UK justice – £1.2 Million in Counterfeit sales, only 250 hours community service

6th April 2023

The British justice system has always been hard to understand for people outside the country, I have to say sometimes it is difficult for those of us that live here.

In the linked story a businessman was caught out selling fake vinyl LP’s on-line at £35.00 each. Reportedly the seller was caught out when a buyer thought the sound quality on a Clash album was not sufficiently good. The buyer reported the seller to UK Trading Standards, who investigated the seller and initiated the prosecution.

The story reports the seller of the counterfeits netted £1.2 million in counterfeit LP sales over 6 years – about 34,000 albums – his punishment was 250 hours of community service – and ordered to forfeit about a third of the turnover from the business. It is not clear whether the forfeited money will be distributed to the defrauded musicians or kept by the authorities.

The community service tariff approximates to half a second of community service for each counterfeit sale. Other sanctions, such as being barred from running a business or even a prison sentence were not applied, seemingly due to an error by the magistrate’s court.

From this punishment it would seem that the UK judicial system sees counterfeiting as a victimless crime – companies are really on their own when fighting counterfeits and faking.

Countermark provides a unique way to help businesses fight against counterfeits and retain customer trust.

Some items like books, clothes, tickets and music are often re-sold 2nd hand, on line, counterfeiters use this channel to introduce fakes into the market, after all people buying second hand are looking to save money, and the counterfeiters can get away with not supplying original packing.

Countermark can be used to prevent counterfeiting in the 2nd hand market place due to its unique 2-row structure. The top row is unique and randomised, and does not directly relate to the bottom row.

Sellers can share the top row of a Countermark with prospective buyers, who can check that the Countermark is valid before buying the product. When they receive the goods the buyer can check the entire Countermark with their phone, and fakes can be easily identified. Leaving the buyer able to claim a refund from the online market place, and an opportunity to report the seller.




Link to the LP report



Picture credit to