Counterfeits cost industry $75 mil annually

SYDNEY — A Melbourne court this week sentenced a woman to 32 months in jail, suspended for a year, for selling counterfeit DVDs, including the banned pic “Ken Park.” It is believed to be only the second time a court has handed out a prison term for video piracy.

Two men received fines for copyright offenses.

The cases followed police raids in September when more than 10,000 DVDs and equipment were seized.

Police said more than 60% of Oz video piracy occurs in and around Melbourne, chiefly at suburban markets. Police prosecuted 83 cases of DVD piracy in Victoria last year.

The Motion Picture Assn.’s Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft estimates video piracy jumped from 4% of the legit market in 2000 to around 8% last year, costing the industry A$100 million ($75 million) in lost revenues annually.

“The magistrates court decision confirms that imprisonment of repeat offenders and serious copyright thieves is the only way to put a stop to the growing movie piracy industry,” AFACT exec director Adrianne Pecotic said.

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