News item

No fairytale ending for fake Disney DVD seller

An online trader who was selling counterfeit Disney DVDs has been given a five month suspended sentence, suspended for two years, at Lisburn Magistrates' court. 

In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Mark Alan Wilson (40) of Hermitage, Culcavy, who traded on eBay, pleaded guilty to nine charges under Section 92 of Trade Marks Act 1994 and 10 charges under Section 107 of Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. Mr Wilson was also ordered to forfeit over 300 DVDs. 

Trading Standards Officers purchased a Walt Disney DVD from Mr Wilson via eBay and had it examined by a representative of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). It was found to be fake. 

In Feb 2013, Trading Standards Officers, accompanied by industry specialists from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), visited Mr Wilson’s home and seized over 300 DVDs all purporting to be Disney productions. 

It transpired that the DVDs were being imported by Mr Wilson from a supplier in China. In actions by the United Kingdom Border Force (UKBF) and Trading Standards Service, Mr Wilson lost in the region of 900 assorted DVDs. 

Information obtained from eBay, by Trading Standards Service, indicated that Mr Wilson had sold at least £7,000 worth of Disney DVDs on eBay in previous five months.

Nicholas Lane, Inspector for Trading Standards Service said: “The internet has opened many business opportunities and we welcome this, but it is the trader’s responsibility to keep within the law. Anyone who imports goods into the UK and offers them for sale must ensure they are genuine and comply with all statutory requirements.”

“The Trading Standards Service is uncovering sellers of counterfeit goods on auction sites and social media sites on a weekly basis and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any trader found to be selling fake goods. We would like to remind anyone involved in this type of activity that the courts can impose penalties of up to £5,000 or six months in prison per offence if trademarks or copyrights are infringed.”

Anyone who believes they have been sold 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 1988 creates offences for making, importing, offering for sale and the sale of items without the copyright holders permission or license.

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

DATE: 20 November 2013