A prolific pirate DVD seller in Hackney, operating online, had her house raided by officers from Hackney Trading Standards and FACT following work done by FACT’s Internet Investigation Team over a number of months. The woman, aged 55, will be summonsed to appear in court at a later date.
When officers entered the house they found over 3,500 pirate DVDs waiting to be sent out to her customers across the UK, with titles including current ‘Cars’, ‘Lady In The Water’ and ‘The Break Up’, at prices of up to £5 a disc. Equipment seized included 13 DVD burners in tower units, a thousand blank DVDs, two colour printers and a PC, as well as replacement DVD burners.
Raymond Leinster, FACT Director General, said “This is yet another example of what we call the ‘home entrepreneur’ pirate, making large criminal profits from the trade in counterfeit films through online sales. FACT has increased its online investigations resources and is now well placed to identify those individuals and organisations involved in this illegal activity and work closely with local councils and Police to bring them to justice. We welcome the involvement by Hackney Council which sends out a strong message to pirates operating in that borough.”
Cllr Alan Laing, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said:
“Hackney Council will continue to work hard to protect residents and businesses and make the borough safer. Counterfeiting of goods is often seen as a victimless crime, but the reality is far from this. Customers who buy counterfeits are often sold inferior quality goods without the opportunity of a refund – their consumer rights are denied. Counterfeiting also hits legitimate businesses hard and it floods the market with cheaper products making it hard for reputable businesses to compete. On a broader scale, film piracy is making vast profits for organised criminal networks in the UK and worldwide.”