Twice convicted pirate goes to jail

MUMBAI: At Parramatta Magistrates Court in New South Wales, a man previously convicted of counterfeit crimes in 2005, pleaded guilty to six Trademark offences and two Copyright offences and was sentenced to jail for six months.


Bilal Tahan, from Casula, was found guilty of selling and distributing pirated copies of DVDs, along with a range of counterfeit clothing and handbags, from his car in Paramatta. On 13 July 2006, following complaints received from the public, Parramatta Police searched Tehan’s vehicle and seized 222 pirated movie DVDs. The movie titles included Over The Hedge, The Lake House and The Da Vinci Code, films that were, at the time, showing in Australian cinemas.


“The law protects these types of commercial interests. There is a need to send a general message of deterrence to the community. I have no option but to impose a custodial sentence,” said Magistrate Fleming in passing sentence.


“This significant decision by the Paramatta Magistrates Court sends a clear signal to pirates in Australia that there is a heavy price to pay for this crime. We are pleased to know that the law is taking a tougher stance, especially repeat offenders who should know better. We will continue to support every effort by the Australian authorities to deter piracy at every level,” said Motion Picture Association senior vice president and regional director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis.


Maximum penalties for copyright infringement are up to $60,500 and five years imprisonment per offence.