A British sports star has become possibly the highest profile name ever to be jailed for the piracy of video games.
Gareth Raynor, a winger for rugby league team Crusaders, was sentenced to 15 months after being found guilty of selling counterfeit DS and Game Boy games, as well as fake ink cartridges, on auction site eBay.
Using the name ‘Genuine-Ink’, Raynor would import pirated cartridges from the East and then sell them on to UK buyers, advertising them as legitimate products. Over 1,500 transactions were found to have taken place between May 2007 and August 2008.
He pleased guilty to 14 charges of trademark infringement and fraudulent trading. He received nine months in jail for counterfeiting offences and an additional six for breaching the conditions of a prior offence.
“You were not saying that your product was cheap and shoddy when advertising them via eBay and as such any purchaser was buying based on trust,” Judge Roger Thorn ruled.
“You breached that trust. The buyers could not inspect the product until after the deal had been done. Thus both the buyer is a victim and also the producer of the product is the victim in loss of sales.”
ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson added: “We would like to thank the efforts of East Riding of Yorkshire Council's trading standards service in their attempts to protect legitimate local traders and remove illegal products from the marketplace.”