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Men jailed for ‘fake’ vinyl records scam

Men jailed for ‘fake’ vinyl records scam cover

local news carrying this story

 

Men jailed for ‘fake’ vinyl records scam

Two men have been jailed and two others given suspended sentences for making and selling tens of thousands of niche counterfeit vinyl records.

Christopher Price, 68, Stephen Russell, 65, Robert Pye, 63, and Alan Godfrey, 61, were part of a group which distributed unlicensed recordings of 1960s Northern Soul artists.

On Friday a court heard about 55,000 unlicensed records were seized by police following an investigation by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represents record companies in the UK including Warner Music, Sony Music Entertainment, and Universal Music Group.

full story via

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/national/17268780.men-jailed-for-fake-vinyl-records-scam/

 

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String ‘em up I say. Flogging’s too good for them. Bring back the stocks. If you can’t do the time then don’t do the crime. This kind of activity gets Northern Soul a bad name so add another three months in solitary confinement.

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23 minutes ago, ric-tic said:

But what about the pensioners the other side of the water, I would bet more than half of those singers and writers struggle to buy food...

There's a pertinent little Pearl in that video, at 1:09 very applicable to the OVO Soul scene...

As I've said many times here, illegal bootlegs are simple theft, I'll never understand why they are grouped collectively alongside legitimate reissues.

Bootlegs should be banned from events, legitimate reissues should be encouraged.

 

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who represents the artists that get ripped off by the record companies 

 

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1 hour ago, BabyBoyAndMyLass said:

There's a pertinent little Pearl in that video, at 1:09 very applicable to the OVO Soul scene...

As I've said many times here, illegal bootlegs are simple theft, I'll never understand why they are grouped collectively alongside legitimate reissues.

Bootlegs should be banned from events, legitimate reissues should be encouraged.

 

If counterfeiting was simple theft, these individuals would have been charged with offences under the Theft Act. They pleaded guilty to copyright and trademarks offences. Not really theft at all. The owners still have their works to sell. The buyers were happy with their purchases apparently. Two blokes inside costing us money. There was a civil law remedy available, but the BPI seem able to persuade some tame CID to march around in his size 13’s and rummage about some geezers lock up. 

 

 

 

 

 

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A man of integrity is needed here to sort out this situation , someone beyond reproach , respected by all . Didnt  Simon Soussan resurface recently ?

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1 minute ago, autumnstoned said:

If counterfeiting was simple theft, these individuals would have been charged with offences under the Theft Act. They pleaded guilty to copyright and trademarks offences. Not really theft at all. The owners still have their works to sell. The buyers were happy with their purchases apparently. Two blokes inside costing us money. There was a civil law remedy available, but the BPI seem able to persuade some tame CID to march around in his size 13’s and rummage about some geezers lock up. 

Taking someone's copyrighted material, selling it and not giving them their due share of the money is simply stealing money directly from them. 'Copyright and Trademark offenses' laws are simply another way of categorising this specific form of theft in the same way as Burglary and Fraud laws.

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Just now, carty said:

A man of integrity is needed here to sort out this situation , someone beyond reproach , respected by all . Didnt  Simon Soussan resurface recently ?

Michel Soussan did a lot of deals that were directly beneficial to artists and publishers, way more so than the whole OVO thing. A very misunderstood character.

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2 hours ago, LEN said:

Presume the two that got suspended sentences was because of being first offences.

I got asked by one of them to borrow my 'The Parisians - Twinkle Little Star' because he wanted a decent scan of the label. I wasn't aware of why, but something didn't feel right, so I didn't oblige (Not sure if this record got counter-fitted)

What records do we know have been counter-fitted by them? Be good to have them listed for people to be aware.

So, have people been buying them for £6.00 from these guys, then selling them as originals for said value? 

Len :thumbsup:

 

I've definitely seen a boot of it Len but wouldn't know if it's this lot that did it.....kind regards....Rob

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1 hour ago, LEN said:

Hip replacements I'd hazard a guess.

Len :thumbsup:

Scandal of fake hip replacement joints on the market, cost the NHS millions in replacement operations. Buying on the cheap.  

Steve 

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29 minutes ago, BabyBoyAndMyLass said:

Taking someone's copyrighted material, selling it and not giving them their due share of the money is simply stealing money directly from them. 'Copyright and Trademark offenses' laws are simply another way of categorising this specific form of theft in the same way as Burglary and Fraud laws.

Employing someone to perform a service and not paying them for it is stealing money directly from them but actually is a breach of contract something which you are expected to resolve through the civil courts. Same difference. I don’t condone bootlegging but I don’t see why corporations like Sony, Universal et al should be able to use the criminal law to protect their interests when others who lose out financially don’t have the same rights. Shall we leave it at that?

 

 

 

Edited by autumnstoned

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2 minutes ago, autumnstoned said:

Employing someone to perform a service and not paying them for it is stealing money directly from them but actually is a breach of contract something which you are expected to resolve through the civil courts. 

But wouldn't you need a contract  to begin with?

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50 minutes ago, autumnstoned said:

Employing someone to perform a service and not paying them for it is stealing money directly from them but actually is a breach of contract something which you are expected to resolve through the civil courts. Same difference. I don’t condone bootlegging but I don’t see why corporations like Sony, Universal et al should be able to use the criminal law to protect their interests when others who lose out financially don’t have the same rights. Shall we leave it at that?

Just noticed your subsequent edit. I agree in principle with your addition to your post, it is largely up to the Artist at the contracting stage to ensure their own lawyer is representing their interest fully. Sadly in the buzz and excitement of it all they usually so overwhelmed that these aspects of the deal can get overlooked. The same law that protects the label is also available to the Artists and Writers, just often they are not astute enough at the time and sign in haste.

Don't ask how I know!

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I have quite a few boots in boxes that not played for years, I purchased in ignorance believing them to be okay, a few collectors helped with my education on OVO and reissues etc. The Manship guide to Bootlegs, counterfeits, reissues of Northern Soul 45's helped open my eyes to the number of fakes out there and aided me with identifying the counterfeit vinyl (so thank you JM).  The pressings are in boxes under the roof, I have given a few away as gifts but the recipient is informed that are fakes and the fidelity is sub standard from an original. Selling them would feel wrong. Wondering what have other people done with pressings 

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15 minutes ago, Mark S said:

Nowadays you can get legit copies of most sounds on cds etc so for playing at home car etc sorted . Boots are just wrong and should carry no value at all .

As for the sentencing its theft and deception do the crime do the time  .

Isn't there a minimum amount of money obtained by fraud or theft that draws the line between committing a misdemeanor and a felony under UK law?  That's the way it works in Canada and USA.  I don't know the current amounts in Canada and USA, as it rises over time due to inflation.  But, misdemeanor levels usually include a punishing fine, probation, and possibly public social penance work, - but no jail time.  Felonious monetary levels of theft or fraud usually DO result in a prison sentence.  So, I would expect a similar situation in The UK. 

If someone were to make up a fake high-value NS record facsimile, and fool some well-known authority/expert into declaring that it is a genuine original, and then, sell it for more £500, he SHOULD go to prison.  That is stealing an honest hard-working average person's sustenance.  Even though that person has made the choice to use that money for a seemingly non-essential purpose, he has already sacrificed something that an average person would think is "essential", to gather together this "mad money".  There SHOULD be a substantial deterrent to keep people from hurting innocent people in this manner.  The fairly small risk of being caught by the police and being fined is not enough to stop most crooks. 

A potential prison sentence for trying to defraud someone of £500 probably IS enough to make a reasonable proportion of the still rational selfish would-be defrauders decide not to commit that crime, or, at least to think twice about it.  I think we need that deterrent.  Stealing a loaf of bread to feed one's children SHOULDN'T send some one to prison (or the galleys :lol:).

I've never earned much money.  So, I resent selfish, mean, nasty, crooked, sick people trying to fleece me of what little I have.  There SHOULD be punishment to deter the amoral, anti-social, sick-os from taking upstanding citizens' hard-earned boodles.   I'll get off my soapbox now((former Hyde Park dissident that I am), and bleeding heart liberal ), and let the fascists take over (and propose the pillory, the stocks, hanging the offenders on meathooks or danging hung by piano wire, and marked forever with the mark "RT" (Record Thief) burned into their skin with a branding iron, or being fed to the lions in the closest zoo).  😎

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4 hours ago, LEN said:

So, have people been buying them for £6.00 from these guys, then selling them as originals for said value? 

Len :thumbsup:

 

I doubt it Len, a blind man on a flying horse could see that they’re all brand spanking new. 

For the sellers, I think it’s just a case of cashing in on a big market while you can and spending the ill-gotten gains on stuff that they need but can’t afford on a standard pension...

When it comes to the buyers of said items, I imagine that they’re purchased for some kind of misguided ‘look at my Norvern vinyl collection’ willy waving thing. Legalities aside, the only reasonable reason I can think of is that if you owned a 45 rpm jukebox and you wanted to load it with Northern Soul, that would be the way to go. 

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So my question is who is pressing these boots up for these guy's ?? Who ever it is should be tarred with the same brush:-):-)

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3 hours ago, BabyBoyAndMyLass said:

Taking someone's copyrighted material, selling it and not giving them their due share of the money is simply stealing money directly from them. 'Copyright and Trademark offenses' laws are simply another way of categorising this specific form of theft in the same way as Burglary and Fraud laws.

Talking criminals, I wonder how many of the artists didn't get their money off the record companies, bet none of the directors of the record companies got sent to prison. 

 

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When these pressings started appearing on eBay, years back now, a few members  Soulsource tried to bring that corporations attention

to these booters, but gave up after getting zero reaction from the company, despite the fact that at the time  it was against eBay policy

(it still probably is) to sell bootlegs on their site. 

I wonder whether anyone's pursuing either eBay or Amazon for their share of the profits  and or their failure to adequately police

the products that are selling. As the BBC's watchdog program so often uncovers, these sites are rife with counterfeit products ,

often proving to be falsely CE marked and dangerous to the public. 

In the course of the trial of these guys  it has apparently been stated by the authorities that there has been "no complaint from

members of the public".  Given that some of the DJ personalities involved in the music industry have on occasion expressed their

concerns about  the counterfeiting business, I  find this difficult to believe.

I guess that it is beyond the governance of any authority to bring the web sites themselves to book.

 

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4 hours ago, Lionelonthevinyl said:

I've definitely seen a boot of it Len but wouldn't know if it's this lot that did it.....kind regards....Rob

Oh ok - Glad it wasn't anything to do with me, even if unbeknownst. 

The way it was asked got me suspicious for some reason, I suppose I thought it may have been for a single carver - I've only ever let people scan records for good reason (Article, Flyer, CD or what have you)

Len :thumbsup:

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1 hour ago, Soul16 said:

I doubt it Len, a blind man on a flying horse could see that they’re all brand spanking new. 

For the sellers, I think it’s just a case of cashing in on a big market while you can and spending the ill-gotten gains on stuff that they need but can’t afford on a standard pension...

When it comes to the buyers of said items, I imagine that they’re purchased for some kind of misguided ‘look at my Norvern vinyl collection’ willy waving thing. Legalities aside, the only reasonable reason I can think of is that if you owned a 45 rpm jukebox and you wanted to load it with Northern Soul, that would be the way to go. 

I getcha - So basically selling said records to lots of people for £6.00 each.

The fraud of originals is out there though isn't it?

Len :thumbsup:

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I’m sure fraud of originals is out there, but to a far lesser extent. This was about shifting large quantities of flimsy fakes with crude pastiches of the original label designs.

UK Grapevine boots are only £4 a pop though - Bargain! 🤑

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Interesting thing is now that this has broke in the uk, What (if anything) will happen in the U.S.A. and other countries, After all, the Bulk of Northern Soul Music Originated from the U.S.A.and has been counterfieted along with a lot of other Black Music be it Soul, Blues, Deep Soul, Doo Wop, Gospel Etc. and yes they have all been Victims over the years, So, What now (if Anything?)    

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Just seen a sale by a dealer on Facebook of Eddie Parker - I’m Gone 70’s boot for £30.00. Why when you can buy a legit reissue brand new from Ace Records for £8.00? 

 

 

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1 minute ago, autumnstoned said:

Just seen a sale by a dealer on Facebook of Eddie Parker - I’m Gone 70’s boot for £30.00. Why when you can buy a legit reissue brand new from Ace Records for £8.00? 

 

Really, The Mind Boggles 🤑

 

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55 minutes ago, RICK SCOTT said:

 

 

58 minutes ago, autumnstoned said:

Just seen a sale by a dealer on Facebook of Eddie Parker - I’m Gone 70’s boot for £30.00. Why when you can buy a legit reissue brand new from Ace Records for £8.00? 

 

 

I would guess that SOME weird-thinking record collectors would rather pay the trifling sum of £5 more, to have a semi-rare '70s boot(which was made in small quantities, and very few are currently available), rather than a currently available issue, that ANYONE can have, at a moments notice (e.g. the '70s boot is a 40+ year old "collectable" (albeit not very valuable), for those reasons.

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Only ever brought one boot in my life and that  unknowingly was a reggae record  if l want a piece of music and can't get or afford the original l'm happy to own it on a c/d.   f#ck the low life scumbags and the Pratt's that buy them 

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1 hour ago, RobbK said:

 

I would guess that SOME weird-thinking record collectors would rather pay the trifling sum of £5 more, to have a semi-rare '70s boot(which was made in small quantities, and very few are currently available), rather than a currently available issue, that ANYONE can have, at a moments notice (e.g. the '70s boot is a 40+ year old "collectable" (albeit not very valuable), for those reasons.

not as weird as you think IMO. For exact the reasons you state. One is 40+ old, from the "good old days", hard to find and therefore much more collectable, one is readily available in quantities, less collectable, even though it's legit and in much better sound quality.

Back on topic: I'm pretty astonished about the money one could make these days with selling pressings. They seized 150K in a Paypal account.!

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6 hours ago, mellorful said:

I have quite a few boots in boxes that not played for years, I purchased in ignorance believing them to be okay, a few collectors helped with my education on OVO and reissues etc. The Manship guide to Bootlegs, counterfeits, reissues of Northern Soul 45's helped open my eyes to the number of fakes out there and aided me with identifying the counterfeit vinyl (so thank you JM).  The pressings are in boxes under the roof, I have given a few away as gifts but the recipient is informed that are fakes and the fidelity is sub standard from an original. Selling them would feel wrong. Wondering what have other people done with pressings 

I remember a particular Saturday when I cleared out my 'boots' to the big bin outside, it was actually cathartic, knowing no other mug would buy them

on topic I do feel sorry for pensioners going to jail, bloody sad

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3 minutes ago, shufflin said:

 

on topic I do feel sorry for pensioners going to jail, bloody sad

They won't have to worry about their winter fuel bill.

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28 minutes ago, shufflin said:

I remember a particular Saturday when I cleared out my 'boots' to the big bin outside, it was actually cathartic, knowing no other mug would buy them

on topic I do feel sorry for pensioners going to jail, bloody sad

All they had to do to avoid that was to not try to cheat and steal from other people (some of whom might also be pensioners)!  I have pity for them only in the sense that they feel bad enough inside to become so selfish and needy that they forget that the people that they steal from are being hurt by their actions.  I feel lucky that I don't feel so sad inside, like they do.  BUT, I do think that they should serve time in jail if the amount they took is more than £250-300 or so.  Losing that hurts people. 

Less than that amount, they should be made to return that amount to the injured party, PLUS an extra amount for putting them through the experience.  They should also be put on probation (checked upon), and made to do social work (helping sick and old people) as penance, for several months, to let them know there will be consequences (losing their precious personal time), and to also feel what is like to help others (give, instead of take).  Maybe that might even alert them to the fact that THEY, themselves, aren't the only person in The World.  And that others are worse off, and helping them can make one feel accomplished.  Deep down it might help them to feel good that maybe someone else MIGHT want to help THEM, when they will need help, later in life.

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27 minutes ago, Steve S 60 said:

They won't have to worry about their winter fuel bill.

I knew the increase in pension age was gonna put up the crime rate next thing we will know women will be faking a  organism

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A bootleg be it from today or back in the 70's is still a bootleg as in unofficial unlicenced made for profit and void of any publishing royalty in essence none of the money raised from the production of such records and subsequently the sale of such records results in no fees, payments or royalties being paid to the artists and owners of the material, dress it up all you like it's illegal and a criminal act as the result of this case suggests.

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8 hours ago, Spain pete said:

I knew the increase in pension age was gonna put up the crime rate next thing we will know women will be faking a  organism

Is that a single or multiple celled organism?

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1 hour ago, Steve S 60 said:

Is that a single or multiple celled organism?

Any old orgasam will do. Or even a spell checking device 

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11 hours ago, shufflin said:

I remember a particular Saturday when I cleared out my 'boots' to the big bin outside, it was actually cathartic, knowing no other mug would buy them

on topic I do feel sorry for pensioners going to jail, bloody sad

The top 2 of the 4 "pensioners" had grossed £178,000 and £163,000 respectively.  Working out of their homes, I'd guess their overhead was less than 10% of that (probably significantly less).  So, I'd guess they netted about £150,000 and £140,000.  I don't feel sorry for them getting 10 months and 8 months in prison.  They stole large amounts of money from buyers, and the creators of the product, and/or their children.  Why should we allow selfish, uncaring, nasty people like that, who don't respect other beings' rights to gain the fruits of their labour get away with such actions with just a slap on the wrist?  That's only a short bit away from condoning it.  🤬🤬🤬

Edited by RobbK

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52 minutes ago, RobbK said:

The top 2 of the 4 "pensioners" had grossed £178,000 and £163,000 respectively.  Working out of their homes, I'd guess their overhead was less than 10% of that (probably significantly less).  So, I'd guess they netted about £150,000 and £140,000.  I don't feel sorry for them getting 10 months and 8 months in prison.  They stole large amounts of money from buyers, and the creators of the product, and/or their children.  Why should we allow selfish, uncaring, nasty people like that, who don't respect other beings' rights to gain the fruits of their labour get away with such actions with just a slap on the wrist?  That's only a short bit away from condoning it.  🤬🤬🤬

...and hopefully this will act as a deterrent to others.  The Proceeds of Crime Hearing next year should also deprive them of their ill gotten gains.  They have wide reaching powers and can seize assets if the money is gone.

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Had a quick look on Ebay and still loads of fake records for sale so I see no evidence of changing behaviour from sellers or the auction platform.  

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22 hours ago, kim said:

who represents the artists that get ripped off by the record companies 

 

Managers, artist representatives etc.

However even if there was no one, it wouldn't excuse these people getting away with this, as they are ripping of artists who do get paid royalties, songwriters who are doing the same, and stopping labels that do it properly from releasing these records

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2 hours ago, shufflin said:

suddenly feel less sorry for them, that's some big numbers I'm surprised it's THAT profitable, live and learn

I'm not so sure, from those photos it looks as if they were stuck with hundreds of boxes full, probably what's left of a huge batch that they had commissioned thinking they would be able to sell them.

A bit like, my attempts at the charts, granted had a few near misses but still have a big stack of 500 count boxes of different ones, mostly unopened! 😂

I can't see where their target market was.

13 hours ago, Mark Bicknell said:

A bootleg be it from today or back in the 70's is still a bootleg as in unofficial unlicenced made for profit and void of any publishing royalty in essence none of the money raised from the production of such records and subsequently the sale of such records results in no fees, payments or royalties being paid to the artists and owners of the material, dress it up all you like it's illegal and a criminal act as the result of this case suggests.

Spot on Bickers old son!

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3 hours ago, Steve S 60 said:

Not what you'd call a cottage industry.  A lot of small companies would be happy with that sort of turnover.  I'm just amazed at the amount of idiots out there buying this crap.

There are masses of them and not just the Northern scene, the 50s Rocking scene is awash with mugs buying these things.

 

 

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No problem for those guys to have lots left over selling at £7,99 each without any vat they would be making a pretty penny if they only sold half of each pressing run . All profit with no artists ,writers royalties etc 

 

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