eBay & FACT to stamp out counterfiet DVDs

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eBay today released the following announcement, stepping up a gear in the fight against fake merchandise being sold on their site.

eBay.co.uk and The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), have today launched a campaign to educate consumers on how to buy and sell DVDs safely on eBay.

eBay and FACT want to remind eBay sellers that listing pirated DVDs is illegal and ensure that buyers know they are bidding on legitimate products from reputable sellers.

The campaign includes a buying and selling guide which is now available on eBay.co.uk. The guide is written by FACT, the audio-visual industry’s trade organisation dedicated to fighting piracy. The guide warns eBay users of the dangers of – and penalties for – selling pirated DVDs, which include up to ten years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine, and provides buyers with specific advice on how to avoid buying a pirated DVD.

FACT works closely with law enforcement agencies and eBay to combat the growth of piracy on the Internet. Working together, a joint FACT and eBay investigation ultimately led to the recent arrest of a seller from Bradford, who received a prison sentence and was hit with a £55,000 confiscation order. Cases such as this show how effective collaboration can be.

Garreth Griffith, Head of Trust and Safety at eBay.co.uk said: “Warning our customers of the dangers and penalties associated with the illegal trade of counterfeits, as well as educating them on how to stay safe, is vital to keeping eBay a secure place to trade.”

“We are sending the message that eBay is not the place to buy or sell fake or pirated DVDs and that; alongside industry and law enforcement partners we will take action against anyone who tries to do so. Enforcement is central to this strategy, but education forms an equally important part of the long-term solution. As well as warnings to buyers and sellers of counterfeits, we are providing information to better equip people to spot pirated DVDs.”

Kieron Sharp, Director General at FACT added: “The selling of pirated DVDs is a criminal offence and we are pleased that eBay.co.uk is working with us to help identify those who use the site to pursue criminal activities. FACT is very pleased to have the opportunity to bring visibility to the ‘FACT DVD Buying and Selling Guide’ now on eBay.co.uk, and hopes that the guide will help educate eBay members on what can be legally bought and sold on eBay and on the Internet in general.”

In addition to its law enforcement efforts, FACT is also an active participant in eBay’s Verified Rights Owner programme (“VeRO”), through which FACT identifies and reports pirated DVDs to eBay, and eBay promptly takes them down.

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