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    Is It OK To Buy Fake Designer Products? It's More Complicated Than You Think

    To buy fake or not to buy fake — that is the question.

    Sure, most of us would love to own a Chanel bag, or maybe a Louis Vuitton purse, but those designer labels can cost thousands of dollars.

    But...a lot of shoppers who can't resist the urge to own something that has *the* label may succumb to purchasing counterfeit designer products.

    While doing a little research, we discovered a ton of people discussing this very issue...with a lot of passion.

    So, we went around asking some folks what they thought of purchasing fake designer goods.

    "I think designer apparel is great. I think the knock-off ones are sometimes dope, too."

    "At the end of the day, I guess copying someone else's work is an immoral thing."

    "You don't know where you're getting them from. Like, you don't know who's making them, you don't know if the people who are making them are getting paid enough?"

    "It does make these high-end brands accessible to people who wouldn't be able to afford a $4,000 handbag."

    "From a consumer standpoint, it doesn't matter to me whether you have a fake designer good or not, but I think ethically, it's probably wrong.

    "Where I'm from, that's frowned upon. You don't have to pretend."

    So, it appears the most common argument against buying fake designer goods is that it's stealing.

    Those more in favor of purchasing fake designer goods argue that the markets are not the same.

    The question remains: Does purchasing counterfeit goods actually hurt anybody? Well, it turns out counterfeit goods are often intertwined with more illicit crimes.

    In fact, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, estimated that imported fake goods around the world were worth $461 billion (in 2013).

    Footwear is the most copied type of item, but medicine, auto parts and electronics are also commonly counterfeited.

    And, once again, the money used to purchase these fake goods can be used to support criminal activity.

    A counterfeit investigator also said during a TED Talk that there's also a significant link between the purchasing of counterfeit goods and terrorism.

    And what about when big-name fast fashion retailers copy designs?

    It turns out that, by nature, fashion items serve a purpose, making them exempt from copyright laws.

    That's why something that is utilitarian and functional can't be copyrighted.

    While most people we spoke to thought it was okay to buy copied designs from a big company, they did not feel the same way about a less established artist or brand.

    We don't always look at fashion the same way we do art, although for a lot of people their clothing is an expression of who they are.

    No matter where you stand on this issue, it's important to make decisions with your money and your life with a little information.

    You can watch the full video on this discussion here:

    View this video on YouTube