The Wall Street Journal reports:
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NEW YORK — A city lawmaker said Tuesday she’ll introduce a bill to criminalize the purchase of counterfeit designer goods including handbags and watches.
The bill proposed by City Councilwoman Margaret Chin would impose penalties of up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine for buying knockoffs.
“I urge visitors that come to New York to come for the authenticity, not to buy these fake bags or electronics,” Chin said. “We have local designers that create unique items at affordable prices, and they’re available. So don’t just come here for the knockoffs.”
A 2004 report by then-city Comptroller William Thompson found that about 8 percent of the approximately $287 billion in counterfeit goods sold in the United States annually is sold in New York City, resulting in more than $1 billion in lost tax revenue.
It is already illegal to sell fake designer goods, but Susan Scafidic, head of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University, said that if Chin’s bill passes New York would be the first U.S.