Porn treasure trove unearthed: Aussie pirates pay $1.35 million

A raid on two adult stores uncovers porn piracy and has resulted in a payment of $1.35 million.

A concurrent raid on two adult stores in Sydney has lead to the discovery of a large scale adult movie piracy operation, and has resulted in a payment of $1.35 million in damages and costs.

Lawyers for the Adult Industry Copyright Organisation (AICO) executed dual Anton Pillar Orders on the 10 October against an adult store and warehouse in Sydney suspected of manufacturing and selling protected Adult DVD content.

These orders followed an extensive investigation by the AICO into the operations of an adult store located in 44 Park Street, Sydney and DVDirectshop Pty Ltd located in Botany, Sydney.

The successful raid uncovered a large scale piracy operation with evidence including 'masters' for 11,000 adult movie titles, a large scale VHS duplication facility, digital printing equipment. A DVD burning facility wasn't on the premises, but was obtained later.

"The sheer weight of unavoidable evidence was astounding," said David Newnham, general manager of Calvista Australia and Director of AICO. "Uncovered was a treasure trove of damning information..."

According to the AICO piracy is very high in many parts of Australia with the extent of piracy ranging to as high as 80 per cent, varying from shop to shop. Dunne said in the ACT, where the sale of X-rated films are regulated, generally piracy is minimal -- at about 1-5 per cent. In metropolitan capital cities particularly Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide the AICO in store visits show between 33 per cent piracy or as high as 80 per cent in some stores.

"The lead up investigations to the Anton Pillar Order was a matter of weeks and months," said Graeme Dunne, executive officer for AICO. "We had to act quickly after the search order was obtained." Dunne added that the respondents -- who are not new players in the adult DVD market -- were unaware of the investigations or our activities.

As part of the settlement, reached out of court, the respondents must show that they are running a legitimate business, and the piracy of member titles ceases forthwith. Dunne confirmed the respondents were only pirating Adult DVDs

"All adult industry retailers need to be cognisant of the consequences. Trading in infringing product results in direct action from AICO," said Dunne. "It's not unusual for AICO to have to instigate repeat proceedings. We do keep a watch on them."

The AICO has ongoing piracy litigation, with three other unresolved matters are currently before the courts.

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Amanda Conroy

PC World

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