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Counterfeit AV in Higher ED

How counterfeit AV impacts relationship

On a recent episode of EDTech, our panel discussed the L-Acoustics “destruction party’ held in Florida. What does counterfeit AV do to the relationships end-users have with dealers and manufacturers? It’s the job of dealers and companies to make sure the products that end up in someone’s system come from the authorized factory. As more fake gear comes on the market, everyone needs to be on the lookout for gear that isn’t authorized, or under warranty.

This is not an isolated incident. Ernie Bailey of the University of Arkansas Medical School said counterfeit AV was not something they worried about until it happened to them. “We went through a similar situation with some products from a reputable AV vendor, but they’re the ones that contacted us and said, we just found out that we shipped you some counterfeit document cameras.  They said we found out after we shipped them and we have the real ones coming back and we’d like to come to replace them and they did, they took good care of us.”


L-Acoustics held an unusual ‘destruction party’ in Florida to dispose of 136 fake speakers seized in a recent counterfeiting case.  The company invited local partners to smash the counterfeit goods with sledgehammers before sending them for recycling.

The speakers were confiscated from event rental company Se7ven Sounds Music after a court found them guilty of trademark infringement and unfair competition against L-Acoustics. Se7ven Sounds was ordered to pay $5 million in damages, in a case covered extensively by local Florida news outlets.

Kevin Harman from the University of Buffalo said, “I would always say make sure you know who you’re working with. When you send out that RFP, look at these companies who are coming back to you, see if any of them are on state contracts, see if any of them are on,  or at least have good reviews out there somewhere.”

Counterfeit AV Recycling

Wood from the speaker cabinets will be repurposed, metal reused in appliances, and plastic given new life in furniture and car parts.

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L-Acoustics said the open destruction was a chance for partners affected by the counterfeits to “have fun and release some frustration”. The company warned fake speakers lack proper safety checks and quality control, risking catastrophic failures and endangering lives.


Stories like the L-Acoustics counterfeit AV gear bring up another point. That is to trust but verify your suppliers. Anyone can get scammed and the crooks are getting craftier by the day.

“I have to imagine that some of these, these resellers are getting scammed like any of us would,” says Scott Tiner. “They’re getting a phone call, Oh, I’m your new dealer at such and such a place. It’s bizarre and just raises the point you’ve got to pay attention to everything.”

To hear the entire conversation, listen to EDTech Episode 114. The group discusses counterfeit AV, relationship selling, and what we’ve learned from the supply chain issues.



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