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Couple jailed for piracy in the UK

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 04 Aug 2005 20:26 User comments (12)

Couple jailed for piracy in the UK Last August, a married couple were arrested for music, film and game piracy in Operation Zouk, a nationwide scheme headed by the Department for Work and Pensions. Today, they were finally handed jail terms of between 6 months and 21 months at Liverpool Crown Court. They were convicted of copyright offences and benefit fraud. When their home in Formby was raided, 28,000 worth of pirated discs were discovered. During the entire operation nationwide, 57 arrests were made and 500,000 worth of counterfeit discs was seized.
"Not only are consumers short-changed when they buy poor quality fake goods but legitimate retailers also lose out on business," said Andrew Naisbitt, head of Trading Standards for Sefton Council. Andrew King was sentenced to 18 months but also faces an addition term for an earlier intellectual property theft conviction for which he received a conditional discharge. Angela King, his wife, received a six month sentence for her part in the operation.

The games industry trade body, Elspa, accuses the couple of selling pirated games, music and film discs while also claiming benefits. "These offenders were not only riding on the back of the creative industries but also lining their pockets with taxpayers' money," said Elspa's deputy director general Michael Rawlinson. The affect of the case has also led to the couple separating.

BBC News

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12 user comments

14.8.2005 21:03

"Not only are consumers short-changed when they buy poor quality fake goods but legitimate retailers also lose out on business"
likely story, they use this excuse everytime. truth is the retailer loses nothing.. not like the couple would of bought every piece of pirated material in their possession, besides who could afford it anyway? this is perhaps a neverending war and i'm glad to be out here fighting the milti billion dollar pigs!

24.8.2005 21:29

Sometimes when you play, you gotta pay. Seems the court system in the UK shows more good sense than their counterparts in the US. From the 2 piracy stories currently on AD, we see a man facing 17 years for filming a movie and putting it on warez sites in the US and a couple from the UK sentenced to less than 2 years for a major case of illegal trafficing in pirated discs. Soon in the US people may have to start bowing to movie stars and entertainment industry moguls. Should that be Movie with a capital M? ;)

34.8.2005 22:15

Was it really worth it in the long run for them. Ok, so they must of made some money but now they are ending up in prison. The fight against file sharers seems to be heading in the direction of the RIAA and the MPAA

44.8.2005 22:50

How did they get caught? That's what i want to know.

55.8.2005 0:48

How did they get caught? That's what i want to know.
Could of been for a number of reasons e.g. Their IP address was tracked down, they were caught selling the pirated material, or someone spotted them with luxury items when they're supposed to be on benefits.

65.8.2005 1:29

@Brobear Just think that is with the benefit fraud included into the sentances... So it would have been less : )

75.8.2005 10:30

Its not the filesharing issue with this case,its the fact that they were selling the items that nailed them. In the UK we have markets with all the shady stalls selling pirate cds,dvds,videos,games etc... openly,infact,very openly. Ive seen 1 market in glasgow(barrowlands/the barras)get raided a couple of times a day,the guys just move to another part a few minutes after the police leave. Its actually very rare for anyone to be convicted for just piracy!

85.8.2005 20:28

If they pirated copies were for their own private use who cares. If, as alleged, they were selling copies for a profit then tough luck to them. They deserve whatever punishment is given as they are the types who give legitimacy to the corporation's lawsuits.

96.8.2005 12:26

They got caught stealing somebody elses work, and profiting from it. They got what they deserved.

107.8.2005 23:55

I am a little less sympathetic towards people who profit from piracy than those who just share for free. All the same though, if they sell for a lower price than the movie industry, they at least have one thing right about them.

119.8.2005 21:43

They took a chance, rolled the dice and crapped out! Should've used loaded dice. We're not going away! Give us good quality and low prices and pirating slows to almost nill. Until that happens, consumers will try "almost" anything to save their hard earned money. Let's face it, most of us live in capitalist societies. How many hands are in your pocket when you reach for your hard earned money? If it's more than your own, then you too will find a way to buck the system to save money and get yet another hand out of your pocket!

1211.8.2005 11:48

@ jAmEsTn (first post) I completely agree with you. I hate hearing how file-sharers make retailers lose money. I would say about 95% of the stuff I dl, I would never drop a dime on. They use these 'projected losses' because they have nothing else. The only thing they can say to thwart filesharing is that it's immoral. But we all know how little that means these days

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