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A-CAPP’s Brand Protection Stories Podcast is ‘Stranger than Fiction’

Digimarc is now a proud sponsor of the Brand Protection Stories (BPS) Podcast from The Michigan State University Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP), and we recently sat down with podcast host, Leah Evert-Burks, to learn more about A-CAPP and the goal of A-CAPP’s Brand Protection Stories Podcast.

Leah got involved with A-CAPP during her career serving as a member of the Industry Advisory Board. Now, after retirement, she continued her involvement as an Industry Fellow to provide the center with an industry perspective on concerns, challenges and priorities in brand protection practice. Read the interview:


Brand Protection Stories podcast host Leah Evert-Burks.

First, what is A-CAPP and the Brand Protection Stories Podcast?

The Michigan State University Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection or A-CAPP is a non-profit organization founded in 2009. It has the distinction of being the first and only academic body focusing upon the complex global issues of anti-counterfeiting and product protection. A-CAPP offers a variety of resources including certificate courses in brand protection, applied education and academic courses, executive education, student internships, live summits and virtual events, ground-breaking research, and we also publish the quarterly digital industry journal, The Brand Protection Professional, of which I’m the Editor in Chief. This May we launched the Brand Protection Stories podcast, which utilizes storytelling to educate and inform on brand protection through the telling of specific cases by members of the brand protection community. These stories are told by in-house practitioners, law enforcement officials and prosecutors and relate to a large spectrum of product categories, since just about everything is counterfeited.

What prompted the start of the Brand Protection Stories Podcast?

Story telling is an engaging vehicle to convey information, and in brand protection we have some pretty captivating stories! For years we’ve been telling them to family, friends, and close colleagues so this podcast gives us the ability to share stories with the larger community so that the dangers and complexities involved in trademark infringement and IP crimes can be better understood.

Why do you refer to these as “Stranger than Fiction,” stories? What is it about counterfeiting that can be so strange?

Because counterfeiting supports criminal networks, the lengths gone to use counterfeit goods as illegal currency make for some unbelievable yet factual scenarios. Cross-country and international pursuits, sting operations, courtroom drama…do you like crime thrillers? Try a few episodes.

What has been the most rewarding outcome of this podcast series since its launch?

Personally, it’s been great to reconnect with some of the guests, many of whom I’ve known for years. Others I have met specifically for BPS through referrals from colleagues, often with the lead in “have you heard about the case…?” It has also been rewarding exploring their stories and finding the nuggets of good information the stories can convey to educate on brand protection issues.


Who is your ideal listener and what can listeners expect from the podcast?

Really just about anyone who is interested in the subject, or doesn’t know they are interested until they listen. I’ve had some feedback from people who know nothing about counterfeiting and tell me “they had no idea until they listened to an episode,” that’s gratifying as the more educated the public is the better. But for those in the brand protection community hearing about other’s stories/cases hopefully also helps them learn about what others have faced and accomplished, even in industries other than their own, and leads to improvements in such things as strategy for the betterment of the profession and protection of the consumer.

You can find out more about the A-CAPP Center on their website. If you’re interested in listening to the Brand Protection Stories Podcast, it is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

Digimarc is a leader in providing comprehensive physical and digital brand protection. Find out how Digimarc watermarks can help brands fight against counterfeiting by visiting our brand protection page.





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