Multiple individuals from the music industry have recently alleged that Amazon is selling counterfeit vinyl, with Tommy Boy Records president Rosie Lopez further alleging that the retailer is selling vinyl for titles they are not producing. Lopez made this announcement earlier this week during a Making Vinyl Conference in Los Angeles, California.
“Counterfeit is another issue altogether,” Lopez said in a statement according to Digital Music News. “Somehow records that Tommy Boy hasn’t pressed in — ever — are on sale on Amazon, that’s a little concerning.”
This issue may be part of a larger problem regarding the counterfeit physical sales industry. Last year, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) claimed that roughly 25% of all CDs ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ were counterfeit. Sites like Alibaba and eBay fared worse; the RIAA claimed that 100 percent of the CD box sets that they purchased – 40 boxsets on eBay, 32 on AliExpress – were counterfeit.
It has been suggested by Bruce Ogilvie, the chairman of Alliance Entertainment, that this massive influx of counterfeit recordings is coming from China. “I just learned last week, I never knew that they were manufacturing vinyl in China,” Oglive stated.”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.”
Oglive has stated that Amazon is doing little about this issue, alleging that the plants who press these records pay Amazon’s fulfillment fees. “Amazon doesn’t really care, because they still make their fulfillment fees for its FBA [Fulfillment by Amazon].Amazon makes it really easy for that product to come straight into the U.S,” he further explained.
For some, such as Michael Kurtz, the co-founder of Record Store Day, the responsibility to tackle on this issue should fall on the RIAA. “I’m not a legal person, but I thought we had an organization called the RIAA. They don’t seem to help anybody out in my community. Like everything these days, when we go to the people we’ve trusted to do the right thing, they’re just not,” Kurtz elaborated.
This isn’t the first music related scandal the company has been involved with this year. Hundreds of artists have announced that they are boycotting Amazon sponsored festivals, due to Amazon Web Services’ contractual obligations with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and law enforcement agencies.