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Students charged over internet music copyright breach

Author: Michelle Pirovich
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
The first case of its kind took place today as three Australian students were charged with alleged Napster-style file-swapping over the internet.

The three males Tommy Le, aged 19, and 20-year-olds Charles Kok Hau Ng and Peter Trau today appeared in Downing Centre Local Court.

The three are charged with breaching copyright by making hundreds of digital music files available for downloading from the website known as `MP3 WMA Land'.

Australian Federal Police has alleged the operation of the site resulted in potential music industry losses in excess of $60 million, making the matter one of Australia's largest copyright infringement cases.

Files available on the site included several hundred commercially available albums and individual recordings, album covers and music videos belonging to Universal Music, Sony, Warner, BMG, EMI and Festival Mushroom Records.

Le, Ng and Trau were arrested last month following AFP raids on four houses in Sydney's west and south-west, under the Copyright Act 1968 a maximum penalty of five years jail and a $60,500 fine could be given out.

The matter was today adjourned to Downing Centre Local Court on July 8.