1. Have a whole-class discussion.
Provide each student with a copy of the worksheet Supply Chain for Music CDs. As a class, discuss the questions in the column labeled “Stage.”
2. Have students complete the worksheet.
Using the Teachers Guide, lead a class discussion about the different stages in the supply chain for a legal music CD and a pirated music CD. Have students write details on their worksheets as you discuss them.
3. Have students reflect on what they learned.
Ask: Why are counterfeiting and piracy bad for both businesses and consumers? Explain to students that the growing problems of counterfeiting and piracy threaten businesses and consumers in nearly every region of the world. Illegal products deceive the consumer and displace legitimate sales. In this music CD example, the illegal profits generated by these highly sophisticated operations come at the expense of the artists, songwriters, retailers, record labels, and many others whose creative energies make music possible.
4. Present the following information to students.
Tell students that they can check for the following to know if a CD has been pirated:
- The packaging has blurry graphics, weak color, or bad color.
- The package or disc has misspelled words.
- The price is often way below retail value.
- You’re not buying it in a store, but at a flea market, from a street vendor, at a swap meet, or in a concert parking lot.
- The record label is missing or it’s a company you’ve never heard of.
- It has cheaply made insert cards, often without liner notes or multiple folds.
- The sound quality is poor.
Ask students if they have encountered any of the above. If they have, have them describe the experience to the class. Tell students that, if they have been the victim of counterfeiters or modern-day pirates, they can report it at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website.
Extending the Learning
If possible, have students watch the National Geographic film Illicit: The Dark Trade. An excerpt of the film is provided in this activity. Go to the PBS website to find out where you can get the full DVD.
Subjects & Disciplines
- describe the supply chain for legal and illegal music CDs
- explain why counterfeiting and piracy are bad for businesses and consumers
- identify pirated CDs and their characteristics
- Hands-on learning
National Standards, Principles, and Practices
National Geography Standards
- Standard 11: The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface
Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics
- Standard 3: Allocation of Goods and Services: Different methods can be used to allocate goods and services. People acting individually or collectively through government, must choose which methods to use to allocate different kinds of goods and services.
What You’ll Need
Materials You Provide
The resources are also available at the top of the page.
- Internet Access: Optional
- Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, Projector, Speakers
- Plug-Ins: Flash
- Large-group instruction
Supply chains consist of a network of people and activities that help move a product from inception to consumption by the end user. However, counterfeit and pirated goods have infiltrated supply chains and present serious problems for legitimate businesses.
Recommended Prior Activities
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry consumer Noun
person who uses a good or service.
to divide and spread out materials.
to make or produce a good, usually for sale.
to provide a good or service.
supply chain Noun
processes involved in the production or manufacture of a good or service.
For Further Exploration