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Monday, October 21, 2002
House in Wigan raided for illegal CD copying business

A house in Wigan has been raided 15th October following allegations that an illegal CD copying business was being run from the premises. The raid was conducted by Wigan Trading Standard Officers and Greater Manchester police and follows weeks of surveillance activity by the MCPS Anti-Piracy Unit – the organisation that monitors the illegal use of the works of composers and songwriters.

A man will be questioned and will face possible charges under the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act (1988), the Trade Marks Act (1994) and the Trade Descriptions Act (1968) when a counterfeiting operation was discovered in his attic forming the repertoire of material available for copying.

The library contained approximately five thousand music discs, computer game CD's and films. More than ten thousand music albums were available via a mail order subscription service website. A computer system which was equipped with CD copying facilities was taken and will be forensically examined.

The MCPS Anti-Piracy Unit, working in conjunction with Wigan Trading Standards Officers, identified the alleged illegal operation after making a number of test purchases. Typically, operations of this kind email potential customers a master library of available CDs - with music, film, games and software titles on offer. Copying is completed according to orders received and the illegally copied discs are sent by post to the customer.

Nick Kounoupias of the MCPS Anti-Piracy Unit welcomed news of the latest raid:

"The explosion in technology has led more and more people into believing they can operate illegal businesses like this and not get caught. They use false mailing addresses and think they can hide on the internet. But we have developed new tracing techniques that are proving very successful and the sooner people realise they will get caught, the better it will be for all of us.

"We have investigations going on right now all over the country. Local police and Trading Standards departments are very keen to work with us to close counterfeit operations down. These operations steal from the people whose work they copy – the songwriters and composers we represent - and they threaten local jobs by undercutting local businesses."

The raid is the latest in an MCPS Anti-Piracy Unit crackdown on counterfeiters who use the internet to sell their illegal goods.

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