Raid over pay-TV piracy
March 29, 2006
POLICE have seized computer equipment at the home of a NSW man they believe may have been involved in a pay television piracy scheme.
An Australian Federal Police (AFP) spokesman says officers raided the house in Argenton, west of Newcastle, yesterday morning, and seized computer equipment, including an external hardware drive. The officers were assisted by Foxtel fraud investigators and computer forensic experts from insolvency and reconstruction management group Ferrier Hodgson, the spokesman said.
He said no arrest had yet been made, but a man who lived at the house was suspected of being involved in distributing illegal online software designed to enable unauthorised access to pay TV broadcasters Foxtel and Austar.
Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) executive director Debra Richards said the subscription television industry was helping police fight all forms of piracy, including on-line distribution.
"Industry members are working cooperatively through ASTRA to address a problem that results in lost revenue and resources that would otherwise be used to grow the Australian television and production industries," she said.
"The real victims here are the consumers who are being hoodwinked into being involved in a criminal activity, often paying more than they would otherwise for a legitimate service." Ms Richards said the subscription industry had invested over $8 billion in people, infrastructure, technology and programming and ASTRA had also set up an anti-piracy hotline to deal with cheats.
"We're trying to warn consumers don't be part of it," Ms Richards said.
The Federal Government announced last May it would examine whether stricter laws were needed to deal with pay TV pirates, including stiffer criminal penalties.
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