...at least in England. I think this is a great article to forward to your friends who are unconvinced that buying fakes (LV or not) is bad. I've bolded some of the highlights of the article. http://money.guardian.co.uk/news_/story/0,,2132957,00.html Buying fakes is OK say shoppers [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Hilary Osborne Monday July 23, 2007 Guardian Unlimited [/FONT]Buying counterfeit goods has become socially acceptable, with more than two thirds of UK consumers proud to tell their friends and family that they had purchased fakes, a survey showed today. In the year to April, shoppers spent an average of £21.30 on fake designer clothes, footwear, watches or jewellery, 10% more than in the previous 12 months. More than 10% of those questioned said they had paid more than £50 for a fake. The rise in spending reflects the growing acceptability of such purchases, with 20% more people happy to show off purchases of designer fakes than in 2006. One in seven consumers told researchers that they would be deterred from buying counterfeit goods if they thought it might result in a prison sentence, but many believed a crackdown of this kind would be unenforceable and 68% thought it should not be against the law. However, almost 80% said they would be put off if they knew the profits from their purchases were funding organised crime, including terrorism. Simon Tracey, head of intellectual property and brands at Davenport Lyons, the law firm that commissioned the research, said it was time to tackle the demand for fake goods "head on". "It is clear that the public needs to be made aware of whose pockets they are lining when they buy a fake," he said. "Unless consumers are made aware of the implications of buying fakes and the part the money they hand over can play in organised crime generally, together with the specific threat to global security, matters can only get worse." Almost a third (31%) of those who had bought fakes said they had been unaware they were doing so, and only 17% of those questioned were confident they could tell the difference been a genuine designer item and a copy. The report shows most fakes were bought on market stalls in the UK, but more and more travellers are bringing counterfeit goods home from overseas, with Europe accounting for 45% of overseas buys. 'Buy at your peril' The auction site eBay also proved a popular place to buy these items, accounting for 29% of online purchases of counterfeit goods, although the figures suggest many of these may have been bought unwittingly. Steve Playle, a spokesman for the Trading Standards Institute, said markets and car boot sales were particular hotbeds for counterfeit sales, and that many consumers must know the items they were buying were fakes. "You see things like three DVDs on sale for £5," he said. "The price reflects the fact that it can never be the genuine article." Mr Playle said Trading Standards would take action against people selling the goods, but that they were often part of large networks and would not disclose where the items were coming from. He said consumers should consider if buying a counterfeit t-shirt that shrunk on the first wash was really better than paying full price for the real thing. He added: "You buy counterfeit goods at your own peril. With some of these goods there are potential safety concerns - we've seen counterfeit sunglasses, for example, that have offered no UV protection." Earlier this year the UK's 202 Trading Standards offices were given an extra £5m to spend on cracking down on counterfeit goods.