Four year sentence for DVD pirate – one of the strongest yet in UK

In one of the strongest ever sentences for film piracy in the UK, Zhong Li, age 35, and a Chinese national, was sentenced to four years imprisonment last week at Southwark Crown Court. He was recommended for deportation at the end of his sentence.

Li, who had no previous convictions, was found guilty of the following, all sentences to run concurrently:
1. Section 10 (1) and (3) of the video recordings act 1984 – 12 months
2. Section 107 (1) (C) of the copyright, designs and patents act 1988 – four years
3. Section 92 (2)(B) and (6) of the Trade Marks Act – 12 months
4. Section 2 obscene publications act – four years.

Li was arrested by officers from Southwark Borough of the Metropolitan Police at an address in Asylum Road, London SE15 in June 2006 following information that the premises were being used as a DVD factory.

Approximately 30,000 pirate DVDs and their covers were seized, with approximately 40% of this being hardcore pornographic material, as well as £2000 in cash. Ledgers relating to the sale of the DVDs were also seized.

Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, commented: “This result is a significant one as it shows that the Courts are prepared to punish more severely those who aim to profit from film piracy. The strong custodial sentence sends a very strong reminder to film pirates at every level that this is a serious crime type being dealt with increasingly harshly.”

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