News item

Magherafelt trader given a suspended sentence for selling counterfeit CDs and DVDs

An online trader who was manufacturing and selling counterfeit CDs and DVDs was today given a four month suspended sentence (suspended for two years) at Magherafelt Magistrates court.

In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Mr. Terrance Simmons, who traded on eBay and via his own website “My Lady Gaga” pleaded guilty to a total of 8 charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998. Mr Simmons was also forfeited two computers and other equipment.

In May 2012, Trading Standards Officers, accompanied by recording industry specialists, visited Mr. Simmons’s home and found that he had turned his spare room in to a small business for the manufacture and sale of counterfeit Lady Gaga CDs and DVDs. The officers seized a quantity of pre-recorded and blank CDs and DVDs and their associated art work. Computers, CD/DVD rewriters and master copy CDs and DVDs were also seized. 

Mr. Simmons had been operating a website “My Lady Gaga” which he used to sell illegal copies of both trademarked and copyrighted works all over the world. He also used various identities on eBay to sell the fake goods.

Nicholas Lane of the Trading Standards Service said: “Counterfeit goods are a big business and a drain on the economy. This was a concerted effort to exploit fans of Lady Gaga throughout the world and to profit from her success. I hope the fines and the loss of equipment send out the message that trading in counterfeit goods is not without its consequences.”

Anyone who believes they have been sold counterfeit goods, or have information about anyone selling counterfeit goods should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or log onto the consumerline website http://www.consumerline.org or via the Northern Ireland Trading Standards Service Facebook page.

Notes to editors:

1. The Trade Marks Act 1994 creates offences for applying trade marks to goods without the permission of the trade mark holder and for supplying and offering to supply those goods.

2. The Copyright, designs and Patents Act 1998 creates the offences of manufacturing, offering to supply and for supplying copyrighted material without the express permission of the copyright holder.

3. For press enquiries please contact DETI Press Office on tel: 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

4. Industry representatives are BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7JA. 

5. For BPI press enquiries please contact Adam Liversage, BPI Director of Communications: adam@bpi.co.uk / 020 7803 1300 or Lynne McDowell, BPI Senior Communications Executive: lynne@bpi.co.uk / 020 7803 1300

DATE: 02 October 2013