The Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) applauds the sentence imposed this week on a Canadian game pirate in the Ontario Court of Justice. Ka Man Chan of Markham, Ontario, received a conditional sentence of two years less a day under house arrest and 200 hours of community service for his involvement in game piracy activities.
“We are pleased with this sentence and applaud the Ontario courts for imposing the maximum sentence under the law,” said Danielle LaBossiere Parr, executive director of ESAC. “We also thank the Crown and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for their vigilance in bringing Mr. Chan to justice. Video game piracy is a serious crime in North America. Imposing the maximum sentence on Mr. Chan sends a strong message regarding the protection of intellectual property rights in Canada, and deters others from committing similar crimes.”
On April 3, 2007, Mr. Chan pled guilty to one count of copyright infringement, one count of possession of a device to obtain computer service, and one count of passing off, in violation of the Copyright Act and Criminal Code. The conviction arose after the Entertainment Software Association conducted investigations of Mr. Chan, who operated retail stores in Pacific Mall in Markham, Ontario. In 2005, Mr. Chan's retail operation, Fun Desk Video Games, had been the subject of an ESA investigation and RCMP enforcement action, resulting in a guilty plea and assessment of a $67,000 fine. ESA's 2006 investigation of Mr. Chan's retail operations ultimately led to the RCMP's July 2006 seizure of pirated PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo DS, Game Boy and PSP games, as well as modified game consoles, from Chan’s retail stores and residence.
In addition to the sentence of two years less a day, the maximum sentence under the law, the justice imposed several other conditions on Mr. Chan, including a fine of $40,000; 200 hours of community service; and, forfeiture of $37,000 and all computer equipment seized upon execution of the search warrants, with directions that $9,700 of the forfeited $37,000 be turned over to ESAC as restitution.