Police target Gumtree Internet pirate


news Officers from Green Valley Local Area Command and investigators from Australian Screen Association have executed a search warrant on a residential address in Busby, NSW during which they discovered a large number of allegedly illegally stored film and television titles.

The Australian Screen Association (ASA) aims to promote and protect the screen community in Australia. The ASA works to protect the creative works of its members and advocates for the enjoyment of film and television content through legal channels across multiple platforms. The organisation normally targets alleged distributors of pirated material with enforcement action rather than individual consumers.

On Thursday, 29th October, the group succeeded in locating a laptop along with a number of USB disks and hard drives used to store allegedly infringing copies of back catalogue and newly released films and television series. Currently, a 19 year old woman is also helping the police with their investigations in relation to the alleged illegal sale and distribution of film and TV titles online.

Along with 2,000 alleged copies of allegedly infringing back catalogue, a number of new film and television shows such as 50 shades of Grey and Ted 2 were allegedly being stored. These films and shows have been allegedly sold on Gumtree, a local classified ads and community site, for as little as 50 cents each and for $10 for entire seasons.

The successful warrant managed to seize a number of titles such as Cinderella, Fast and Furious 7, Mad Max Fury Road, 50 Shades of Grey, Spy, Ted 2, Jurassic World and Fantastic 4 (2015), among many other movies and shows.

Penalties for copyright crimes are severe. Under the Commonwealth Copyright Act, the penalties for these crimes are a maximum of $99,000 and/or 5 years jail for each offence committed.

Greg Fraser, Assistant Managing Director of Operations at the ASA said: “Today’s operation by NSW Police is an important step in shutting own illegal operations which take advantage of the hard work of the local creative community.”

Fraser added: “We hope that the seizure and subsequent court action acts as a strong deterrent to those individuals attempting to get involved in commercial scale infringement and sale of illegal content.”


  1. Wait a minute. This person actually ADVERTISED copyright infringing works for sale on a PUBLIC internet page and being arrested for it is “news”?

    • Yeah, and they were selling them for 50c each. I’d be surprised if total infringements totalled more than a few grand. Oooh, the Australian creative industry has been saved!! Woot!!

      • 2 point on this:
        1. It’s worth noting that only one of the listed titles (Mad Max – Fury Road) had even a tenuous connection with the Australian film industry – that this misnamed US corporate backed organisation pretends to defend. The connection with Australian job protection can’t seriously be made unless you use their fantasy based maths.
        2. This is however copyright working as it’s meant to in Australia, protecting the owners from illegal, commercial (even if on a small scale) distribution by those without the right to do so. I have no problem with this person having their day in court for what is in my opinion a greedy and stupid act.

        Australian copyright is not like the US version, it’s in place to protect proprietors, not to encourage art and creativity – it has always been for this purpose as it’s based on English law.

      • Total infringements would be calculated by lost retail revenue with the items being sold at 10% of retail the compensation judgement against them may be 10x what they sold them for.

  2. This is good that the copyright laws wee have had for at least 40 years are being used properly.
    The law made it an offence to copy material for commercial gain which was enough to penalise those who wish to profit from other peoples work but that has or is now in the process of changing to a system where any copying is illegal and we break the law if we take a CD and rip it to our computer for personal use or heaven forbid we use a cloud service to transfer media to our phone.
    The old laws would still see these people fined or gaoled but this arrest will be talked about as a reason why we need harsher laws.

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