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Author Topic: (Is It) Live Or Memorex?  (Read 1369 times)

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Offline Solo_LTSurvivor

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(Is It) Live Or Memorex?
« on: April 27, 2011, 11:26:43 PM »
I guess I won't be going to Canal Street anytime soon since this was my main motivation for ever going to Chinatown to begin with  ;D

Councilmember Margaret Chin announced her bill during a City Hall news conference yesterday.

Most of the time, City Councilmember Margaret Chin’s news conferences, on topics such as affordable housing and education funding, are attended by just a few journalists from community media and Chinese language newspapers.  But yesterday, a gaggle of reporters came scurrying to City Hall to hear her propose something truly tabloid worthy: a crackdown on people who buy counterfeit merchandise.

Tomorrow, Chin will formally introduce a city bill that, if enacted, would make buying fake designer items a misdemeanor, punishable by a $1000 fine or a year in jail (maximum penalties).  The counterfeit trade, she argued, hurts legitimate businesses in Chinatown and gives the neighborhood a bad image.  She also suggested the goods are connected to organized crime and, potentially, support terrorist activities.

In a press release, Chin said something must be done to thwart Chinatown’s counterfeit industry, which has continued to thrive in spite of laws making it illegal to hawk fake goods:

“The demand for counterfeit goods has not slowed. Our lower Manhattan neighborhoods are inundated with illegal vendors. We cannot keep going about this issue in the same way. We need to deter people from purchasing these items… Our laws in incomplete in that they only target the supply of these items and not the demand,” Council member Chin said. “The bottom line is counterfeiters have to sell to do their job and we need a law in place that punishes buyers for supporting this illegal trade.” This legislation would put the power in the hands of police to issue summons’ to individuals caught buying counterfeit trademark goods. Council member Chin called the bill “smart crime-fighting… Substantial fines are something people understand” she said. “It’s faster, more effective, and ultimately is it going to cut down on the demand for these illegal goods.” Currently, buyers do not face any penalties for supporting a trade that costs New York City an estimated $1 billion in tax revenue annually.
This morning’s news stories are filled with angst-ridden quotes from shoppers distressed about Chin’s proposal.  

A sampling:

New York Times- Cabrina Whitam said she was willing to follow the trail of fake Chanel and Burberry handbags into whatever Chinatown backrooms it might lead her. “I come down here, I will continue coming down here, and I will follow the Chinese people wherever they take me,” Ms. Whitam, who lives in New Jersey, said Tuesday afternoon as she stood amid the purse and sunglass vendors on Canal Street. “I don’t believe in child labor and I don’t believe in supporting terrorists, but if I want to buy a knockoff, that’s my business.”

New York Post: “I don’t think it’s a big deal to sell knockoff bags,” sniffed Morgan Mikulaschek, 19, a student who lives on the Upper West Side, as she toted around a fake Fendi that she bought for $40. “If they were selling real bags illegally, that’s one thing, but they’re fake — so who cares?” Mikulaschek said. “I don’t think the designers are hurt from it. Their regular customers aren’t going to go down to Canal Street to look for fakes.”

DNA Info: “It’s ridiculous,” said Karen, 29, a Connecticut resident, when told of the potential consequences. “So many things, like cigarettes, are really bad — they kill people. This doesn’t hurt anybody, so who cares?” Debra, 47, who was visiting from North Carolina, said she buys the fake bags because designer labels make their merchandise so expensive that most people can’t afford it. “It’s nice to have a knockoff bag and not pay full price,” she said.

But Chin argued the counterfeit trade does hurt lots of people, namely, small artisans and merchants who make authentic products distinctive to Chinatown.  She noted that most fakes are not sold inside Canal Streets stores but from the back of vans or by sketchy street pedlars hauling counterfeit items in big plastic bags. The bill could face an uphill battle. While Chin has five co-sponsors, the Times reported that Council Speaker Christine Quinn has not expressed an opinion about the legislation.

And yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg appeared at least somewhat skeptical:
“Protecting the trademark of manufacturers is in the city’s interest and the country’s interest, otherwise people wouldn’t come here and sell things and create things… Whether this is the right way to go about it, I don’t know… There’s a limited number of things we can do (with limited Police resources)… How practical it is, I don’t know.”

If the bill becomes law, New York would be the first city in the nation to criminalize the purchase of fake merchandise.  France and Italy both have similar laws and they have had some success in reducing counterfeit sales. Susan Scafidic of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University, told the Wall Street Journal:

“We’ve known for a long time that demand drives sales, especially when combined with the unfortunately exciting experience of an illicit transaction on Canal Street, but New York City has previously been reluctant to arrest guests in the city.. Now, the cheap tourist thrill of buying a fake bag may come with free accommodations — behind bars.”
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 11:29:03 PM by Solo_LTSurvivor »
don't equate intelligence with lack of masculinity
Jim Phelps, Mission Impossible

Seroconverted: Early 80s
Tested & confirmed what I already knew: early 90s

Current regimen: Atripla. 
Last regimen:  Epzicom, Sustiva (since its inception with NO adverse side effects: no vivid dreams and NONE of the problems people who can't tolerate this drug may experience: color me lucky ::))
Past regimens
Fun stuff (in the past):  HAV/HBV, crypto, shingles, AIDS, PCP

Jan 2012: 818/21%
Apr 2012: 964/22%
Jul. 2012: 890/21%
Oct. 2012: 920/23%

Still UD after all these years


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