Slate reports:
If New York City councilwoman Margaret  Chin has her way, it may soon be illegal to own a fake Prada handbag, or any of the other counterfeits openly sold in her Chinatown district, the "ground zero" for New York's knockoffs. Chin's proposed  $1,000 fine for counterfeit buyers is merely the latest salvo in the war against designer rip-offs waged by the FBI, industry groups, and designers themselves.

Yet a preliminary study focused on counterfeit sales in China—the source of all those fake handbags in Chinatown and just about everywhere else—suggests that in many cases the sale of fakes may not be so bad for legitimate brands.
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