A DVD “pirate” has escaped jail – despite making thousands of film copies.
Raza Husnain, 28, was caught with almost 5,000 counterfeit DVDs at his Huddersfield home and has now been given a six-month suspended prison sentence.
Police discovered almost 2,500 copied discs during a search of Raza Husnain’s house in Percy Street, Fartown, back in March 2009.
And when another search was carried out at the property eight months later a similar amount of bootleg DVDs was discovered in his bedroom and the cellar.
Prosecutor Howard Shaw told a judge yesterday that during the initial search investigators also seized two DVD “burners” and other material for use in making homemade copies of DVDs.
Although the DVDs were obviously counterfeit it was estimated by the Federation Against Copyright Theft that the sale of each bootleg disc cost the entertainment industry £7.
“The total loss to the industry had the just shy of 5,000 all been sold is estimated to be in the region of £35,000”, said Mr Shaw.
He added that FACT also estimated that the commercial criminal gain for each sale was about £3 per disc.
Husnain yesterday pleaded guilty to four sample charges relating to the unauthorised use of trademarks belonging to Disney, MGM and Warner Brothers.
He also admitted a charge of possessing articles for making copies of trademarks relating to the two DVD burners, a quantity of ink cartridges, a printer and a number of blank sleeves.
Sentencing Husnain Judge John Potter stressed that it was not a victimless crime.
He said by copying items Husnain had been depriving those involved in the entertainment industry of funding for future work.
The judge said he took a serious view of the matters particularly bearing in mind the fact that Husnain committed further offences while on bail.
But he said Husnain’s guilty pleas, the lack of any similar offending on his record and his employment meant he could suspend the prison sentence for 18 months.
Husnain will have to do 150 hours unpaid work for the community as part of the order and the judge ordered him to pay the full costs of the prosecution by West Yorkshire Trading Standards amounting to £2,789.