Some threads regarding fake merchandise got me thinking about what goes on in Greece. The laws on counterfeit are as strong here as anywhere, both the greek state law and the EU law. But what seems to be a bit different is the citizens' view of the matter. The majority of counterfeit sellers are Africans. The sale doesn't take place in a booth, o kiosk or a store but on the street, with the merchandise (mostly bags, illegal copies of CDs and sunglasses) lying on the pavement or in portable, foldable, small tables. Most people do not approve this illegal action, some dor copyright reasons, others because these products were manufactured in conditions not compatible with what we shortly call "human rights". All these aside, most people in Greece we sometimes tend to sympathise with the sellers (not the manufacturers since these products are never manufactured here). The immigrants who end up selling illegal marchandise are mostly immigrants who had very bad treatment from our state. Taking a green card is not an easy thing here in Greece, not only because the law is strict but mostly because the clerks in the related state services tend to be corrupted or even plainly rude and unprofessional. To me, Greece has evolved in many many ways but still a bunch of stupid Greeks can still drive us back to where we were 20 years ago! Most of the times these immigrants et a permission to stay in Greece relatively easily but they aren't allowed to work, sometimes for years, until they get a separate permission! Only if they can afford a lawyer or a "tip" to the clerk! Africans, according to the police and the statistics, are almost never involved in criminal actions like murders, burglaring, mugging, assaults or rape. They resort to selling fake bags to make a buck and this is almost always their only crime. The greek police picks them up from the street almost every day. But most of them seem to be so honest and polite that, even if charges are pressed, the courts let them go with a simple warning. I guess this sounds irresponsible but it has worked cause there's less counterfeit selling than before. Of course those who have all the benefits the greek state can give have a way more strict approach! What happens where you live? I know from personal experience that Americans have a totally different view of these matters (I guess terrorism has made the difference) but do you distinguish the sellers from the makers? Do the sellers are poor people with a true need or they could have another work and they chose this?