Ayr games counterfeiter sentenced
An Ayr has been given a 125-hour Community Service Order after being caught in his home with over 800 counterfeit Xbox and PlayStation games, as well as hundreds of copied films and TV programmes.
John Hamilton, 43 and from Ayr, already had previous convictions for similar offences. He was exposed after selling copied games to an undercover investigator in an Internet forum. Hamilton was unaware that his ‘buyer’ was in fact an investigator for the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA).
ELSPA informed South Ayrshire’s Trading Standards Service who together with Strathclyde Police raided Hamilton’s house and garden shed, where they discovered the counterfeit stock, two PC containing disc-burning software, spools of blank DVDs and boxes of padded envelopes.
‘Our investigations will continue to monitor the markets and work closely with our Trading Standards partners in stamping out counterfeiting,’ said Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA. ‘The simple fact about piracy is that it is illegal and punishable by fines, Community Service and jail sentences. No matter which way you look at counterfeiting it is nothing more than theft.’
‘Consumers who buy counterfeit games have no recourse under law for faulty goods,’ he added.
A spokesperson for South Ayrshire Trading Standards said that this case is part of an on-going clampdown on the sale of counterfeit goods.
‘Whether directly through markets and street trading, or even on-line from the comfort of their own PC, we will investigate and prosecute those who sell fakes that shake consumer confidence and badly dent the revenues of legal sellers. This case also shows that those who believe that they can use the Internet to freely download and sell illegal films and games should think again.’
In February the government allocated an extra £5million to fund Trading Standards’ investigations into copyright infringement and granted officers new powers to make test purchases and to enter premises and seize goods and documents.