Fife artist Jack Vettriano has won a legal battle to clamp down on a forgery gang trying to cash in on his work.
The celebrated painter called in lawyers after a website was set up using his name to sell fake copies of his artwork.
The web address, www.jack-vettriano.co.uk, was registered as a domain name in 2014 by a person based in China.
The real address for the 67-year-old artist’s website, where he sells prints of his famous paintings including The Singing Butler, is www.jackvettriano.co.uk
The Far East-based counterfeit operation was promising unsuspecting customers prints of any Vettriano painting.
Now, the Nominet Dispute Resolution Service – which oversees.uk domains – has ruled that the bogus website should be handed over to Vettriano.
Fife-born Vettriano’s legal team argued people were likely to believe the website was connected with him and that it could create the impression it was authorised by him.
A spokesperson for the artist’s company Jack Vettriano Publishing said: “We take any infringement of our copyright very seriously and are delighted to have closed this counterfeiting operation.
“It is extremely important to us that fans of Jack Vettriano’s work are not tricked into purchasing sub-standard copies which are being passed off as official merchandise.”
In a written decision, Nominet’s independent expert, who ruled on the case, said: “The complainant has, to my reasonable satisfaction, shown rights in respect of a name or mark which is identical or similar to the domain name.
“The complainant has shown that the domain name jack-vettriano.co.uk is an abusive registration.”
Trading standards officers say consumers are being tricked into buying fake goods on the internet by companies pretending to be based in the UK.