Match the phrases

(1) In the chart below, try to match the phrases in the first column with the statements that are most close to their meaning.


(2) Look up the word ‘fake’ in a dictionary or online.

Below is a list of synonyms for the word “fake”

Some of these synonyms will have very negative connotations and associations while others may be neutral. Try to sort them into words that have negative associations and words that are more neutral.

Look again at your list – which words could be used to describe a product you might buy in a shop, a market or online? For example: forged – I bought a signed copy of David Beckham’s autobiography online but when I received it, the signature looked forged.

The history

(3) The history of the word ‘fake’ helps us understand its significance today. The word was first recorded being used in London criminal slang as an adjective in 1775 to mean ‘counterfeit’. In 1812, it was recorded as a verb meaning ‘to rob’ while in 1851, it was used as a noun to identify a false deal, such as a ‘swindle’. In 1888, ‘fake’ was used as a noun to identify a person trading in false deals – ‘a swindler’.

Look at the following extracts taken from classic nineteenth century novels. The synonyms for ‘fake’ have been highlighted in each extract. In some contexts the word refers to a criminal act but in others it is used to exaggerate a social or personal attitude that is seen to be unacceptable.

Read through each extract deciding whether the highlighted word is referring to a criminal act or to something else.

Copyright and Trademarks

(4) Some of the examples from nineteenth century novels include the words forgery and fraud in a criminal sense.

In the twenty-first century producers of forgeries, fakes and counterfeits, in addition to obtaining money by fraud, are often breaking modern copyright or trademark laws, which is a crime in its own right. But what do we mean by copyright and trademark?

Look at these definitions of the words copyright and trademark. Then work through the next task.
COPYRIGHT protects the authors or creators of original work. This includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other intellectual works, including works of artistic craftsmanship. If you created the work, then in general only you have the right to do the following (or let others do the following)

– make copies of your work;

– distribute copies of your work;

– perform your work (such as plays, poems, dances or music) in public;

– show or play your work (such as films, sound recordings or broadcasts) in public;

– adapt your work (such as books, music or plays) into another form.

is a distinctive sign used in trade. Trademarks tell us the source of products and services. They are usually words and / or designs. Think of the name of your favourite chocolate bar, your favourite jeans or your favourite social media network – they’re all trademarks.

Copyright and trademarks are important examples of what we call “intellectual property” or “IP”.  They are a kind of property, protected by the law, that results from artistic creativity or a reputation in business.

Look at this chart below. In the first column is a description of a new product. Read it carefully and decide whether you think it could be a breach of copyright law, trademark law, both or neither.  Indicate your answer in the second column. In the third column, list any further information you would need before making a final decision.

Mr Roberts manufactures cheap running shoes. He wants them to look like a well-known brand so has copied the NIKE logo and tick symbol into his shoes.



Rizwan created an original video about his home town which he plans to sell to tourists as a DVD. He did not have the equipment to create his own soundtrack so downloaded a popular song from iTunes and included this in his video.



Download more scenarios here

Extension Activity

(5) Extension activity: Choose one of the scenarios in the chart above. Imagine you are a lawyer working for one of the companies whose trademark or copyright may have been breached by the actions of these people. Draft a letter or an email to them explaining the evidence you have and the reasons you are writing to them. Depending on which one you choose, you may request further information or you may instruct them to remove their product from the market.