Northern Ireland eBay trader given a suspended sentence for selling counterfeit Disney DVDs

An online trader who was selling counterfeit Disney DVDs has been given a five month suspended sentence, suspended for two years, at Lisburn Magistrates’ court.

In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Mark Alan Wilson (40) of Hermitage, Culcavy, who traded on eBay, pleaded guilty to nine charges under Section 92 of Trade Marks Act 1994 and 10 charges under Section 107 of Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. Mr Wilson was also ordered to forfeit over 300 DVDs.

Trading Standards Officers purchased a Walt Disney DVD from Mr Wilson via eBay and had it examined by a representative of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). It was found to be fake.

In Feb 2013, Trading Standards Officers, accompanied by industry specialists from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), visited Mr Wilson’s home and seized over 300 DVDs all purporting to be Disney productions.

It transpired that the DVDs were being imported by Mr Wilson from a supplier in China. In actions by the United Kingdom Border Force (UKBF) and Trading Standards Service, Mr Wilson lost in the region of 900 assorted DVDs.

Information obtained from eBay, by Trading Standards Service, indicated that Mr Wilson had sold at least £7,000 worth of Disney DVDs on eBay in previous five months.

Nicholas Lane, Inspector for Trading Standards Service said: “The internet has opened many business opportunities and we welcome this, but it is the trader’s responsibility to keep within the law. Anyone who imports goods into the UK and offers them for sale must ensure they are genuine and comply with all statutory requirements.”

“The Trading Standards Service is uncovering sellers of counterfeit goods on auction sites and social media sites on a weekly basis and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any trader found to be selling fake goods. We would like to remind anyone involved in this type of activity that the courts can impose penalties of up to £5,000 or six months in prison per offence if trademarks or copyrights are infringed.”

 

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