Counterfeits and copies are central notions in e-commerce. But an adequate ontological characterization of them is not still available. This paper tries to fill the gap. It offers an ontological analysis of the notion of counterfeit as opposed to that of copy. While it seems clear that there cannot be a copy without an original, for instance, of a picture, it is far from clear that a counterfeit needs an original object in the same way. In the paper we analyze some proposals of what a counterfeit is: a first one (D1) closely connecting the notion of counterfeit and copy, a second one (D2) according to which a counterfeit presents itself falsely as having a certain origin that would give it more value than it actually has, and a third proposal (D3), elaborating the second, which takes into account the supposed origin, the type of the object in question, and the intent to mislead. We argue that none of the three proposals is without problems. Exploiting the notion of historical property we propose that being a counterfeit or a forgery is dependent on the intention of the producer (D4) and independent of the notion of copy, even if there are some similarities between the two notions.
IOS Press, Inc.
6751 Tepper Drive
Clifton, VA 20124
Tel.: +1 703 830 6300
Fax: +1 703 830 2300 email@example.com
(Corporate matters and books only) IOS Press c/o Accucoms US, Inc.
For North America Sales and Customer Service
West Point Commons
Lansdale PA 19446
Tel.: +1 866 855 8967
Fax: +1 215 660 5042 firstname.lastname@example.org