Car boot inspired counterfeit racket

Counterfeiter Jason Hill sold cheap copies of hit films including Iron Man 2, starring Robert Downey Jnr.
Counterfeiter Jason Hill sold cheap copies of hit films including Iron Man 2, starring Robert Downey Jnr.

A HARD up family man’s trip to a car boot sale where he bought bargain priced cinema films gave him the idea of setting up an illegal counterfeiting racket.

Blackpool Magistrates heard how Jason Hill went into full scale production of films with household names like IronMan 2, The Social Network, Gladiator and Salt.

He also produced some pornographic films on disc.

Hill, 38, of Regent Road, Blackpool, sold the discs which broke trademark and copyright at the weekly carboot sale in Norbreck.

He also sold to callers at his home and then tried to expand his market by setting up an Internet Forum for his wares.

But Nicholas McNamara, prosecutor for Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council tradings standards department, said Hill’s activities were being watched.

And when confronted about a collection of hundreds of copied films and copying equipment set up in a rear room of his home he said he had bought them from a man he called “Dave”.

The prosecutor said Hill had in fact set up a professional-operation taking orders, having a stock list and sending out his business card to buyers.

Both local authorities investigated Hill and during the course of Blackpool Council inquiry a trading standards officer contacted Hill via the Internet.

The officer was invited to Hill’s home where he saw computer towers copying and ‘burning’ discs.

When he asked for one particular film Hill copied one for him there and then.

The cost of four counterfeit discs was £22 the court heard.

The loss to the film industry was around £8,000 it had been estimated.

Defence lawyer Trevor Colebourne told the court: “My client tells me he has made little or no money out of this escapade.”

“The prosecution case is that Hill was running some sort of factory and that it was a far more sinister operation than in fact it was.”

Hill, who admitted 24 trademark offences and had eight other taken into consideration was given a 12 week jail term suspended for a year.

He was ordered to pay Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council £150 costs each.

He was also placed on a four month curfew and all the bogus DVDs and CDs were confiscated by officers.