Internet café fined $82k, forfeits servers for copyright breaches

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Internet café fined $82k, forfeits servers for copyright breaches

A Sydney Internet café raided by Australian Federal Police late last year has pleaded guilty to 40 charges of copyright infringement, copping an $82,000 fine, court costs and forfeiting some 60 computer terminals and three servers.

The company, Interville Technology, which was based in Pitt Street in the CBD, plead guilty at Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday.

The internet café was operating 60 computer terminals and three servers which contained a total of 8 terabytes of infringing movie, TV and music titles.

It was raided followed a long-term investigation into the café’s operations by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI).

The two anti-piracy campaigners confirmed that the café was charging hourly fees for customers to view infringing movies and music and selling storage devices with capacities of up to 60GB which customers were using to copy infringing music, movies and TV shows.

“It is satisfying to see sentences handed down which properly reflect the damage operations like this do to rights owners and the 50,000 Australians working in the film and TV industries,” said Neil Gane, director of operations at AFACT.

“The sentences will send a clear message to all Internet café owners engaged in commercial scale copyright infringement – you will be caught and you risk severe penalties.”

MIPI’s general manager Sabiene Heindl also added: “For the first time, an Internet café has been targeted and justly reprimanded for its blatant facilitation of widespread copyright infringement for commercial gain.”

AFACT is continuing its fight by bringing landmark Federal Court proceedings against Perth-based ISP iiNet for allegedly allowing copyright infringement to occur on its network.

That case is due back before the Court in December.
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