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Forget the sellers: NYC lawmaker wants to imprison buyers of knockoffs

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Never mind the seller. Now a New York City councilwoman is looking to put in prison the buyers of counterfeit goods.

Council Member Margaret Chin has brought forth a bill to fine buyers of fake products — such as designer bags — up to $1,000 and put them behind bars for up to a year.

"Hopefully, this law will cut down on the demand," she said, as The Telegraph reported.

This isn't her first time to propose the ban. A 2011 legislative attempt failed, but she's taking up the measure again and hoping the growing counterfeit market in the city has reached the point that other council members will get on board.

Canal Street in the Chinatown area of Manhattan is particularly entrenched in the knockoff trade. Tourists flock to the area for deals on luxury bags and watches, Mrs. Chin said, as The Telegraph reported.

"People think it's an adventure," she said. "If you want to get these name-brand knockoffs at a cheap price, you go to Chinatown."

She justified her proposed law this way in The Telegraph: "If you go into a back room, basement or van, you probably know what you're doing is not legal."

New York City already has laws in place that punish sellers of counterfeit goods.

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