SELLING pirated music CDs on the internet has cost a Harrow man more than £62,000, on top of a suspended jail sentence.
Syed Ali had already been found guilty of six copyright offences when he appeared at Harrow Crown Court to face an assets confiscation application.
Ali, of Abercorn Crescent Road, did not know his disc copying enterprise and sales on eBay were illegal, the court was told.
He had been arrested following a series of test purchases by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Service, which each confirmed that the CDs he was selling were illegal, pirated copies.
Ali’s home was searched in October 2012, resulting in the seizure of 2,843 CDs and computer equipment that was being used for copying.
He admitted six offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 for copying and selling copyright-infringing music CDs.
In court, Ali’s counsel said he had started selling the pirated CDs on eBay and had no idea that it was illegal. He assumed that he could sell his pirated music as others were doing the same thing.
When he realised that what he was doing was illegal, it had become a routine and therefore difficult to stop.
At his later crown court appearance, trading standards officers won an order for Ali to pay Brent Council £60,000 within six months. He must also find prosecution costs of £2,600 within 28 days.
He will have to pay the order in full within the deadline, or face a 15-month prison sentence. The jail term will not cancel the debt, and any outstanding amount will increase through interest during his sentence.
Ali was previously sentenced to eight week’s jail, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Following the successful confiscation application, Bill Bilon, head of Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Services, commented: “I hope that this case sends out a clear message that trading in counterfeit goods and illicit pirate copies on eBay doesn’t pay.
“Those engaged in these kinds of activities will not just get a criminal record but they may also face being stripped of their assets. The Proceeds of Crime Act is a powerful piece of legislation and we will continue to use it to deprive those who choose to act in a criminal manner.”