The owner of a business from which police seized thousands of pirated DVDs was selling counterfeit movies so he could send money back to his impoverished family in Vietnam, a court has heard.
Phong Quoc Ly, 35, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching Commonwealth copyright laws after Australian Federal Police seized 61,000 counterfeit discs from his Springvale South business and two other addresses on November 7 last year, the County Court heard.
Prosecutor Fiona Thompson said discs found at the business, another shop in Noble Park and Ly's Clayton South home comprised hundreds of titles of Asian and English language films, along with music recordings and video games.
Ms Thompson said Ly sold the copies from his business, Quoc Phong DVD World, for between 70¢ and $5 apiece and had enough stock to sell discs for between three and seven years.
The court heard Ly told investigators he made between $2000 and $3000 a week and that a log book found in the Springvale South store had recorded takings of $432,000 across 2012 and 2013, though it could not be proven all the takings related to the sale of the discs.
Defence counsel John Dickinson, QC, said Ly, a father of two and stepfather to two other children, had come to Australia as a boy with his aunt and was devoted to working to assist his family in Vietnam.
He knew selling pirated discs was illegal, Mr Dickinson said, but considered it an "economic necessity".
Ms Thompson said Ly had a previous conviction for breaching copyright laws and that general deterrence was an important factor for judge Richard Maidment to consider when sentencing.
The discs, computer equipment and disc burners seized in the raids will all be destroyed, the court heard.
Judge Maidment extended Ly's bail until August 13, when he will be sentenced.