An Australian man who imported and sold thousands of illegal CDs and DVDs has landed 15 convictions for copyright offenses.

Yong Hong Lin was found guilty in the Sydney District Court on May 21, following a three-week trial and more than 12 hours of jury deliberations.

The indictable charges brought by the Commonwealth director of public prosecutions are the first copyright matters to proceed on indictment and be heard before a jury.

Judge Knox commented, "These are offenses the Commonwealth of Australia takes very seriously."

The verdict follows a Feb. 27 raid by local police on Lin's music and movie store in Eastwood, north west Sydney. Investigators from the Music Industry Piracy Investigations and the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft participated in the bust, during which cops confiscated more than 16,000 pirate discs imported from illegal manufacturing plants in China and sourced locally.

Illegal copies of albums by Elvis Presley, the Bee Gees, Abba, Jamiroquai and Luciano Pavarotti were found among the seized consignment.

Lin was charged with 31 offenses relating to copyright theft. The jury convicted on 15 offenses and acquitted on the remainder. Lin will be sentenced on Aug. 21. He faces criminal penalties for copyright infringement of up to $60,500 Australian ($47,000) and five years imprisonment per offense.

Tagged