UK DJ Busted For Selling Pre-Release Tracks
The International Recording Industry has announced that a UK DJ has been arrested by police for allegedly selling a large quantity of pre-release albums on eBay. The man’s name was being withheld.
The man, a DJ and music reviewer based in London, was arrested on suspicion of theft and money laundering. The case centers on the alleged sale of pre-release copies of albums by artists including Foals, Delays, Grand National and Kelly Rowland. Pre-release albums and tracks are available to DJs and reviewers several weeks before their official public release.
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 and promotional radio play. 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.