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eBay Films Pirate Jailed Fir Six Months


Film PiracyA security guard who used hundreds of false identities to sell pirate DVDs on an internet auction site has been jailed for six months.

An investigation by the Federation Against Copyright Theft and eBay revealed the distribution network involved the United States and Australia as well as the UK.


Peter Spencer carried on importing the fake films from Malaysia and selling them for £10 on eBay even after the auction site told him the scam was illegal.

Prosecutor Lynn Griffin told Bradford Crown Court that the 39-year-old father of two had already been importing and distributing pirate copies when he contacted eBay in October 2002 to ask if it was legal.

"He was told unequivocally if he carried on he was breaking the law,'' said Miss Griffin.

But for the next two years Spencer used false identities, including his wife's name, to sell the illegal fakes and, at one stage, had 260 bogus identities registered with eBay.

Spencer was paid using various methods and the court heard he netted about £40,000 through the Pay Pal system alone.