First Australian conviction for piracy

MUMBAI: At Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney, a man was sentenced to pay fines of $1,000 plus court costs for making an unauthorized recording of the film on his mobile phone at a cinema. Jose Duarte, from Prairiewood in NSW, was found guilty of making an illegal camcord copy of the theatrical release of The Simpson’s Movie on his mobile phone and uploading it to the internet.

Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), Executive Director, Adrianne Pecotic said, “This young man made a serious mistake when he thought he could get away with pirating someone else’s intellectual property. Ripping off a movie by recording it in a cinema and posting it on the internet is no joke. The consequences are most serious for Duarte, and we commend the Australian Federal Police for their swift action in this case.”

On 26 July an illegal copy of The Simpson’s Movie was the first to have been identified by the Twentieth Century Fox, the film’s distributor, on the internet anywhere in the world. Jose Duarte made an unauthorized recording of the film on his mobile phone at a cinema in the western suburbs of Sydney. Within hours of the film’s global release, but prior to its US release, the film was uploaded on to a US-based global streaming website.
Close international cooperation between the Australian Federal Police (AFP), AFACT and Twentieth Century Fox resulted in the speedy removal of the unauthorised recording of The Simpson’s Movie within two hours of it being uploaded.

“50,000 Australians are impacted by film copyright theft. Community cinemas and rental stores rely on sure sellers like The Simpson’s Movie to keep their doors open and provide a wide range of other films for their customers to enjoy,” said Pecotic.

“This is a very serious case of copyright infringement. It is single acts of theft like this one that destroy the ability of many movies to recoup the investment made in their production and directly impacts the many legitimate cinema, DVD and on-line businesses that rely on income from blockbusters to survive. We are disappointed in the sentence meted out by the Court. It has failed to recognize the adverse and widespread impact of the crime. Clearly, we need to do more to get this message across in Australia,” said Asia-Pacific for the Motion Picture Association, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Mike Ellis.

On 24 October the film and television industry launched a major national anti-piracy campaign aimed at helping Australian movie-lovers understand that piracy is not a victimless crime. The “What Are You Really Burning?” advertising campaign asks Australians to consider that piracy has proven consequences that damage the film industry, threatening Australian jobs, filmmakers, cinemas, DVD stores and investment in future films.