This advice is designed to provide basic guidance. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Please note that some of the advice we provide to businesses is chargeable.
- Do you copy videos?
- Do you download MP3s?
- Do you transfer DVD onto CDs?
- Do you burn software or games onto CDRs?
- Do you supply any of the above?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes you may be committing serious criminal offences.
The Trade Marks Act 1994 makes it illegal to make or deal in any unauthorised trade mark goods without the consent of the trade mark owner. If you do so you are liable to arrest and on conviction to a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.
There are also further criminal and civil sanctions imposed by the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 and the Video Recordings Act 1984. Further details of all these Acts are on the reverse of this notice.
Hampshire Trading Standards take a strong stance on these types of activities and regularly prosecute offenders.
Don't be one of them
If you are in any doubt as to whether you are acting within the law contact your local Trading Standards Office for assistance and advice.
- Trade Marks Act 1994
It is an offence under this Act if, without the consent of the trade mark owner, you apply to goods or their packaging a sign or mark (including some names) which is identical to, or likely to be mistaken for, a registered trade mark. It is also an offence if you sell or distribute in any way any such goods or have them in your possession with a view to selling or distributing them. If you are found guilty of any of these offences you may be liable to an unlimited fine, or 10 years imprisonment, or both.
You may also have all your infringing goods forfeited, together with any articles used to produce them, i.e. your computer, DVD or video equipment.
- Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988
This Act creates both criminal and civil offences regarding the copying of intellectual works including films, music and computer games. It is a criminal offence to copy for sale, import into the UK or possess in the course of a business an infringing work. It is also an offence to distribute infringing copies to an extent that would prejudicially affect the owner of the copyright, even if you are a private individual. You may also be sued in the civil courts by the copyright owner or their representative.
- Video Recordings Act 1984
This Act creates an offence of supplying a video title that has not been classified by the British Board of Film Classification, unless it is an exempt work. It also creates offences of supplying age restricted videos to underage children. Regulations made under the Act control the labelling required on all video works, including DVD’s, CD’s and their packaging. Failure to comply with these Regulations is also an offence.
Note: Trading Standards Officers have the power to enter your place of business or your home, sometimes by a court warrant, if they suspect offences are being committed. They have the power to seize any goods or equipment they believe infringe the legislation including computers, DVD and video equipment. You are liable to be arrested and may be prosecuted in either the Magistrates or Crown Court where if found guilty you may receive a heavy penalty.