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Trading Standards lands victory against Wirral pirates

Simon Quicke
Trading Standards has succeeded in curtailing the activities of two Wirral-based business that were selling PCs with unauthorised software pre-installed.

Wirral Trading Standards prosecuted Copyrite, owned by Anthony Boardman and Katech Ltd, whose directors were Kathleen Boardman and Lauren Blenner Hassett.

Boardman was given an eight week prison sentence, suspended for two year, and 150 hours community service with costs of £2,000 being awarded to Microsoft and £2,126 being given top the local authority. Kathleen Boardman and Blenner Hassett were each given a 150 hours community order.

Trading Standards started an investigation into Copyrite two years ago after a tip off. The businesses were selling PCs with Vista that used the same activation key.
John Malone, Wirral Council's Trading Standards manager said that it had a duty to protect intellectual property and it was, " working closely with Microsoft to develop good practice which other local authorities can follow".

A number of computers examined by Microsoft Forensics at Boardman's home were found to be littered with unlicensed copies of XP.

"We fully support the actions of Trading Standards in this case. It sends a very clear message that the consequences of software piracy can be severe and that serious offenders will be pursued all the way to the courts," said Julian Swan, Director, Compliance Marketing EMEA, BSA.
 
Michala Wardell, anti-piracy manager at Microsoft, said that the impact of piracy took revenue away from the local economy and hit other resellers providing legitimate products in the same local area. 

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