By Christina Wilkie - 04/26/11 11:39 PM EDT
Knockoff luxury goods could soon become more than just a fashion crime on the streets of New York City, where a City Councilwoman wants to make buying fake designer items a crime.
Chin’s district includes Chinatown, a hotspot for designer knockoff sales. “We have to stop the demand,” she said.
Chin plans to introduce a bill this week that would punish offenders with jail time or a $1,000 fine if they were caught knowingly buying counterfeit products. The bill would also provide for signs warning shoppers of the law.
Luxury goods companies have long been pressing lawmakers to enact stricter laws when it comes to phony products, arguing that the knockoffs constitute a violation of intellectual property laws.
Such bans tend to be unpopular with consumers, who are more interested in a good bargain.
On Capitol Hill, the battle is being waged primarily in the tech and media sectors, but fake Fendis could be the next frontier.