An Australian court has fined a man $12,000 Australian ($10,950) for copyright infringements after traffic police spotted illegally copied CDs and DVDs in his car.

The Wagga Wagga Local Court, 450km south-west of Sydney, found Sasha Dimititijevic guilty on six counts of manufacturing pirate music with an intention to sell for profit and six counts of possession of pirate music.

New South Wales cops noticed "large volumes" of illegally burned discs when they stopped the Serbian-born man's car for speeding on the state's Hume Highway in January 2009.

Dimititijevic later admitted to police that he had sourced the music from his parents in Serbia and via illegal Internet downloading. He later pleaded with the court that the Serbian composers were not covered by Australian copyright laws fell, but his argument fell on deaf ears.

The Music Industry Piracy Investigations unit presented evidence which led to the decision of Wagga Wagga magistrate Geoff Hiatt.

"It does not matter if that music is created in Australia or Croatia, people need to understand that pirating music is illegal regardless of its origin," says Sabiene Heindl, GM of MIPI.

In Australia, criminal penalties for copyright infringement are up to $60,500 Australian ($55,200) and five years imprisonment per offence for individuals, and up to $302,500 Australian ($276,000) for corporations.

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