Thousands of Illegal Vinyl Records Seized

By on 09/09/2011 in News

More than 4000 illegally bootlegged vinyl records, with a street value of over £30,000, have been seized from a specialist records supplier in central Birmingham.

The seizure was made following a raid on a warehouse by Birmingham Trading Standards, as part of a joint operation with the police, Sony and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

The operation took place after Trading Standards received an anonymous tip-off about a company selling supposed 'rare' and compilation vinyl. Following the information officers made three undercover purchases of records which subsequently proved to be fake after testing by the BPI.

A bootleg recording is an audio or video recording of a performance which is not officially authorised by the artist or copyright holder.  Such recordings can often involve using music samples from well known artists and mixing them with other music, or creating bootleg compilation albums for sale and distribution.

This type of activity including the possession and sale of illicit vinyl is a criminal offence under The Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and prosecution can carry sentences of up to 10 years in prison or an unlimited fine.

Music by artists such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Kylie and the Arctic Monkeys was among the hoard seized.

Cllr Neil Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee, said: “While some may think the trade in bootleg film or music is a victimless crime, the truth is that such black market activity has a very real impact on the livelihood of not just artists, but also many more local people and their opportunity to earn a living in the legitimate music, record, film and recording industries.”

Figures from the BPI estimate that piracy (not including downloads) costs the legitimate music and film industry £100m a year in the UK alone.

David Wood, Director of Anti-Piracy at the BPI, said: “The UK music industry suffers significant loss from the sale of counterfeit and bootleg recordings. I would like to acknowledge the professionalism and dedication shown by Birmingham City Trading Standards Officers for the diligent way they have investigated this case. They have made a significant seizure of bootleg recordings which were destined to be sold to the public”


For more information please contact Simon Houltby on 0121 303 3503

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  1. Richard Morris says:

    Why haven’t you named the shop?