I know I haven't blogged in a long, long time, but this is a story that must be told...
This morning I'm at a press conference about a new anti-piracy study and task force featuring L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and various other government and business officials. As at most events decrying the evils of piracy, there's a wide array of pirated goods seized by law enforcement on display such as bootleg DVDs and CDs, counterfeit purses, shoes, watches, etc. They're out there for the cameras because, hey, the evenings news needs a good visual.
The event was held right outside of Staples Center, which for those of you not familiar with L.A. geography, is a big pedestrian area in the middle of downtown. So the Mayor or somebody else is talking about how awful piracy is, how it harms the Los Angeles economy and costs jobs and tax revenue, etc., etc., when I see a group of about a dozen tourists walk by. They're definitely Asian, probably Japanese.
They look at the goings-on for a minute, clearly unsure what's happening. Then they walk up to the counterfeit goods on the tables and start perusing... like they're SHOPPING. I seem to be the only one noticing this because everyone else's eyes are on the speakers in the press conference. The Japanese tourists look around, clearly expecting that somebody is going to tell them what the beautiful fake Chanel purse, or the DVD of "Norbit," costs. After a couple of minutes, they realize nobody is going to help them, and they walk away, obviously thinking that this is a poorly run counterfeit merchandise store.