Thousands Of Illegal Game Copying Devices Seized In Shop Raid

Friday 19th December/... A criminal raid at a shop and home premises in Cardiff has netted 1,800 infringing game copying devices and resulted in the apprehension of a man in his early 20s. The game copying devices bypass the technical protection measures of the Nintendo DS / DS Lite handheld system and enable the play of illegal Nintendo game software. The raid was carried out on the morning of December 17 by officers from the City and County of Cardiff Trading Standards Department and the South Wales Police. It resulted in the seizure of 1,800 game copying devices, which are illegal under the Trademarks and Copyright Acts.

It was later discovered that the as-yet unnamed man had imported the game copying devices through Heathrow in four consignments and was selling them through a website discovered by diligent investigators from industry trade body ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Publishers Association). Action was taken following a test purchase.

The 21 year-old counterfeiter,who was also claiming benefit, painstakingly kept recorded delivery slips for every single game copying device he peddled over more than two years. Besides the 1,800 devices seized, a further 1,000 were discovered at his home ready for sale along with several hundred packed and ready for posting - by recorded delivery, naturally!

Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA, said:“We would like to thank Cardiff Trading Standards and South Wales Police for their sterling work in stopping this operation. Our team in the Intellectual Property Crime Unit (IPCU) has stepped up its fight against counterfeiters stealing game software and other intellectual property rights of our members. Increasingly sophisticated tracking techniques make it harder than ever for the thieves to avoid detection. The industry loses vital income and with it proper job security for its employees in the country, while the British public lose out because many circumvention devices actually damage irreparably DS Lite handheld consoles. ELSPA advises all gamers, parents and gifters to buy hardware and game software from respectable retailers– offering proper protection for their outlay.”

David Yarnton, Nintendo UK General Manager, said: "Nintendo is serious about taking actions against those involved in the manufacturing and distribution of game copying devices."

Steve Grey, Operational Manager at Cardiff Trading Standards, said:“Counterfeiting is an increasingly technical and complex challenge to enforcers but we are determined to work closely with our partner agencies to bear down on rip-offs like this.”

Ends.

EDITORS NOTES

About ELSPA - http://www.elspa.com

ELSPA (The Entertainment&Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

ELSPA’s activities include: Official Chart and Industry Reports, Anti-Piracy UK and EU, PR and Communication, Events. More information on all these activities can be found at http://www.elspa.com.

About Software Piracy and its negative impact on both consumers and industry:

ELSPA estimates criminal gain through computer and video games piracy sits at approximately£600 million. Piracy/counterfeiting is illegal and punishable by fines and prison sentences.

The illegal copying of software poses the very real threat of criminal prosecution and a criminal record, as well as the risk of massive personal financial loss under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Consumers have no recourse under law for faulty pirated games, which can damage hardware.

Local and national jobs are lost as result of pirate operations.

For further information on ELSPA or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Tom Sargent or Gary Burns

Barrington Harvey

Tel: 01462 456780

Fax: 01462 456781

Email: tom.sargent@bhpr.co.uk

Email: gary.burns@bhpr.co.uk

Issued by: Barrington Harvey, Trooper’s Yard, Bancroft, Hitchin SG5 1JW


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