Oz court halts sales of U.S. import DVDs

Ban gives 'legitimate retailers and cinemas a fair go'

SYDNEY–The U.S. majors have won their second victory in an Australian court in the battle to stop retailers selling or renting DVDs imported from the U.S.

The Federal Court has issued orders restraining Video 10,000 Pty and Donald and Eileen Orpin of Kilsyth, Victoria, from trading in DVDs of any films from Walt Disney, Columbia TriStrar, MGM, Warner Bros. and Fox, who were also awarded costs of $A30,000 ($19,500).

“There are other offending retailers that have been warned and further actions will take place to give legitimate retailers and cinemas a fair go,” said Australasian Film & Video Security Office director Stephen Howes.

The majors initiated the first civil action against a Melbourne vid store that was selling imported DVDs in June. The studios are worried about mounting losses because retailers buy DVDs from the U.S., bypassing Oz distribs and often releasing product before it is legally available Down Under.

In a separate matter, NSW police seized more than 2,000 imported DVDS from a retailer in Sydney on July 24.