Tommy Boy says Amazon is selling counterfeit vinyl copies of their albums
Online shopping behemoth Amazon sells pretty much everything. Including, according to Tommy Boy Records prez Rosie Lopez, counterfeit copies of albums, some of which have never officially been pressed to vinyl. Speaking at the Making Vinyl Conference in Los Angeles (via Digital Music News), Lopez said "Counterfeit is another issue altogether. Somehow records that Tommy Boy hasn’t pressed in — ever — are on sale on Amazon, that’s a little concerning." Tommy Boy has released, over the years, albums from De La Soul, Queen Latifah, Afrika Bambaataa, Digital Underground, House of Pain, Naughty By Nature, 808 State and more.
Earlier this year, an RIAA study found that 25% of all CD sales fulfilled by Amazon were counterfeit. Bruce Ogilvie of Alliance Entertainment, speaking at the same conference panel, said that China is likely source for many of these. “I just learned last week, I never knew that they were manufacturing vinyl in China. I opened my eyes and said, ‘holy crap’. That means that all the counterfeiting of CDs and box sets and video — and now vinyl — is coming in the same way into the U.S." He went on to say, “Amazon doesn’t really care, because they still make their fulfillment fees for its FBA [Fulfillment by Amazon],” Ogilvie said. “Amazon makes it really easy for that product to come straight into the U.S.”
"Fulfilled by Amazon" items are from third-party sellers. Amazon does have a counterfeit policy:
It is each seller’s and supplier’s responsibility to source, sell and fulfil only authentic products. Prohibited products include bootlegs, fakes or pirated copies of products or content; products that have been illegally replicated, reproduced or manufactured, and products that infringe another party’s intellectual property rights. If you sell or supply inauthentic products, we may immediately suspend or terminate your Amazon selling account (and any related accounts) and destroy any inauthentic products in our fulfilment centres at your expense. In addition, we do not pay sellers until we are confident that our customers have received the authentic products they ordered. We may withhold payments if we determine that an Amazon account has been used to sell inauthentic goods, commit fraud or engage in other illegal activity.
We work with manufacturers, rights holders, content owners, vendors and sellers to improve the ways we detect and prevent inauthentic products from reaching our customers. As a result, we remove suspect listings based on our own review of products. We also work with rights holders and law enforcement worldwide to take and support legal action against sellers and suppliers who knowingly violate this policy and harm our customers. In addition to criminal fines and imprisonment, sellers and suppliers of inauthentic products may face civil penalties including the loss of any amounts received from the sale of inauthentic products, the damage or harm sustained by the rights holders, statutory and other damages, and lawyer fees.
Speaking of Amazon, a growing number of musicians have signed a "No Music For ICE" open letter, "pledging to boycott participating in Amazon-sponsored festivals or partnerships until the company stops supporting human rights violations through its contracts with ICE and other US government agencies."