Thursday 6th December/... A market trader who made a living selling illegally copied games worth thousands of pounds at a Wolverhampton market has been jailed for eight months.
Christopher Charles Jones, 40, of Century Court, Edlington, Doncaster was sentenced on Friday 30th November at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court to eight months imprisonment for having sold illegally copied games– most notably single discs containing 400 games for Sony’s PlayStation®Portable (PSP®) console, among others. The combined value of each individual PSP game on the disc has been estimated to be“in the thousands”, but Jones was selling each one for just£5.
Mr Jones was initially arrested following a raid executed by West Midlands Police and Wolverhapton City Council Trading Standards on 11th April 2006. He had been under surveillance for some time by ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) investigators, who had been secretly filming his criminal activity and making test purchases.
During his first court appearance on Tuesday 27th November, Jones admitted 21 charges relating to copyright breaches after the raid at the North Computer market at Wolverhampton’s Dunstall Racecourse, before being charged and jailed for eight months on 30th November before a bench of three magistrates.
Peter Calvert, Wolverhampton City Council Trading Standards Manager, said:“This prosecution underlines the City Council’s commitment to fighting the scourge of counterfeiting. Selling fake items is designed to dupe innocent consumers, harm the livelihoods of honest businesses and line the pockets of the greedy. The City Council will continue to deal robustly with those involved in this trade in Wolverhampton.”
Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA commented:“It’s clear from the recent successes in bringing to justice those who think they can get away with illegally copying games and profiting from their sale that piracy and counterfeiting doesn’t pay. This case only goes to prove that through patience and diligence Trading Standards, local police and the anti-piracy investigators are making it harder than ever for criminals to operate.”
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£540 million. Piracy/counterfeiting is illegal and punishable by fines and jail 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.
Counterfeited/pirated games are often mixed with obscene or pornographic material.
Local and national jobs are lost as result of pirate operations.
Proven links exist between many organised counterfeiting organisations and dealers in drugs and pornography.