Volume 95, Issue 67

Thursday, January 31, 2002
 
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NEWS

Four students seek Huron crown

UWOFA support students

Fine, take all our weed, we'll just do shrooms

Gehring gets off, legally speaking

Cooldegrees denies any wrongdoing

Hey math nerds! Solve this ya geeks

Double cohort means double the confusion

News Briefs

Cooldegrees denies any wrongdoing

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff


A website offering fake degrees says it is does not feel threatened by a cease-and-desist letter it received from the University of Toronto.

Cooldegree.com is an online company that produces phony university and college degrees.

While a disclaimer on the site informs customers they can obtain diplomas "of the highest quality from many universities located around the United States and Canada," sales representative Jeff Tabler said, in an e-mail to The Gazette, it is his company's policy "to only make fictitious and non-existent novelty diplomas."

However, when Toronto lawyer Jason Klein, legal counsel for the University of Toronto, asked Cooldegree.com to custom-make a degree from the "University of Toronto," there was no problem.

Klein said he received his degree in the mail, complete with an "inaccurate" U of T logo.

"Anyone who is familiar with a Toronto degree would know that it is not real," he said Tuesday, adding the possibility of copyright infringement still exists regardless of the accuracy of the logo.

Despite this, Tabler said, "to the best of my knowledge, we have never produced any product bearing the name 'University of Toronto.'"

Tabler added Cooldegree.com's general counsel is in the process of preparing a formal reply to U of T's request.

"We do not make any 'real' diplomas," Tabler said. "Nor do we infringe upon any copyrighted material.

"We are a small printing company that offers gag novelty products. If a person were seeking a counterfeit college diploma, they do not look to us," Tabler said.

"We do sometimes receive requests to make diplomas from existing schools, in which case we would advise would-be buyers to read our disclaimers and information pages, where it states our position regarding accredited and existing schools," he said. "I can only say that somebody is making a big deal out of nothing."

Susan Bloch-Nevitte, media spokeswoman for U of T, said the university will not be pursuing the matter if Cooldegree.com abstains from printing the university's name and logo on novelty items.

Klein was unavailable for comment Wednesday.




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Copyright The Gazette 2001