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UK local authorities get tough on illegal DVD traders

A father and son who sold counterfeit DVDs, CDs and computer games at boot fairs across Kent county have been successfully prosecuted by Kent County Council’s Trading Standards Service.

Between August 2005 and December 2006, Kent Trading Standards and Kent Police, in partnership with officers from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), seized thousands of illegally copied discs from boot fair stalls run by Edward Smith, age 45, and his son James Smith, 20, from Hertfordshire.

Both were sentenced last week. Edward Smith is serving ten months in prison for conspiracy to commit offences contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994 as well as a number of Video Recordings Act (VRA) offences. James Smith received a ten month suspended sentence and will serve a 200-hour Community Order.

In separate developments, seven men were arrested by Greater Manchester Police as part of a major operation targeting the manufacture of counterfeit films, music, video games and software and the sale of those counterfeit goods in town market. Quantities of counterfeit discs, computers and disc burning equipment were seized and have been taken away for examination.

Elsewhere, three people, believed to be students, were arrested at Portsmouth for the sale of counterfeit DVDs on the auction website eBay.

Story filed 03.02.08

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