The UK's anti-piracy groups are welcoming a judgment handed down at St Albans Crown Court that says a market can be held accountable for pirated materials sold by its traders.

The case was brought by Hertfordshire Trading Standards against Wendy Fair Markets Ltd and its directors Nicholas Hobday and Sally Ward who were found guilty on money laundering charges.

Film anti-piracy body FACT and UK music labels association BPI note that the case is significant because all previous commercial piracy cases were brought against pirate material sellers themselves rather than market owners.

The case alleged that the market and its owners benefited financially from the illegal sale of counterfeit DVDs, CDs, and computer software at Hemel Hempstead's Bovingdon Market.

Seven traders also face the possibility of custodial sentences; two of whom were found guilty of copyright offences this week. Five others pled guilty earlier in the year.

Wendy Fair Markets operates 17 other UK markets including Wembley Market, which FACT says is a music and film piracy hotspot.

Kieron Sharp, FACT director general, said: 'This is a great result for a joint agency initiative and shows that the market organisers were clearly allowing criminal activity to take place on a weekly basis at Bovingdon Market. Evidence gathered by FACT, BPI and Hertfordshire Trading Standards left the court in no doubt about the level of criminality occurring. I would like to thank Hertfordshire Council for their determination in pursuing this case.'