The local arms of film and music studios have claimed a victory in their war against copyright offences, with a Sydney man convicted for selling pirated content last week.
Yong Hong Lin, the owner of an Eastwood, Sydney music and movie store was
found guilty of 15 copyright offences in Sydney's District Court on 21 May, the
Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and Music Industry Piracy
Investigations (MIPI) wrote in a statement distributed on Monday. Lin will be
sentenced on August 21.
However, Lin's jury acquitted him of 16 of the 31 offences he was initially
Police had raided Lin's facility on February 27, 2007, finding more than
16,000 pirated music and movie discs being offered for sale, alleged AFACT and
MIPI. Some of the discs were allegedly imported from China, and some burnt
AFACT and MIPI said the charges were the "first copyright matters to proceed
on indictment and be heard before a jury" in Australia. "Mr Lin has been judged
by 12 of his fellow Australians and they have found his conduct to be criminal;
now he must accept the consequences," said MIPI investigations manager Dean
AFACT director of operations Neil Gane said pirates should be in "no doubt"
that what he called their criminal actions would be thoroughly investigated,
shut down by police, and judged in court.
The copyright duo said criminal penalties for copyright infringement were up
to US$60,500 and five years imprisonment per offence for individuals, and up to
US$302,500 for corporations.