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Copyright attack: Sydney net cafe fined

The Sydney CBD internet cafe raided by the Australian Federal Police late last year has been fined $82,000 in the Downing Centre Local Court for copyright violations.

The Sydney CBD internet cafe raided by the Australian Federal Police late last year has been fined $82,000 in the Downing Centre Local Court for copyright violations.

AFP officers searching the premises in December
Credit: Marcus Browne ZDNet Australia

The owners of Interville Technology, based in World Square in Sydney's CBD, yesterday pleaded guilty to 40 charges of copyright infringement and were ordered by the magistrate to pay a fine of $82,000, court costs and forfeit the terminals and servers seized during the AFP raid in December last year. The fine has been paid to the Crown.

"It is satisfying to see sentences handed down," said Neil Gane, AFACT Director of Operations of the case.

The store was raided by at least 10 AFP agents last December.

The two copyright activist groups, which represent the interests of music and movie studios, had alleged that the cafe was charging hourly fees for customers to view copyrighted material which had not been paid for.

The store had been the target of investigations by Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) and the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) — the same group which had recently commenced legal actions against ISP iiNet.

AFACT has been ramping up its efforts to stamp out copyright breaches within Australia, including targeting mid-sized ISPs that do not send letters to customers that AFACT alleges have breached copyright.