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Music pirate up for sentence

22 August 2006

Music pirate up for sentence

A South Auckland man found guilty of illegally copying music comes up for sentence tomorrow (Wed. August 23, 2006) in the Manukau District Court.

Seti Tofaeono (also known as Vile Felafoai) was found guilty in July of copying music of various artists including The Five Stars, a Samoan music band, the rights to which were owned by Kiwi Pacific Records Ltd.

When Police raided the defendant’s Chapel Downs home last November they found the master bedroom contained computer equipment with CD burners, empty CD cases, printed material and more than 1,800 CDs in various stages of completion.

The owners of the rights to the content of the Five Stars’ CDs verified that none had been authorised for reproduction by the defendant. He had been selling the ‘burnt’ music CDs at the Otara and Avondale Markets in South Auckland.

Mr Mark McCall, director of anti-piracy at the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand Inc, estimates the defendant – who had a full time job – had been making $50,000 a year selling various CDs most of which contained in whole or in part, copyright infringing tracks.

Mr McCall will available for comment at the conclusion of the sentencing expected to be between 10am and 1pm tomorrow. Interested media can contact Mark on 021-772 156 to arrange an interview.

Illegal copying and distribution of music CDs together with other intellectual property is a significant problem in New Zealand estimated by RIANZ to cost the music industry $45 million a year and the government $5.5 million in lost GST.

RIANZ will be making comment tomorrow on the sentence imposed on the defendant.

ENDS


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