Australian DJs Guilty of Copyright Infringement

September 2004

Record Labels, Music Publishers

Five Australian DJs who used CD burning equipment to create CDs for their own use in clubs but also sold or gave copies of the CDs to the public have been found guilty of copyright infringement and ordered to pay damages of AU$18,000 to Universal Music and other applicants. A sixth respondent was joined in the case for selling the CDs online. The respondents were also ordered to pay additional damages pursuant to section 115 of the Australian Copyright Act when Justice Wilcox found that the respondents had knowledge that their act constituted an infringement and that they benefited from it: additional damages totalled AU$30,500. Justice Wilcox applied an approximate cost of AU$8.50 per CD in determining the loss of income for the copyright holders and the sum of damages to be paid by the respondents. Despite argument from the respondents’ lawyer that many of the CDs were given away, forgoing any financial benefit for the DJs in question, Justice Wilcox found that the infringements were “deliberately made for their ultimate financial gain” and that the respondents were aware that their act constituted an infringement of copyright. Justice Wilcox refused to offer any leniency to some of the respondents pointing out that one of them had given an interview months after the delivery of Justice Lindgren’s initial judgement on liability in this case “in which he used crudely offensive language to express his opinion about disc jockeys who strive to get a legit CD deal”. The respondents were also ordered to pay costs of $AU 90,000.

See :,2000061744,39155178,00.htm

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