A Sydney outdoor market trader caught selling 200 pirated CDs and DVDs has been fined A$22,000 ($16,940).

Simeona Nise Tuaopepe was convicted Tuesday (Feb. 13) of eleven criminal copyright offences in the New South Wales Local Court. His fine was the highest yet for a vendor of pirated music.

"Magistrates are appreciating (that their sentencing) has to act as a deterrent," Sabiene Heindl, Sydney based GM of the Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), told Billboard.biz.

The recording music industry has long accused magistrates of leniency with pirates and vendors. The law allows up to A$60,500 ($47,000) and/or five years jail for each copyright infringement. Yet fines are usually about A$2,000 ($1,540). Only one DVD pirate manufacturer has been jailed in Australia.

MIPI has increased its surveillance at "flea markets" this year. It launched a "Market Vendor's Guide to Selling Music" on its www.mipi.com.au Web site, which outlines the do's and don'ts of what can be sold, warns of legal repercussions, and provides a phone number that vendors can call to get further advice.

Market owners are also being encouraged to strip vendors who sell pirated product of their stall licences, Heindl says. Tuaopepe's stall licence was revoked.

Police are also issuing on-the-spot fines of A$1,230 ($950) to copyright infringers and seizing pirate material, thanks to amendments to the Copyright Act that came into force on Jan. 1, 2007. "The new laws allow the police to deal with people that are selling pirate music in an effective and timely manner," Heindl says.

Much of the trade in physical pirated CDs and DVDs has gone online. In January 2007, MIPI pulled down 1,500 auctions from online auction sites as eBay, according to Heindl.