IFPI anti-piracy operation leads to guilty verdict in Beatles case
Colin Dillon found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of selling stolen Beatles tapes worth £250,000
July 17, 2006
Colin Dillon has been found guilty of trying to sell stolen tapes recorded by the Beatles during the making of the band's final album Let It Be following a sting operation set up by IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide. He was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Another defendant, Nigel Oliver, was found unfit to stand trial and sentenced to a two year supervision order under the Mental Health Act.
The tapes, known as the 'Get Back Sessions', disappeared shortly after the recording of the album in 1969 at the Beatles' Twickenham Studios and since then have only been heard via pirate copies that were made widely available in across Europe and the USA.
Investigations by IFPI and BPI, organisations that spearhead the recording industry's anti-piracy fight internationally and in the UK, culminated in a series of raids in Lisse in Holland and England by City of London Police and their Dutch counterparts FIOD-ECD in January 2003. These raids lead to the seizure of more than 500 original reel-to-reel tapes belonging to the Beatles.
Police arrested Nigel Oliver, who had worked at the Twickenham Studios, and Colin Dillon, for possession of stolen goods. They had tried to sell the tape spools and George Harrison's passport to undercover officers who had gained their confidence as part of a sting operation.
Michael Ellis, Head of European Investigations for the IFPI said: "The unprecedented investigations into the recovery of these sound recordings, originally stolen in 1969, have been both demanding and challenging. IFPI is pleased to have worked closely with the City of London Police in bringing this case to a successful conclusion. Today's verdict shows that piracy, which annually cost the worldwide music industry billions of pounds, is taken seriously and will always be investigated thoroughly."
Detective Chief Superintendent Kieron Sharp of the City of London police, said: "We are delighted to have finally brought this long running saga to a conclusion. It is a story that has captured the imagination of the public and is an excellent example of the success that can be achieved when the private sector is prepared to work closely with the police in criminal investigations. It was a challenging operation and the recovery of the tapes and other artefacts was a direct result of the skills deployed by all of the investigators whilst using complex legal covert methods of investigation."
Notes to editors:
IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises over 1,400 major and independent companies in more than 70 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 48 countries. IFPI's mission is to fight music piracy; promote fair market access and good copyright laws; help develop the legal conditions and the technologies for the recording industry to prosper in the digital era; and to promote the value of music.
For further information please contact Adrian Strain or Alex Jacob +44 (0) 20 7878 7935, firstname.lastname@example.org