An Ayr man who had previous convictions for similar offences has been given a 125-hour Community Service Order after he was found with over 800 counterfeit Xbox and PlayStation games. He also had hundreds of copied films and TV programmes.
John Hamilton, 43 was rumbled when he tried selling copied games to an undercover investigator in an Internet forum. He didn't know that his 'buyer' was actually an investigator for the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA).
The ELSPA investigators informed South Ayrshire's Trading Standards Service who with Strathclyde Police then raided Hamilton's house and garden shed. They discovered counterfeit games and software, two PC containing disc-burning software, blank DVDs and boxes of padded envelopes.
Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA said. 'The simple fact about piracy is that it is illegal and punishable by fines, Community Service and jail sentences. No matter which way you look at counterfeiting it is nothing more than theft.'
'Consumers who buy counterfeit games have no recourse under law for faulty goods,' he added.
There have been people who think that copying software,games and music discs is and selling them on is an easy way to make extra cash. Indeed for a time there was a real cottage industry that grew up around these activities. It is clear however that a more active approach to preventing such counterfeiting is now being taken. Those who try to sell counterfeit discs and DVD's online are going to have to ask themselves if the person they are selling to might in fact be an undercover investigator.