Toronto copy store owner found guilty of illegal reprography sales

Entrance to T & T Copy Center near the University of Toronto downtown campus. (T&TCOPYCENTRE_E)

The owner of T & T Copy Center in Toronto has learned the seriousness of copyright infringement.

Due Tinh Nguyen pleaded guilty to contempt of court on Jan. 13, and was sentenced to six months in prison. He was found in possession of illegally reproduced university course packages in 2010, after a prior conviction in 2008, when he was ordered to pay $132,000.

Access Copyright, the plaintiff in this case, began an investigation in 2007 to try to curb illegal reproduction of these course packages.

Savitha Thampi, an associate legal counsel for Access Copyright said the federal agency had been investigating T & T Copy Center for several years. Nguyen had been found in possession of the packages for the first time in 2007.

“Access Copyright investigated Mr. Nguyen’s copy shop again in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and discovered that the copyright infringing activities had continued,” Thampi said.

Course packages are collections of academic writings for courses; students can then buy entire collections of articles in a single booklet rather than using the library or buying the original books or documents.

The University of Toronto pays Access Copyright a yearly lump sum for the legitimate reproduction of these documents and the right to sell them to students.

Access Copyright acts on behalf on publishers and writers ensuring they are fairly financially compensated for access to their material. They do not work with the university to conduct these investigations.

T & T Copy Center is located on Bloor Street, West of St. George station. Its close proximity to the school made it a popular destination for students to photocopy documents.

Access Copyright received a writ of delivery order to enter T & T and remove all material that was illegal.

The court said that Nguyen can take steps to suspend his sentence if he completes 400 hours of community service within the next 13 months.