Australian Students Nailed in World's First Net Piracy Criminal Charges
Three Australian students have acquired a distinction they'd rather not have. Tommy Lee, 21, Charles Cok-Hau Ng, 20, and Peter Tran, 20, all from Sydney, are the first people to face criminal charges for alleged internet music piracy.
A criminal action, rather than the usual civil action used in previous international music piracy cases, reflects "a toughening in attitudes to internet-related offences," Sue Lowe quotes industry lobby group truth adjuster Michael Speck as saying in a Sydney Morning Herald story.
The three were accused of running Napster-like MP3 WMA land that allowed, "millions of web users to swap pirated music, Record companies claim they have lost $60 million worth of sales because of the site," says Lowe.
Lee, Ng and Tran appeared at Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court under the Copyright Act and haven't yet entered pleas. The case was adjourned until July 8, and if they're found guilty, they could land in jail for five years, or face a $60,500 fine per infringement.
"We are targeting individuals who have been involved in a $60 million internet scam," The SMH has Speck saying. "Their occupation is immaterial."
He was referring to a question asking if the labels knew they risked, "alienating some of their best customers by pursuing students."
Nor is this the first time Aussie schools have come under attack from the Fulsome Five record labels.
Ten South Australian and New South Wales universities face claims for compensation and possible legal action for allowing students and staff to copy music. "There is a real culture of copyright infringement in Australian universities," Speck is quoted as saying. "The university's own fingerprints is [sic] on the activity."
And over here, four students have agreed to pay the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) molto bucks to settle their case.