Those record counterfeiting cases weren't that common even in the heyday of vinyl. The Sam Goody case is pretty famous. There was also a practice of 'backdooring'- legit plant making legit copies for whatever label presses more than required and 'back doors' them through illicit sales channels.
Hard goods piracy in the record business was on the decline given the market for digital, though I'm sure there were counterfeit CDs, DVDs, etc. The focus of the industry was very much on Internet file sharing, and mainly in the civil, not criminal realm. Post-9/11- also not real easy to get the Feds interested in much unless it was really egregious.
And, of course, that business was the domain of the wise guys in the US.
The REAL NEWS - huge wide vinyl growth rate! - is as usual buried way down at the end-
Though still niche in terms of its size within the overall recorded music market, vinyl enjoyed another stellar year in 2016, with over 3.2 million LPs sold – a 53 per cent rise on 2015 and the highest annual total in a quarter of a century. The depth of this revival is illustrated by the fact that over 30 titles sold more than 10,000 copies in 2016, compared to just 10 in 2015. LPs now account for nearly 5 per cent of the album market.
The key wording on this article was here... " ... specialising in Northern Soul records ... "Any Record Collector will tell you that this genre is THE hottest and most expensive of any genre (save, of course, pre-war Delta Blues 78's ... but that's another story).The most expensive 7" EVER sold was "Do I Love, Yes I Do" by Frank Wilson.( https://recordcollectormag.com/articles/the-worlds-rarest-record ).This article is out of date, I know that this record has since been sold again at a much higher price.
These scam artists were making reproductions of super-rare records and it's extremely lucrative indeed. We're not talking about pirating Supertramp LPs or anything as pedestrian as that. No, these guys knew precisely what they were doing as there is REAL money to be made here.
The British have a seemingly never-ending appetite for "Northern Soul" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_soul ) and are willing to pay incredible amounts of money for choice & rare items (always 7" from USA). This genre makes Doo-Wop and rare Jazz seem like veritable bargain-bin sales.
Aside: Pre-war Delta Blues 78s represent THE most expensive genre for any Record Collector to enter ... one of the top collectors here is John Tefteller who has kindly uploaded numerous images of THE rarest records on the planet, check them out here: http://www.tefteller.com/Some of these discs are unique (literally 1 copy) and contain in their worn grooves some of THE most outstanding ever made, some of which remains lost (like the two Paramount 78s by Willie Brown, who accompanied Charley Patton in one of his sessions).
Here's a few 1-copy-wonders (literally only 1 copy known)...
The list goes on and on. We're lucky to have ANY copies at all if it weren't for the excavation and tenacity of great Blues-hounds. All the above are owned by John Tefteller, he shares the audio on his calendar CDs, so big thanks to John.
Anyway, "Northern Soul" is a genuine mine-field and really best left for only the most knowledgeable ... these criminals knew their targets perfectly.
As an interesting, and Hi-Fi related, aside concerning Skip James ...
John Peel (the most important British DJ of all time) had a small section of his late evening show called "The Pig's Big 78" ("The Pig" being his affectionate name for his wife who enjoyed original 78s).I heard live, at the time, first-hand - so I can swear this is TRUE...
Anyway, he first played a Paramount Skip James track that had been respectfully (and professionally) mastered on a proper re-issue label.He then said something like "OK, that was the CD, but *I* have an original copy - which I know is worth a LOT* of money - here it is..."
* No kidding. The last Skip James original Paramount I know of sold for "over $10,000" in early 2000's (closer to $20k I suspect).
The point here was that the original was UNBELIEVABLY natural and clear and simply "alive". It blew away the (well made) CD master.I noticed this instantly.
It was like Skip was literally singing right there in my room, so present. John Peel commented also on this. How amazing the original sounded over the CD and many, many, many people wrote in saying they could not believe how much better the 78 sounded. No-one knew why.
Something to be said in favour of that long-forgotten medium perhaps?
I still wonder why it sounded so much better than the CD ... but it DID, please believe me. Peel says he had same experience on many other 78s.
Weren’t pre-war 78’s recorded live-to-disc? There were no tape recorders available for the recording of music until after WWII (the Germans invented the recorder for tricking the Allies, "time shifting" fake news), and direct-to-disc LP’s remain the highest fidelity music sources I’ve ever heard.
Elvis Presley’s five Sun Records singles (1955-6) were recorded to tape, and offered on both 10" 78’s and 7" 45 RPM discs. They were distributed in only the southern states, and are worth some money in excellent condition. But not being direct-to-disc, they are not that rare, nor that good sounding in pure audiophile terms. But musically, awesome! A Blues on one side, a Hillbilly on the other. Elvis, guitarist Scotty Moore, upright bassist Bill Black (and later drummer D.J. Fontana, plucked out of a band that performed behind burlesque "dancers" ;-), and Sun Records owner and recording engineer Sam Phillips invented Rockabilly.
Indeed, these records were cut direct-to-disc.
The process used was beautifully demonstrated and filmed on the recent American Epic PBS documentary, URL here
Look under "American Epic Sessions". This shows modern day artists (like Jack White, Elton John etc) all recording direct-to-disc on 78rpm using the last surviving mastering machine of its type.
I bought a Smiths LP and a Paul Weller LP on ebay recently from a seller in the U.K. When I received them it was obvious they were counterfeit.
I sent the seller a message and he immediately refunded my money and let me keep the records. I guess he didn't want to take any chances I would report him to ebay. On Discogs there are countless listings for counterfeit pressings of all kinds of music. They don't allow it to be sold there, but they document the fakes. They are everywhere. Even my local record stores sell fakes. What makes me mad is they have absolutely no collector's or resale value. Might as throw your money away.