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SINGLE RAID NETS NINE PROSECUTED PIRATES

Prosecution results now in from Birmingham 2003 piracy storm

Monday 29 November 2004/... ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) today announced the prosecution results for nine counterfeiters from a major Birmingham raid in 2003, with penalties totalling over £23,000 and over 420 hours worth of Community Punishment Orders for offences under the Trade Marks Act and Video Recordings Act.

The prosecutions, which occurred over a period of nine months, included one offender receiving fines of £10,690, 200 hours of Community Service and a 3-month weekend curfew order. The counterfeiters prosecuted were nine out of twelve individuals arrested back in March 2003, when ELSPA and Birmingham City Trading Standards, assisted by Milton Keynes Trading Standards and West Midlands Police, raided a Computer Fair at Cock's Moors Woods Leisure Centre in King's Heath, Birmingham seizing a stash in excess of 15,000 copied games, music and films.

Roger Bennett, director general of ELSPA commented: "It is rewarding to see the culmination of all the hard work from those involved in this operation. ELSPA would like to thank the sterling efforts of Birmingham City Trading Standards for seeing this through to such a successful close."

ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) represents the interests of the UK games publishers. It has a dedicated anti piracy unit with investigators based across the UK and often works closely with the Police and Trading Standards to combat computer games piracy.

Anyone with any information on computer games piracy should contact the police, their local Trading Standards Office or call the ELSPA anti piracy unit hotline on 08705 133405.

EDITORS NOTES

About Software Piracy and its negative impact on both consumers and industry

It is estimated that over £2 billion is lost every year by UK industry to games software counterfeiters.

Local and national jobs are lost as result of pirate operations.

Piracy/counterfeiting is illegal and punishable by fines and jail sentences.

Counterfeited/pirated games are often mixed with obscene or pornographic material.

Consumers have no recourse under law for faulty pirated games, which can damage hardware.

Proven links exist between many organised counterfeiting organisations and dealers in drugs, pornography and terrorism.

About ELSPA - http://www.elspa.com

ELSPA (The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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