Italy's Guardia di Finanza (Fiscal Police) handed out a massive fine ­estimated at 363,000 euros ($477,927 US) to an alleged pirate.

On February 21, officers in Desenzano del Garda, near Brescia in northern Italy, raided the home of a 40-year-old male, who was found with three hard disks containing some 120 gigabytes of illegally downloaded material, as well as 427 CDs and DVDs that were ready for sale.

The raid was conducted in collaboration with FPM, Italy's anti-musical piracy organisation, FAPAV, the
anti-video piracy group, and the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

The fine was handed out in accordance with Italy's copyright law. The man in question also faces a criminal trial and a possible jail sentence of up to four years.

Enzo Mazza, president of both FPM and FIMI, the representative body of Italy's major labels, told "The impact of monetary fines is very effective and I'm sure this will act as a strong deterrent."