Adrees Malik, aged 45 was sentenced on 7th January 2014 under the Trade Marks Act 1994 to a 10 month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for selling and possessing to supply copied DVD’s. Mr Malik was trading from a shop called Homeview Computer Repair Video Centre at 570 Thornton Road in Bradford. A Proceeds of Crime investigation is now underway.
Adrees Malik had persistently sold copied DVD’s from his shop. Officers first seized goods from him in 2012, when he advised them that he was only an employee at the premises. On a follow up inspection in March 2013 , West Yorkshire Trading Standards officers found large quantities of DVD-R’s with titles of films handwritten on them. DVD-Rs are discs which can be recorded on unlike legitimate pre-recorded ones. There were multiple copies of the same film titles and folders containing photocopied film covers for customers to browse through. Pornography was also found and two copying towers, one inside a hidden panel in a wall and one in a cupboard. In total over 5000 DVD-Rs were seized.
Between April 2013 and July 2013 officers from West Yorkshire Trading Standards made four further test purchase visits at Homeview, where a man fitting the description of Adrees Malik was present on each occasion. Officers witnessed the sale of DVD-Rs to customers and an officer was directed to a screen on the counter connected to a DVD player which displayed about 26 film covers, some of which were still on in the cinema and not on DVD release. Films purchased included Die Hard 5, Iron Man 3, Identity Thief and Oblivion 2013. On one occasion an officer purchased 3 films for £5 and was told “be careful, don’t tell anyone”. An officer found a large chest in a back room containing a quantity of DVD-Rs with handwritten titles on them.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards officers along with the Police seized a total of 5834 copied discs. A sample of the discs were sent to the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) for examination and were confirmed to be copies not made in accordance with the copyright licence holders. FACT have advised, that the average loss to the retail industry is £7.25 for each counterfeit disc sold. But this does not take into account potential losses in cinema revenue and the loss to legitimate rental companies. The total loss to the industry equates to £42,297.
FACT also commented that none of the discs examined conformed with provisions of the Video Recordings (Labelling) (Amendment) Regulations which specify the appropriate British Board of Film Classification symbol that should appear on each disc.
In total West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service have had four seizures of copied films, over a 15 month period from Adrees Malik at the premises of Homeview and four test purchases of copied DVD’s from Adrees Malik between April 2013 and July 2013. Adrees Malik was fully aware that supplying of copied films was illegal, yet despite this he continued to supply the DVDs and operate this fraudulent business.
Councillor Val Slater Chair of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said “This is another great result for West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service in a crackdown on shops in Bradford who are involved in the supply of copied DVDs.”