Different Tune

For the first time in Sri Lanka, two cases of mass scale copyright violations had the book thrown at them this week. For the first time in Sri Lanka, two cases of mass scale copyright violations had the book thrown at them this week. On Wednesday, the Fort magistrate hit two large pirate outlets with fines of Rs. 50,000 and a six month jail term, suspended for 10 years.

The outlets were caught selling copyrighted English and Hindi films and songs in CD, VCD and DVD formats.

The sentence, say lawyers, was mild, because the accused, in both cases, pleaded guilty and agreed to stay out of music and film piracy in future.

Although police raids on large pirate outlets do take place in Colombo, this is the first case of successful convictions.

Courts are expected to continue to come down hard on such cases in future as more law students, judges and law enforcement officers are educated about intellectual property rights (IPR).

The most recent cases were filed by the Maharaja organisation – a local group marketing music and films and producing local originals.

“In these cases we generally advis