IFPI welcomes arrest of DJ over sale of 150 pre-release albums
London, 11th June 2008
The international recording industry today welcomed the arrest by UK police of a man suspected of selling a vast quantity of pre-release albums on eBay, weeks before their official release.
The man, a DJ and music reviewer based in London, was arrested on suspicion of theft and money laundering. The case centres on the alleged sale of pre-release copies of albums by artists including Foals, Delays, Grand National and Kelly Rowland.
It is believed that he used his position to obtain promotional copies of albums from record companies which he then sold on.
If charges are brought, it is thought this would be the first ever prosecution involving the sale of pre-release music in the UK.
The police investigation was assisted by teams from IFPI and BPI, the organisations representing the recording industry internationally and in the UK.
Pre-release music piracy is a serious problem for the music industry, involving leaks of albums on to the internet days or weeks before official release, for millions of people to download around the world. This can have a significant impact on an album's chart position at launch and on subsequent sales during the crucial first weeks after release. Only a small number of people are entrusted with legitimate access to pre-release music.
Promotional CDs are regularly sent by record labels to music journalists, DJs and broadcasters, to be used for music reviews. They are marked clearly on the album sleeve as the property of the record company and are not allowed to be sold commercially or uploaded without permission on to the internet.
Albums that are leaked on to the internet before launch typically appear online on BitTorrent sites and then spread to other peer-to-peer networks, blogs, forums and website links.
John Kennedy, Chairman and Chief Executive of IFPI, said: "Pre-release piracy causes serious damage to the performers, creators and producers of music.
"People who have access to pre-release music by virtue of their job, and who sell or distribute it illegally, should note that record companies, large and small, are taking a zero tolerance approach to such activity. We will notify the police of their actions and we expect the police will take such a crime very seriously."
"The police have invested significant resources into this investigation, which I welcome. The time and effort they have put in shows that they recognise that pre-release piracy is anything but a victimless crime".For further information contact:
Alex Jacob, IFPI London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7935 (Press Office)