A 43-year-old man has been charged with DVD piracy following a police and industry investigator raid that unearthed a massive counterfeiting operation in a Coffs Harbour house in February.
Detective Stephen Vout, of Coffs Harbour Police, told CRN that 2000 music, movie, PlayStation and Xbox games disks and a selection of computer towers, monitors and DVD recording equipment were found in the rented premises on 7 February.
The Thompson Road setup could allegedly produce $750,000-worth of counterfeit goods a year. It was a commercial operation apparently in full swing at the time of the raid, he said.
“He was recording from a master copy to others, so there was a number of devices and DVD players so he could put on a disk and copy it five or six times,” Vout said.
While not a large operation compared with the massive piracy outfits unearthed in places like Thailand, it was a relatively big setup for Australia, he said.
DVD piracy in Australia was on the increase, Vout said.
The man was being charged with 11 offences under the Copyright Act, eight of the Trade Mark Act and one, in relation to goods in custody, under the Crimes Act. He would appear in Coffs Harbour Local Court on 16 May.
“We have a strong case,” Vout said. “With 2000 disks, each of those disks has a potential three or four offences per disk.”
With a music DVD, for example, copyright existed on the music and also on the film clip. Also, each had a trademark, making for several possible offences per disk then multiplied by the number of copies made.
“So 2000 disks can mean 6000 to 8000 offences. Rather than charge him with that, we just pick the top five music, movie, Xbox and PlayStation offences, which makes 20,” Vout said.