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Community Safety

Pirated computer software lands retailer in court

A computer shop that sold laptops with pirated versions of expensive software to unsuspecting customers has been fined following a prosecution by Lambeth Council.

Trading Standards officers launched an investigation after discovering computers being offered for sale in the window of Rina Ventures in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton. The laptops were being advertised as having the latest versions of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, but at much lower cost than you would normally expect to pay.

Officers seized the computers and confirmed with Microsoft that the software was pirated. Mr Aderemi Allison, the owner, claimed that all the laptops were loaded with genuine software and gave council officers hand written invoices which purported to prove this. Eventually however Mr

Allison gave up this story and pleaded guilty to a number of charges of offering for sale computers with pirated software at Camberwell Magistrates’ Court on Friday 21 October 2011, under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

He was fined £1,500.00 (£100.00 per offence) and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15.00 and the council’s costs of £1,914.00, a total of £3,429.00. He was also ordered to forfeit the computers.

Councillor Rachel Heywood, Cabinet Member for Community Safety on Lambeth Council, said: “Buying goods at a much cheaper price may seem like a bargain at the time, but if they are counterfeit then there is absolutely no guarantee of quality.

“The simple rule is that if it seems too good a deal to be true, then it almost certainly is.

“We will continue our vigilance as the sale of counterfeit and fake goods of whatever nature undermines all those genuine businesses that are careful to sell genuine items, who create jobs and who pay their way in these difficult times.”

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