Back in 2013, 1.2 million High Quality Counterfeit DVDs were seized from a home in Sydney’s Quaker’s Hill. Today one man was sentenced to four years and six months prison for possession and sale of the DVDs, which the court says had a potential value of $21 million.
The term handed down was accumulative – so with time already served, and a three year parole period, it means he could be out in April 2019.
For possession of infringing DVDS for sale he received two years and three months in prison, for the sale of offending DVDs on ebay he received two years and six months. There were also “passport related offences” (he attempted to gain a false passport) that added three years and six months to his sentence.
A cumulated sentence of up to two years and assessment for an Intensive Correction Order in the community was ordered for the accomplice in the case.
Both parties plead guilty to two counts contrary to 132AJ and 132AC of the Copyright Act 1968. Maximum penalties under the Commonwealth Copyright Act are five years imprisonment and a fine of $90,000.
The Australian Screen Association helped with the investigation, revealing over 65,000 DVDs totalling over $1.6 million in sales on eBay had been sold, with a factory unit in Kings Park used for assembling and packaging the DVDs.
“This was a massive commercial scale operation conducted by the accused without any regard to the many legitimate businesses in the area who do their best to provide a quality service, give people an opportunity to earn a living, pay their taxes and play by the rules,” said Assistant Managing Director of the ASA, Greg Fraser, “It also took advantage of the goodwill of eBay customers who rightly expect that the items they purchase are legitimate and of genuine quality.”
“There are no winners in operations such as these. Consumers are being ripped off by not receiving genuine products; small retailers suffer; and the copyright holders and thousands of people that have worked hard to make a film are seeing their proceeds go to criminals,” Fraser added.
The 1.2 million counterfeit DVDs will be destroyed by court order on a date to be advised at a secure facility in Sydney.