Tourist Fined €1000 For Buying €7 Counterfeit Louis Vuitton Bag

In an apparent effort to be as ridiculous as possible, Italian mayor Francesco Calzavara has instituted insane fines for people caught purchasing counterfeit goods. Ursula Corel, a 65-year-old tourist visiting from Vienna, learned this the hard way last week when she was fined €1000 while haggling for a €7 Louis Vuitton replica on the beach near Venice. We’re not fans of counterfeiting — it’s tacky and ethically questionable — but this still strikes us as a punishment totally not in keeping with the crime. True, without buyers, the €7 billion counterfeiting industry would be crippled, but putting that large a burden on the buyers seems more like a desperate attempt on the part of the state to bring in revenue than a legitimate punishment for buying a fake Louis. Thoughts? [The Guardian]