MP Launches Bill to Crack Down on Counterfeiters
Andrew Miller, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, today launched a Bill to create penalties of up to ten years imprisonment for the manufacture and sale of counterfeit goods.
Producing evidence that fake and counterfeits were not only dangerous but also directly linked to drugs and child pornography, Mr Miller said:
"In the interest of the public it is time we started taking counterfeiting seriously. Consumers are being ripped off and their lives put at risk.
"There have been cases of fake Pokemon watches being sold containing small parts that children could easily pull off and swallow; pirated children's videos that were copied over porn videos; fake perfume that contained urine as a stabiliser; 'Tellytubby' clothing, supposedly flameproof, which in tests was engulfed in flames within seconds."
Recent research by ELSPA (the European Leisure and Software Publishers Association) found that in 80% of raids on counterfeiting operations they carried out last year, evidence was found of additional crimes ranging from fraud and drug running to prostitution and child pornography.
Supporting the Bill, Lavinia Carey, Chair of the Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy, said:
"We are very pleased and grateful that Andrew Miller recognises the importance of this issue and, when successful in the Private Members' ballot, chose to introduce The Copyright, Etc. and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Bill, which has Government backing and cross-party support
Andrew Miller MP said:
"Counterfeiting and piracy is a serious issue. It costs British industry over £8 billion each year with a subsequent loss to the Treasury of over £1 billion. These people wait for others to invest time and money in a product and then steal the idea or make illegal copies, just as if they were stealing the product itself."
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