News item

Leeds man jailed for music piracy

Simon Seaton of Ashleigh Gardens, Leeds was sentenced to 8 months in prison on Wednesday 26 March 2014 at Leeds Crown Court for copyright and fraud offences after an investigation concluded by West Yorkshire Trading Standards.

The investigation commenced by Trading Standards after receipt of a complaint from PRS for Music who act to license and secure the rights of composers, authors and publishers of music. Seaton was involved in administering a subring on a secure website which routinely supplied pirate copy material including music and films. 
  
Various test purchases were made from Seaton which resulted in a Woodlesford address being raided by West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, Police and PRS for Music. On the 27th of November 2012 a seizure of almost 5000 copied discs and copying paraphernalia was obtained. 
  
Seaton admitted acting dishonestly and running a fraudulent business that adversely impacted upon both copyright holders and legitimate music retailers, online and on the high street. 
  
Seaton pleaded guilty to 27 copyright offences. He also asked the court to take 12 further similar offences into consideration.   Seaton admitted copying MP3 discs on a daily basis, for supply nationwide. 
  
David Lodge, Head of Trading Standards said “This was a long and protracted investigation against a sophisticated counterfeiting operation. Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime and we are pleased that the courts have recognised the serious nature of this offence by imposing a custodial sentence for this type of offending.” 
  
Chris Stabeler of PRS for Music  said “We actively monitor the online availability of both physical and digital copies of music, and pursue those who seek to gain from the illegal use of our members music.  This activity deprives songwriters and other creators of music from their just reward, and the sentence reinforces how seriously the Courts view this type of crime.” 
  
Councillor Bill Urry of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee said “the supply of counterfeit goods is a serious matter & traders should be on guard that such activity will be investigated & legal action taken where necessary.” 
  
Anyone wishing to report the sale of counterfeit or illegal goods should call the Citizens Advice helpline on 08454 040506. 
  
Notes to Editor 
For further information please contact: 
David Lodge, dlodge@wyjs.org.uk, 0113 393 9704 

DATE: 28 March 2014