Australian police bust music piracy ring

May 2008

Record labels

The Australian Federal Police have busted an international piracy ring that produced and sold pirated music in a clandestine manufacture and export operation from Sydney. In a two day operation that involved executing 11 search warrants across Sydney, the police raided private residences, an optical disc manufacturing plant and several retailers. The police seized thousands of pirated CDs and album covers and charged a 36-year-old man with copyright infringement. He was bailed and will appear before the Central Local Court on May 13. The retailers were selling pirate compilations made by “Fresh off the Boat Entertainment”, which included illegally reproduced songs by artists such as Justin Timberlake, UB40 and Gnarls Barkley. The anti-piracy arm of the Australian music industry, Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI ) helped the police with its investigation, said the pirate compilations uncovered in the Sydney raids had also been found in New Zealand and Pacific Island territories such as Fiji. MIPI and the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, have begun enforcement action against an importer and CD manufacturing plant that are allegedly stocking and distributing the pirate compilations Criminal penalties for copyright infringement in Australia are up to $60,500 and 5 years imprisonment per offence for individuals, and up to $302,500 for corporations

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