Rogue Websites: Stealing the American Dream
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Jun 29, 2011
Noel Lee, the son of Chinese immigrants, is the embodiment of the American spirit of innovation and ingenuity. Lee, an engineer and once-aspiring rock star, started Monster Cable in 1979 in his family’s garage in San Francisco, CA. Now his company employs more than 600 individuals and is headquartered in Brisbane, CA. Lee has created a company that manufactures and sells world class audio/video and electronic components. In 2000, Lee was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young. Monster Cable’s products are consistently rated at the top of their class.
Monster Cable’s successes are clearly documented. They’ve been so successful that counterfeiters have attempted to mimic Monster Cable’s products and distribute them via rogue websites. Monster Cable has devoted a considerable amount of resources to stopping counterfeiters and rogue website operators. The company has a network of authorized dealers where customers can purchase Monster products. MonsterDruk.com is not on that list. MonsterDruk.com uses Monster Cable’s trademarks, product line photos, and other indicia of the company. The degree to which rogue site operators steal from others is sometime so far, its almost funny. The operators of MonsterDruk.com didn’t even bother to write their own “conditions of use” for their site – they copied it from the Bose website and left in references to Bose products.
Monster Cable has thrived on innovation and the ability to protect its good name through intellectual property rights. This classic American dream story is punctuated by a remarkable demonstration of loyalty with its employees–the first two original employees of Monster Cable, hired in 1980, are still with the company today. Rogue websites like MonsterDruk.com steal the goodwill of legitimate companies, siphoning off sales through the fraud of counterfeiting, and by doing so affect the company’s bottom line and ability to create new jobs.
America prides itself on being a place that can and does foster the success of a company like Monster Cable, the pioneering innovation of Noel Lee, and the hard work of its dedicated employees. Rogue websites are the opposite of all that is good and honest about the American entrepreneurial spirit. Congress should move forward in approving the PROTECT IP Act to ensure success stories like Noel Lee’s are able to continue.
Visit www.fightonlinetheft.com for more information on the Rogue Site of the Week project and the Campaign Against Online Theft.