Law Proposing Jail Time for Purchasing Counterfeit Designer Goods Could Still Pass

If at first you don't succeed... A bill proposing jail time or a stiff fine for purchasing counterfeit goods originally proposed in 2011 is getting a new push by New York councilwoman Margaret Chin.
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If at first you don't succeed... A bill proposing jail time or a stiff fine for purchasing counterfeit goods originally proposed in 2011 is getting a new push by New York councilwoman Margaret Chin.
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Getty

If at first you don't succeed...

A bill proposing jail time or a stiff fine for purchasing counterfeit goods originally proposed in 2011 is getting a new push by New York councilwoman Margaret Chin. Chin introduced the bill originally, but experienced pushback from City Council. If the bill passes, shoppers caught purchasing counterfeits, say, on Canal Street, can be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 in fines or a year in prison.

Though it's illegal to manufacture and sell counterfeit handbags, watches, etc., and always has been, it's still happening and will continue to happen as long as shoppers--tourists especially--want to buy them. Which is the point of the bill--to take away the demand. France and Italy already have similar laws in place.

Chin's spokeswoman told WWD a new hearing for the bill is expected to take place in the next couple of months. So will it work?

Back in 2011, a police officer told the Post that the bill is "never going to fly" because it requires that shoppers be caught in the act, which would require a lot of cops on the ground, all the time, to enforce it.

Perhaps some sort of signage along Canal Street, informing visitors of the illegality of purchasing fake goods, could be enough of a deterrence?