Garbology: finding the fakes that refuse to go away ...
The Times carries a Special Report, "Trying to stub out the fakes", that tells all about the £10bn worth of fakes — from cigarettes to scent — that counterfeiters are estimated to sell every year. Victim self-assessment figures are now being supplemented by the research results of professional "garbologists". These dedicated folk go through the rubbish that people leave behind them at big sporting or cultural events, gathering up discarded packaging. Research commissioned by the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association reveals that, out of 229 packs collected from a racetrack after a day's horse racing, some 14 — or 6% — are counterfeit. The Association had estimated that about 2.6% of all cigarettes consumed in Britain are counterfeit: that would have been 1.8 billion fags in 2005 at a cost to the exchequer of £360m in lost tax revenue. The article also name-checks the IPKat's friend Ruth Orchard, head of the UK-based Anti-Counterfeiting Group, who says:
“Counterfeiting is very difficult to measure accurately, but all the evidence suggests that this problem has been growing exponentially. It has increased way beyond anything that could have been foreseen five years ago".The Report then substantiates that message, by reviewing the damage to various industrial and commercial sectors.
Below: the IPKat does not approve of dog-ends
The IPKat is becoming increasingly horrified at the increase of trade in counterfeit goods and distressed at the links between organised crime and terrorism. He only wishes that the democratic institutions which he supports could run themselves as efficiently and as profitably as the villains seem to be able to - but how long will it be before we even get fake garbology results? Merpel adds, how strange it is that a higher proportion of people who attend horse-race meetings buy fake fags than the population at large - or do the garbology results only show that people who attend horse-race meetings are more likely to throw their fake cigarette cartons away than to take them home with them?
More on garbology here; adventures in garbology here; Benjy the Bin-Man here
The connection between horse-racing and cigarettes - Stubbs.
Volume 14, issue 2 of Oxford University Press's scholarly quarterly, the International Journal of Information Law and Technology, has just been pressing itself upon the IPKat's attentions. It contains just three articles, really good ones too - but oh how long the titles are getting. The Kat's friend Steve Saxby has a neat piece on public policy and the development of a UK national geographical information policy. Then there's an article by Robert C. Piasentin with a 23-word title, which successfully sees off a three-man feature by Yingru Chan, Zaw Thant, Robert Zimmerman and Lawrence L. Leff PhD (not sure how to pronounce "PhD", says Merpel) with a title consisting of 18 words. The article is only 8 pages long, so that's 2.25 title words per page. For the record, the running head at the top of each page describes the article by the single word "Parsley", which serves pretty well. The IPKat was however most disappointed to discover that this Robert Zimmerman was not the original Bob Dylan.
Contents of current issue here; browse archive here; why not try some sheer excitement here