Canon U.S.A. Raises Awareness About the Dangers of Counterfeit Power Accessories

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<em>The New Collaboration Will Promote Consumer Safety Around Intellectual Property (IP) Theft and Safety Concerns Related to Counterfeit Power Accessories</em></p>
<p><strong>MELVILLE, N.Y., October 13, 2016</strong> – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced its collaboration with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to promote awareness around the safety risks of using counterfeit power accessories, such as batteries, chargers, and external flashes. The production and sale of counterfeit products is an issue that not only affects the consumer electronics industry, but can affect consumer safety as well. The launch of this collaboration is scheduled to coincide with Crime Prevention Month in October, and will continue through 2017.</p>
<p>Together with Canon U.S.A., NCPC will use its resources to provide educational tools to crime prevention practitioners, law enforcement officials, and educators who, in turn, can use those resources to teach their communities about the dangers of purchasing counterfeits. The awareness campaign will also include digital messaging directed to consumers and public service announcements as well as other videos featuring McGruff the Crime Dog®.</p>
<p>Counterfeit items are illegal replicas of real products, designed to deceive and take advantage of the superior value of genuine merchandise. They are produced in a manner that is increasingly more difficult for average consumers to identify, which is why awareness and education efforts are so important. Furthermore, counterfeit power accessories can lead to potentially dangerous results. They typically do not contain important safety technologies and are not tested to meet industry safety standards. As a result, they may overheat, smoke, melt, ignite, or create power surges and electrical irregularities that may cause personal injury or property damage.</p>
<p>“The safety of our customers is of paramount importance,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We want to make sure our customers are aware of the dangers of counterfeit power accessories so they can avoid potential risks of hurting themselves or damaging their equipment.”</p>
<p>“As counterfeiting of camera accessories continues to evolve, we want to make consumers aware of this risk so they can keep themselves and their equipment safe,”<u> </u>said Ann Harkins, president and CEO, NCPC. “Counterfeit products designed to look like genuine products from major camera manufacturers may cause damage to people and property.”</p>
<p>NCPC is a private, nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization whose primary mission is to be the nation’s leader in helping people keep themselves, their families and their communities safe from crime.</p>
<p>To learn more about the campaign, please visit <a href="http://www.ncpc.org/stopfakes" target="_blank"><b>www.ncpc.org/stopfakes</b></a>.</p>
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neuroanatomist

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Canon Rumors said:
...safety risks of using counterfeit power accessories, such as batteries...

Sometimes OEM batteries pose safety risks, too. Ask Samsung.
 

JPAZ

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We've seen this before. On the one hand there are some very fine generic batteries, some maybe produced in the same factory as the OEM models. Canon, of course, wants to sell us their more expensive products. But, one never quite knows. So, I opt to spend the (possibly unnecessary) extra $ for the OEM product because I don't want to risk damage to a camera body that is considerably costly and I only buy from the usual players where I am pretty sure they are authentic.

Once, in Central Asia, I needed a LC-E6 (long story but I lost the Canon charger) and could not find one. I got a generic charger form a shop in Bishkek to finish the trip. It worked but the batteries got hot while charging and never seemed to fully charge. As soon as I got home, that charger was put in the recycle bin and I got an OEM replacement.
 

johnf3f

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If Canon are genuinely worried about us using off brand batteries/chargers then they could prevent this immediately by simply charging the proper price for their batteries and chargers. For example a LP-E4N pack contains £15 (retail including tax) worth of cells in a cheap plastic case with a pointless chip. They could sell this at a profit for £20/£25 and kill the non OEM battery market overnight. or £339 for an LC-E4N chargers - I have FAR more sophisticated and higher quality chargers costing from £24 to £70. Opened my charger up a while ago to see what I was paying for - Air and reasonably adequate build, £20 at most £15 would be reasonable.

If Canon care about safety then the solution is in their hands.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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I see comments already from some who did not read the article. Its about Counterfeit Products, not legitimate 3rd party products.

All Lithium-ION batteries are potentially dangerous, its a matter of degree. However, when someone copies a product and marks it as a genuine OEM item, they do not care about the laws, and almost certainly not about your safety. These people operate in alleys, small shops, and often move daily to keep ahead of the authorities.
 

unfocused

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Not particularly relevant, but I found it amusing: I just bought a new LP-E19 from Adorama. Canon branded of course, but I noticed that on the Canon box, in addition to saying Canon, Inc., it also has some Japanese symbols followed by: SANYO Energy Nandan Co., Ltd. Tsuna Factory.
 

Don Haines

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johnf3f said:
If Canon are genuinely worried about us using off brand batteries/chargers then they could prevent this immediately by simply charging the proper price for their batteries and chargers. For example a LP-E4N pack contains £15 (retail including tax) worth of cells in a cheap plastic case with a pointless chip. They could sell this at a profit for £20/£25 and kill the non OEM battery market overnight. or £339 for an LC-E4N chargers - I have FAR more sophisticated and higher quality chargers costing from £24 to £70. Opened my charger up a while ago to see what I was paying for - Air and reasonably adequate build, £20 at most £15 would be reasonable.

If Canon care about safety then the solution is in their hands.

For the same price as my LP-6n batteries, I just bought a bunch of name brand 12Ah lithium ion batteries for work... you definitely pay a premium for the Canon name.....
 

kaihp

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unfocused said:
Not particularly relevant, but I found it amusing: I just bought a new LP-E19 from Adorama. Canon branded of course, but I noticed that on the Canon box, in addition to saying Canon, Inc., it also has some Japanese symbols followed by: SANYO Energy Nandan Co., Ltd. Tsuna Factory.

Most likely because Sanyo produces the actual LiIon cells.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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unfocused said:
Not particularly relevant, but I found it amusing: I just bought a new LP-E19 from Adorama. Canon branded of course, but I noticed that on the Canon box, in addition to saying Canon, Inc., it also has some Japanese symbols followed by: SANYO Energy Nandan Co., Ltd. Tsuna Factory.

Canon does not make the batteries. Indeed, they purchase them from high quality suppliers. Sanyo and Sony are the big guns in making this type of battery, and produce high quality battery cells. While the cells themselves are made in Japan, the final package may be done in China. Sanyo and Sony will not sell their cells unless they review the design of the final product to make sure that the proper safety circuits are in the battery package and in the charger. The counterfeit batteries are procured from indirect sources and are a total unknown. Valid third party batteries use proper cells and safety circuits, and indeed may even use Sanyo or Sony cells. There is also the matter of the different qualities of cells that manufacturers sell, the highest quality cells are expensive. Some of the past recalls happened when a certain laptop manufacturer saved money (they thought) by buying a economy grade of sells from Sony. Those cells had a different design that let them be made for less, but they also turned out to fail easily when subjected to a drop or shock because part of the case was sharp and vibrated into the internals of the battery shorting it out, and poof, up in smoke went the laptop.

I have no idea as to what grade Canon uses, but the Japanese now require cells to pass some very tough tests, like driving a nail thru the cell, and withstanding a overcharge.
 

Jack Douglas

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I bought an external battery pack and cells for my 600 EX-RT and then a second for another flash because the first worked fine. In the process of acquiring more batteries I bought some that were a bargain and when charging they were getting hot. So what to think/do??

My logic is this. There are basically two reasons for the heat. The charger is pumping too much current and/or not cycling back when charging is complete or the batteries have too much internal resistance due to poor design or whatever. The charging of batteries should not generate heat to the extent that your hand feels uncomfortable, in fact probably they should only be slightly warm. If they are getting hot then in due course it'll likely worsen and there may be a fire. They are not worth risking your life over.

Jack
 

tmroper

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A "counterfeit" product is different from a third party, non-OEM product that's branded as such. A battery from, say, Wasabi is branded and sold as a Wasabi product, and isn't a counterfeit. So I think they're talking about products that say "Canon" and look exactly like the Canon product, etc, but aren't. But maybe they're trying to imply a danger with any non-OEM products.
 

johnf3f

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Mt Spokane Photography said:
I see comments already from some who did not read the article. Its about Counterfeit Products, not legitimate 3rd party products.

All Lithium-ION batteries are potentially dangerous, its a matter of degree. However, when someone copies a product and marks it as a genuine OEM item, they do not care about the laws, and almost certainly not about your safety. These people operate in alleys, small shops, and often move daily to keep ahead of the authorities.

My points still stand - "IF" Canon is concerned (they are obviously not) about their customers safety then they can price their battery packs and chargers at reasonable prices and then we would not be tempted by non-OEM or counterfeit products and thus avoid their alleged dangers. For what it is worth the only packs that have failed me have been genuine Canon products and my two "Counterfeit" chargers have performed rather well though they are a little gentler on the packs than the Canon ones (ie charge a little slower) they fully charge the relevant packs to the correct voltage for the individual cells.

Again Canon batteries and chargers are ridiculously over priced and that is the root of the problem pure and simple.
 

IglooEater

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johnf3f said:
If Canon are genuinely worried about us using off brand batteries/chargers then they could prevent this immediately by simply charging the proper price for their batteries and chargers. For example a LP-E4N pack contains £15 (retail including tax) worth of cells in a cheap plastic case with a pointless chip. They could sell this at a profit for £20/£25 and kill the non OEM battery market overnight. or £339 for an LC-E4N chargers - I have FAR more sophisticated and higher quality chargers costing from £24 to £70. Opened my charger up a while ago to see what I was paying for - Air and reasonably adequate build, £20 at most £15 would be reasonable.

If Canon care about safety then the solution is in their hands.
Can't speak about Canon batteries per se, but in Makita batteries, the chips are far from pointless. They extend battery life and battery lifespan, saving the company I work for thousands of dollars.
In regards to third party batteries, again, in my field we don't bother with them anymore. Yes we could get the cells for a lot less, but they just don't last. They won't hold a charge, they don't provide the life of a similarly spec'd oem, and give up the ghost much sooner. Same with 3rd party batteries.

On the other hand, I still agree with you that canon oem batteries are overpriced. (Makita too!). But how much is not clear, as they perform dramatically better than their less expensive "equals" and thus have something different inside them.
 

johnf3f

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To IglooEater:

"Can't speak about Canon batteries per se, but in Makita batteries, the chips are far from pointless. They extend battery life and battery lifespan, saving the company I work for thousands of dollars."

A properly designed (and remarkably cheap) charger will do this job better in my experience - no chips needed.

"In regards to third party batteries, again, in my field we don't bother with them anymore. Yes we could get the cells for a lot less, but they just don't last. They won't hold a charge, they don't provide the life of a similarly spec'd oem, and give up the ghost much sooner. Same with 3rd party batteries."

Unfortunately non - oem packs often contain inferior and under spec cells with the inevitable results! However many have cells of far higher quality, as I have found in the past, 3 Canon BP511 packs dead within 3 years and 5 non oem packs (cost less than 1 Canon pack) still giving better than Canon originals - they were bought in 2005 and 2006 and are still going strong! The problem with non-oem packs is that we don't know what we are getting until it is too late!

"On the other hand, I still agree with you that canon oem batteries are overpriced. (Makita too!). But how much is not clear, as they perform dramatically better than their less expensive "equals" and thus have something different inside them."

With the branded packs you know that you are getting decent cells. Non-oem packs - who knows? That is the trouble! There are rubbish packs out there or there are packs like my OLD BP511 packs that deliver 30 to 40% more capacity for more than three times the service life (and still counting!) of the branded packs. It is a lottery!
 

Tugela

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Mt Spokane Photography said:
I see comments already from some who did not read the article. Its about Counterfeit Products, not legitimate 3rd party products.

All Lithium-ION batteries are potentially dangerous, its a matter of degree. However, when someone copies a product and marks it as a genuine OEM item, they do not care about the laws, and almost certainly not about your safety. These people operate in alleys, small shops, and often move daily to keep ahead of the authorities.

Canon's view is that "counterfeit products" are anything that can be used with a Canon camera that does not have a Canon brand name on it.
 

Tugela

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tmroper said:
A "counterfeit" product is different from a third party, non-OEM product that's branded as such. A battery from, say, Wasabi is branded and sold as a Wasabi product, and isn't a counterfeit. So I think they're talking about products that say "Canon" and look exactly like the Canon product, etc, but aren't. But maybe they're trying to imply a danger with any non-OEM products.

No, they are talking about anything that is not sold by them. The implication is that these other products are "dangerous" and consumers therefore should not buy them, instead they should buy the much more expensive Canon equivalent.
 

Valvebounce

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Hi Tugela.
Canon may think that is what they mean, but from the Oxford Dictionary, quote
"Made in exact imitation of something valuable with the intention to deceive or defraud."
Third parties are not out to deceive or defraud as they are cheaper and don't carry the brand name, therefore are not "exact imitations", counterfeit are often as expensive as the real thing and carry the brand name, enter the decieption.
If Canon means third party then that is what they should say!
Also my understanding is that Counterfeit products can be seized by customs or crime prevention officers (here it could be Trading Standards that initiate this) third party would have to be proved to be dangerous to attract attention

Cheers, Graham.

Tugela said:
tmroper said:
A "counterfeit" product is different from a third party, non-OEM product that's branded as such. A battery from, say, Wasabi is branded and sold as a Wasabi product, and isn't a counterfeit. So I think they're talking about products that say "Canon" and look exactly like the Canon product, etc, but aren't. But maybe they're trying to imply a danger with any non-OEM products.

No, they are talking about anything that is not sold by them. The implication is that these other products are "dangerous" and consumers therefore should not buy them, instead they should buy the much more expensive Canon equivalent.
 

Tugela

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It is a marketing effort intended to feed off fears stemming from the recent issues with the Samsung Note. What the dictionary definition means is irrelevant. The average consumer would have no idea if a particular item is a genuine Canon product or a counterfeit item, but they will know if the item is a generic. So, even if making a generic is legal, the idea that the generic does not have the right "safety stuff" in it and maybe will blow up will make them nervous and so they will buy the expensive branded product instead.

That is the underlying purpose of this press release (which otherwise would not warrant one).
 

IglooEater

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johnf3f said:
To IglooEater:

"Can't speak about Canon batteries per se, but in Makita batteries, the chips are far from pointless. They extend battery life and battery lifespan, saving the company I work for thousands of dollars."

A properly designed (and remarkably cheap) charger will do this job better in my experience - no chips needed.
Perhaps- I can only speak through experience, not scientific tests. When Makita started chipping their batteries and tools, it ended our constant run to the store to buy new ones.
johnf3f said:
"In regards to third party batteries, again, in my field we don't bother with them anymore. Yes we could get the cells for a lot less, but they just don't last. They won't hold a charge, they don't provide the life of a similarly spec'd oem, and give up the ghost much sooner. Same with 3rd party batteries."

Unfortunately non - oem packs often contain inferior and under spec cells with the inevitable results! However many have cells of far higher quality, as I have found in the past, 3 Canon BP511 packs dead within 3 years and 5 non oem packs (cost less than 1 Canon pack) still giving better than Canon originals - they were bought in 2005 and 2006 and are still going strong! The problem with non-oem packs is that we don't know what we are getting until it is too late!

Fair enough. I can't speak about canon, I've only ever bought two canon batteries, and I don't see why I'd buy any more.

johnf3f said:
"On the other hand, I still agree with you that canon oem batteries are overpriced. (Makita too!). But how much is not clear, as they perform dramatically better than their less expensive "equals" and thus have something different inside them."

With the branded packs you know that you are getting decent cells. Non-oem packs - who knows? That is the trouble! There are rubbish packs out there or there are packs like my OLD BP511 packs that deliver 30 to 40% more capacity for more than three times the service life (and still counting!) of the branded packs. It is a lottery!
yup. I don't gamble. ;) But that's why I said while Canon (and Makita!) oem batteries are overpriced, we don't know by how much. If they go to the trouble of testing all their cells before putting them in a pack, or engineering a cell that won't explode/overheat/etc, it's not fair to say they should sell them at the same price as those from third party manufacturers that don't go to the trouble.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Tugela said:
tmroper said:
A "counterfeit" product is different from a third party, non-OEM product that's branded as such. A battery from, say, Wasabi is branded and sold as a Wasabi product, and isn't a counterfeit. So I think they're talking about products that say "Canon" and look exactly like the Canon product, etc, but aren't. But maybe they're trying to imply a danger with any non-OEM products.

No, they are talking about anything that is not sold by them. The implication is that these other products are "dangerous" and consumers therefore should not buy them, instead they should buy the much more expensive Canon equivalent.

Canon does indeed distinguish between Counterfeit and Third Party products. Try to check before making such uninformed statements.

http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2015/counterfeit_battery_protection.shtml

"As digital camera technology has advanced in recent years, Canon has taken steps to help ensure the safety of these products. Although they may seem harmless, lithium-ion rechargeable batteries carry risk if safeguards aren’t engineered into place, especially when they are recharged in a 110-volt or 220-volt charger plugged into a household AC socket.

Numerous safeguards are engineered into genuine Canon batteries and chargers to help ensure that Canon cameras are protected from power surges, other electrical irregularities and from internal heat build-up. Without these safeguards, your camera could suffer damage to its electronic components. In addition, excessive heat build-up within the camera could pose a danger to your property and personal safety.

It’s important to repeat: genuine Canon batteries and battery chargers have these safeguards engineered into them, and Canon customers can be confident that using these batteries and chargers will result in safe, reliable operation.
The rise — and risk — of counterfeit products

With the worldwide proliferation of digital cameras has come an increase in the presence of counterfeit products, designed to look like genuine products from major camera makers. Unscrupulous manufacturers seek to sell counterfeit batteries, chargers and other power accessories with forged logos, unauthorized product markings and fake packaging – making it appear as though they are legitimate products from major camera makers, including Canon.

While counterfeit batteries and chargers may mimic the appearance of genuine Canon accessories on the outside,
there’s no assurance that the safety technologies incorporated into Canon accessories exist on the inside of these counterfeit products. Indeed, the costs of incorporating the protective technologies and features present in Canon accessories would prevent the counterfeiter from obtaining the easy profits it seeks.
Third party batteries, chargers and other accessories

Counterfeit accessories are distinguishable from “third party accessories.” Third party accessories carry a different manufacturer’s logo with references such as, “replacement battery for Canon LP-E6,” or similar wording, and are intended as replacements for Canon accessories. There is no attempt, as there is with counterfeits, to fool dealers and customers into thinking they’re genuine Canon products.

However, because Canon does not know which safeguards, if any, are incorporated into third party accessories, Canon cannot endorse or recommend their use in Canon products. Any use of these products with Canon equipment must, therefore, remain at the customer’s risk."