports that the Chairman of the Education Select Committee (a body within the UK Parliament) is to ask the Secretary of State for Education, Charles Clarke, to investigate the sale of fake degrees which purport to be awarded by established UK universities, including Oxford. The Guardian newspaper conducted an investigation into the trade, finding that it could obtain genuine-looking degrees for £165. The universities want the Government to take action. However, the Department of Education has said "Where there has been a breach of the law, local authority trading standards or the police will take enforcement action depending on the offence committed. However in cases where no law has been broken it is up to institutions affected to take civil action."
The IPKat thinks that those who buy the degrees will probably know that they’re fakes, but the idea is to fool those who are shown them by the purchasers into believing that they’re real. He wonders therefore if the universities would have a good passing off case based on post-sale confusion. He also notes that, if the fake certificates have been copied from genuine certificates, they may infringe copyright in the real thing. Finally he asks, does anyone want to buy a degree from the University of Katminster?
Fake degrees here
Fake universities here and here
Tuesday, 6 July 2004
Posted by Unknown at 12:26:00 a.m.