A DAD who supplied pirated films, music, games and pornography to ‘customers’ through an illegal website has been jailed.
Simon Seaton was handed an eight month sentence over the illegal operation he ran from his home in Woodlesford, Leeds.
A court heard Seaton had up to 50 subscribers at any one time who paid a monthly fee to be supplied with material which he copied illegally.
Seaton, 26, ran his illegal website, called Area 52, for five years while also holding down a job as a warehouse worker.
Michael Walsh, prosecuting, said West Yorkshire Trading Standards Department were made aware of Seaton illegal activities after being contacted by the Performing Rights Society who had made ‘test purchases’ from his website.
Trading standards officers and police executed a search warrant at Seaton’s home, on Ashleigh Gardens, on November 27, 2012.
Computers, printers, copiers were seized along with almost 5,000 CDs, DVDs and media disks which contained copied material.
Mr Walsh said: “They were all found to have been made without the consent of the copyright owner.”
Officers also discovered a large number of film covers and text messages related to the illegal supply of films and music.
The court heard Seaton would also send out a weekly CD to his subscribers informing them of the material he was able to supply.
Seaton pleaded guilty to 27 copyright offences. He also asked the court to take 12 further similar offences to be taken into consideration.
Narinder Rathour, prosecuting, said he got the idea for his illegal business after seeing a similar website.
Mr Rathour said Seaton initially saw it as a way of making a bit of extra cash but his website got bigger and bigger.
The lawyer said Seaton had a wife and young child and was the main breadwinner in the family. He added that he had a large mortgage to pay.
Mr Rathour said Seaton had no previous convictions and urged judge guy Kearl, QC, to consider imposing a suspended prison sentence.
Jailing Seaton, judge Kearl said: “This was a properly run and properly organised dishonest business.
“You had up to 50 subscribers at any one time and you sent out a disk every week. You knew it was wrong but you stopped only when you were caught.”
Seaton now faces a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act, to be heard later his year.
A deprivation order was also made, allowing the seizure and destruction of the computer equipment which Seaton used to operate his illegal business.