ARTICLES | May 2nd, 2008
Catptured 12,000 illegally disc copies and 150 chipping devices at a computer fair !?

A joint operation between West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service and West Yorkshire Police on Sunday 27 th April resulted in approximately 12,000 illegally copied discs and over 150 devices used for ‘chipping’ being seized. Chipping is the process that enables copied games to be played on consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and the Sony PlayStation 3. The operation, carried out at a Computer Fair held at Richard Dunn Sports Centre in Bradford, resulted in two individuals being arrested for selling copied computer software and copied computer games. Further seizures were also made of software and other chipping devices at a number of stalls at the fair.

Following the arrests officers from Trading Standards and the Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) carried out a house search in Leeds which uncovered approximately 5,000 counterfeit software, films and music discs.

Further investigations following this operation are being carried out by West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service and West Yorkshire Police.

WYTSS estimate the retail value of the items seized to be in excess of GBP 100,000. The equivalent value of original products is in excess of GBP 1 million.

Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA said: The raid at Dunn Sports Centre in Bradford highlights the ongoing commitment demonstrated by local Trading Standards authorities in stamping this kind of operation out. ELSPA would like to thank everyone involved for their work instigating this investigation and helping to protect local traders and the general community from the effects of pirated goods.

Graham Hebblethwaite, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, said: The illegal software trade is worth hundreds of millions of pounds in the domestic market alone. Trading Standards have had the power to enforce the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act since April 2007 and the Service is committed to enforcing this Act to eradicate the sale of counterfeit software, music and computer games in the county. The Service would like to send out a warning to individuals involved in software piracy that they will be dealt with severely. The maximum penalty for crimes under copyright and trademark legislation carries a sentence of ten years imprisonment.

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