On December 21, 2011, Petzl America became aware of our presence on a list of companies purportedly supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA; H.R. 3261). However, Petzl America does not and has never supported SOPA or the related senate bill known as the Protect IP Act

In February, 2011, Petzl did sign on to a letter circulated by the Outdoor Industry Association supporting government action against intellectual property theft via “rogue websites.” That letter made no mention of any specific legislation, and support for it was spurred by Petzl’s own encounter with the problem of counterfeit life-safety products.

When offering Petzl America’s support for such legislation, company President Roody Rasmussen stated in a February 14,2011, email, “Please include Petzl America as a signatory on your letter to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in support of their campaign to lobby congress for stronger legislation against counterfeit products that are appearing more and more in the U.S. marketplace.” This email continues: 

As you know, Petzl has had a long-standing battle with companies who have stolen and copied our intellectual property and product designs. 

Until recently, this was only a problem with our headlamps. On Friday, we released information warning the consumer that counterfeits of products from our line of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – life safety climbing gear – have been discovered. These counterfeit copies have the potential of putting lives at risk, as they are nearly exact duplicates of Petzl equipment, including our logo, but they fail at loads well below the safety standards set by CE and the UIAA. The loss of business from lost sales to counterfeiters pales in comparison to the risk these copies present to climbers, and the potential damage to the credibility of the Petzl brand, which has been built on the core value of producing the highest quality vertical safety equipment.  You can find this warning at: 

http://petzl.com/us/outdoor/news-2/2011/02/11/warning-regarding-presence-counterfeit-versions-petzl-products

To date, there have been no counterfeited products found in North America. If end-users purchase from authorized Petzl dealers, there is no danger they will be purchasing counterfeited Petzl equipment. However, purchasing from grey market dealers, buying used equipment, or purchasing from rogue Internet sites, puts the user at risk of obtaining these low quality fakes.

This example provides a solid case as to the growing dangers presented by counterfeited products and the potential harm they present to U.S. businesses and consumers alike. We appreciate the support of the Outdoor Industry Association and your efforts to address this problem by encouraging stronger legislation against pirates of intellectual property, production of counterfeited products, and the rogue web sites that support this piracy.  

Sincerely,
Roody Rasmussen
President, Petzl America, Inc.

To reiterate, Petzl America has not and does not support SOPA or the Protect IP Act. Nor do we support any legislation that would harm the freedom of the Internet. We are strongly against counterfeiting, especially, as in the case of counterfeited Petzl products, where the safety of the end user is concerned. By extension, we are for legislation that would help reduce the theft of intellectual property, production of counterfeit goods, and knowing sale of counterfeit goods. However, we believe that SOPA and Protect IP do not address these concerns in a constructive manner.

We hope that this statement helps to clarify our stance on SOPA, Protect IP, and the general issue of IP theft and counterfeiting. We sincerely apologize for any confusion surrounding these issues.

 

UPDATE (Jan. 4, 2011)

 

 

 

Comments

Great to hear this! When I

Great to hear this!

When I first saw the company on the list I was shocked and dismayed. Thanks for the explanation.

Excuses

This sounds like it's phony, you supported SOPA and still probably do. I will not be buying any of your products and I will be warding my family to stay away from your products. You should know what you sign and deal with it. You have lost my business.

Re: Excuses

This is absolutely incorrect. We never supported and do not now support SOPA or any similar legislation, such as Protect IP. Our name should never have appeared on any list of SOPA supporters.


Please not that our name has also been removed from the official list of supporters, located here: http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rogue%20Websites/List%20of%20SOPA%20Su...


We appreciate and share your concern on this matter.


Best regards,

Petzl America


Happy!

I imagine that I speak for the greater climbing community when I say that we are extremely happy to hear this. Thank you, for standing up for free speech and producing outstanding gear.

SOPA

Thank you for your willingness to understand the issue and to let people know your stance. It is regrettable that people with an agenda will take your support for a marginally related issue and try to whitewash you as supporting any and all restrictions on intellectual liberty. Please continue the good fight.

Tim

Good

Thank you Petzl, this is the right thing to do.

As a long standing customer

As a long standing customer of Petzl products, I am REALLY glad this has been cleared up and addressed. Furthermore, I am impressed that Petzl has taken to the public their official stance on the issues regarding SOPA.

I was going to stop purchasing Petzl products since the company was featured on the list, but I will continue doing so now that this misunderstanding has been fixed!

Thanks Roody!

-Eric Serré

Thank you. From what I can

Thank you. From what I can see your name has been removed from our community list.

Good

Glad to hear it more need to stand up against this crazy legislation. Call your congressman.

Hooray!

I had asked for one of your headlamps for Christmas but was really sad to read your name on the list of companies supporting SOPA. It makes me so happy to find out that you guys aren't crazy and are against it too. I'll be able to wear my headlamp with my head held high! (I bought my wife one of your headlamps for Christmas last year and need one of my own so I stop borrowing hers.)

Great response

and thanks for not supporting a terrible law!

I am glad to hear it

I had decided not to buy your products anymore. I now revoke that decision.

hats off to Petzle

This is one hell of a statement and absolutely appreciated for you taking the time to post this for us.
My hats off to Roody and all of Petzl for standing up for what you believe in and not being afraid to say it.

The example of counterfeit products which have proven to fail, being a problem for you is a scary one. Let's hope your pricing remains competitive so that more companies wouldn't dare compromise safety for good looking procurement paperwork - and in turn, let's hope you keep business booming, because we need more companies like you.

Thanks!

Hello,

Thank you for clarifying your position. Thanks also for realizing that, while counterfeiting in a serious problem for American consumers and businesses, SOPA/PIP are not the way to solve it. I'll remember your brand is against trampling rights.

Glad to read this (via

Glad to read this (via reddit) Petzl. Your headlamps have been my best friends in the dark for years, glad to hear your emphasis on illumination continues into other realms.

Using technology to prevent counterfeits sold over the internet

Has Petzl explored the idea of using authentication software to guarantee that your equipment sold via commerce sites is genuine? Companies like Twitter and Instagram generate secret OAuth keys for 3rd parties using their API. I imagine that the same technology could somehow be use to demonstrate to a user that a e-retailer is genuine. I imagine that each e-retailer could code in their site with a button that says something like "Verify that this is a genuine Petzl" product. When the button is clicked it would open a new window to a page on the petzl.com domain where the secret API key is checked.

AFAIK no such product exists, and I'm not 100% certain that this is possible, but it may be an idea to explore together with other companies in the same predicament at Petzl.

Well you made a good choice.

Well you made a good choice. Supporting a bill that has widespread disapproval among the public is not a good idea. When I first heard that you supported this bill I was making arrangements to terminate the sale of your products in my shop. Its nice to hear you changed your mind, and accordingly, my mind.

Re: Well you made a good choice.

Thanks for your comments and your concerns. One important point of clarification: Petzl America did not change our position on this issue. We never supported SOPA. We feel it is a misguided piece of legislation that in no way addresses the concerns we have about counterfeit life-safety products. Our name should never have been on the list of supporters, and the letter Petzl America signed never mentioned SOPA or any similar legislation. If it had, we would not have signed it.


Best regards,

Petzl America


Well done

Well done for clarifying, handled perfectly.

Thank you for clarifying

Thank you for clarifying that. +1 in my book

That's why Petzl was and

That's why Petzl was and most likely will be my favourite gear manufacturer!

I bring to you a warning,

I bring to you a warning, reddit is just over the horizon.

Bravo

Bravo to Petzl Amerca for this clarification. Please be on guard that legitimate concerns about counterfeit safety devices such as yours not be used as a smokescreen for an extraordinary power grab by powerful Hollywood interests to advance their commercial goals via illegitimate measures.

Bravo

Bravo to Petzl Amerca for this clarification. Please be on guard that legitimate concerns about counterfeit safety devices such as yours not be used as a smokescreen for an extraordinary power grab by powerful Hollywood interests to advance their commercial goals via illegitimate measures.

If you truly do not support

If you truly do not support SOPA/PIPA maybe you should be stopping your association with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.You are still on this list so until the list is amended to not show your name I will make sure not to buy into any products from any Company whose name is on the Government Judicial Committee Website PDF right on a Government Site.
Sorry but until you are physically removed from the list that is how my money will go.

Re: If you truly do not support

Jordan,


Regarding your comment, you can see at this link that Petzl America no longer appears on the official list of supporters: http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rogue%20Websites/List%20of%20SOPA%20Su...


Unfortunately, our name still appears on many lists that anonymous users on the Internet have posted with no means of contact to request corrections. If you see our name on any such lists, please disregard. They are not accurate.


Thanks for your concern.


Petzl America


http://www.karstsports.com

http://www.karstsports.com and http://www.ahsrescue.com/ are authorized Petzl dealers?

Kudos

Thanks for clarifying your stance. I can assure you that those of us who oppose SOPA and PIPA have no desire to see anyone get hurt by using counterfeit climbing equipment or medications. I'm sure there's a way forward that protects your brand and the safety of your customers without damaging the Internet.

Thank you for your clarification

Thank you Pretzl for your clarification. I have always enjoyed your products and it really made me angry when I heard that you supported the SOPA legislation as I am boycotting the companies that lend their support.

Glad to hear it!

Since I own (and really like) Petzl equipment, I was dismayed to see your company on a list of supporters of an irresponsible lobbyist-written bill like SOPA. I'm very glad to hear that you don't actually support SOPA, and that I can continue buying your gear without reservation! I know that you were not alone in having your views misrepresented, and I hope you and the other companies involved hold the U.S. Chamber of Commerce accountable.

Clearly when it comes to gear your life depends on counterfeiting is a vastly more serious issue than for other sorts of products. I trust you will continue working to combat it in a way that helps ensure the safety of your customers without compromising their fundamental rights or causing collateral damage in the way SOPA would have.

Re: Glad to hear it!

Nick,


Thanks for your comments. You can see at this link that Petzl America no longer appears on the official list of supporters: http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rogue%20Websites/List%20of%20SOPA%20Su...


Unfortunately, our name still appears on many lists that anonymous users on the Internet have posted with no means of contact to request corrections. If you see our name on any such lists, please disregard. They are not accurate.


Thanks for your support,

Petzl America


yOur support list

I did not agree with being on a public list you created of supporters and now someone has taken the list and published it. I am getting harassed and boycotted for supporting SOPA ANd Protect IP ACt. As a small business, I don't appreciate this kind of press so please take my name off the list.

Re: yOur support list

There appears to be some confusion here. Petzl America was also erroneously placed on a list of SOPA supporters. Like many on this list, we do not and have never supported SOPA. We are also working to have our name removed from these lists. Sorry we can not be of more assistance.

Petzl America


Thanks for the clarification.

Good job Petzl. I bought two headlamps for Christmas and I was afraid I'd have to return them after seeing your name on a SOPA Supporters list. You should complain to the Chamber of Commerce for ever putting your name on the list though.

Good News

Thank you. I came here today too to see if i would need to start passing word to all my Army buddies -- who are overwhelmingly opposed -- about your support of this legislation. I am glad that your company does not support either bill and that I can go ahead and can continue recommending your products instead.

yall

if you want to make a statement to a bunch of concerned citizens why do it in such an impersonal and sterile piece of writing? i have trouble sympathizing with or fully believing in something that reads like it was written by a robot for a group of folks that wants to hear good honest truths. corporate language never charms me

... and your words are

... and your words are equally as un-charming. He was merely clarifying their stance on this issue and correcting some miscommunication. Lighten up.

Me parece muy bien la

Me parece muy bien la aclaración, y lo que dice.

Gracias desde España

Hola, como usuario particular y consumidor de vuestros productos quiero daros las gracias por no seguir apoyando esta ley que no representa en nada la opinión de la gente que el gobierno de estados unidos representa. Nosotros en España tenemos un problema muy parecido con la famosa ley SINDE y espero que marcas como vosotros también muestren su rechazo a todas las leyes que pretenden recortar los derechos que tanto ha costado conseguir.

Gracias

It seems that the

It seems that the competitors are making look alike materials and devices but of lowest quality and releasing them in the market. This must be taken care of permanently. These would not be that strong and eventually brings the brand a bad name.

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