London - In what is thought will become the first prosecution in the U.K. involving pre-release music, a London-based DJ and music critic has been arrested on suspicion of theft and money laundering in connection with his alleged selling of 150 pre-release albums on eBay, according to a statement from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a record label trade group.
The case involves the alleged sale of promotional or review copies of albums from artists including Kelly Rowland, Foals and Grand National before their official release dates.
"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," said John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of IFPI.
The arrest in London follows a similar Universal Music Group lawsuit in the U.S. against Troy Augusto, who is accused of copyright infringement for selling promotional CDs on eBay.
Unlike the London case, Augusto is not accused of selling pre-release albums.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a countersuit against Universal on behalf of Augusto, arguing that the "first sale" doctrine — which dictates that a consumer may resell a product without the permission of the copyright holder – applies even to promotional CDs given out for free by labels to journalists and radio stations.
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