Vic Police shut down film piracy lab

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Vic Police shut down film piracy lab

Lead came from member of the public via AFACT.

Victorian Police have shut down a "large-scale" illegal movie piracy lab, seizing computer equipment and over 6,000 illegal movie DVDs.

The raid on a residence in Moe in the rural east of the state uncovered 18 illegal DVD burners, five computers, and seven printers among the haul.

The pirated DVDs were allegedly being sold locally for $5 each. A 50-year-old male is assisting police with their inquiries.

According to the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) executive director Neil Gane, the case was initially referred to the federation by a member of the public.

"AFACT conducted the initial inquiry and referred the matter to Victoria Police who did their own inquiry," Gane said.

Due to the ongoing investigation, Gane was unable to confirm whether or not AFACT had used anti-piracy investigative techniques such as those used in the iiNet case to collect evidence.

Crackdown

In 2008, state and Federal police conducted 51 raids involving movie piracy and seized 544,697 pirated DVDs.

They also seized 488 burners capable of producing 12 million pirated DVDs a year with a potential street value of over $61 million.

Gane said AFACT had so far been involved in 56 raids with authorities this year.

He believed the higher number of raids was in part an indication that authorities were taking movie piracy and intellectual property theft "more seriously".

Penalties for copyright crimes are up to $60,500 and/or five years jail per offence.

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