Police Bust Massive Vinyl & CD Smuggling Ring, Music Pirating Going Retro

Forget leaking albums on the internet, music pirates are once again making millions of dollars smuggling counterfeit vinyl.
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Forget leaking albums on the internet, music pirates are once again making millions of dollars smuggling counterfeit vinyl.

The first rule of any criminal investigation is "follow the money," and with streaming revenue bringing in fractions of a penny per stream while expensive vinyl sales continue to climb, it's no wonder that criminals have followed suit. 

As reported by Billboard, this week police broke up a massive CD and vinyl smuggling ring in Europe allegedly helmed by an unidentified 60-year-old German man. (It's kind of a Walter White situation, except with counterfeit Led Zeppelin vinyl instead of meth.) 

...investigators raided a large storage facility filled with more than 8,000 boxes containing two million illegally manufactured CDs, DVDs, and vinyl , which the accused had evidently produced in Poland and other Eastern European countries. According to police, the illicit goods weighed several tons [and was worth over $31 million]. - Billboard.com

And we thought DJ Drama was moving weight

European authorities are insisting that they'll continue to clamp down on illegal vinyl, which they see as a rising threat, and I have to assume that means there's either a parallel rise in illegal vinyl sales in the U.S. or that there will be soon, which very much feels like a full circle moment in the history of modern music piracy.

It wasn't too long ago that the music industry saw CD bootleggers as their primary scourge, then that anger shifted entirely to uploaders and downloaders, and now, as vinyl sales continue to rise, we could soon be reading reports of police seizing U-Haul trucks filled with knockoff Rihanna vinyl

At a time of such radical change, I suppose it's at least comforting to know that some things never change. 


By Nathan S, occasional keyboard hitter and beard maintainer. This is his Twitter.

Photo Credit: Instagram



Exploring the Resurgence of Vinyl

Back on Saturday April 16th, 2011, a group of vinyl-creating experts gathered together to discuss the resurgence of vinyl and the correct process of how to record in vinyl. Contrary to popular belief, Vinyl is actually making a comeback. People would rather pay full price for an album with 12x12 artwork instead of the small CD insert and lots of people still insist that the sound of vinyl is better than the digital counterparts we all use today. Check out what the panel had to say plus links inside.