Thursday, December 22, 2005


When would be the best time to issue a warning to Christmas shoppers about avoiding buying counterfit products at boot sales? Presumably, you'd think, at least ahead of the weekend before Christmas, rather than two days before Christmas Eve. But perhaps the BPI knows lots of Car Boot Sales which take place regularly on Thursday and Fridays, as it chose today to issue a press release warning not to do it.

It's got the usual sort of massaging of figures we've come to expect from the organisation to try and suggest that everyone flogging a fake Jamie Cullum CD is merely the front for Osama Bin Laden:

The Police Service of Northern Ireland estimate that 41% of all organised gangs are involved in counterfeiting, up from 30% in 2002* - citing that "purchasers see a bargain without realising that these goods fuel the black economy". And through its work with the Department for Work and Pensions, the BPI has found that many counterfeiters are claiming benefits whilst earning an income from crime.

On a first reading, that makes it look like there's a good chance that your CDs will come from dubious sources, but of course, it doesn't. It says that more than half of the organised crime gangs don't bother with counterfitting, and remember that those that do aren't neccesarily going to be piddling about making a quid a time on dodgy copies of Abba Greatest Hit albums - they'd be more likely to be faking higher return stuff; like Burberry clothes, or perfumes, or tobacco. And because 41% of racketeers sell fake stuff, you can't assume that two out of every five people selling fake CDs are front people for criminals.

Even more bemusingly, the BPI then goes on to provide a list of places where you can find large piles of cheapo knock-off CDs for sale. They clearly think that it's going to warn god-fearing people to keep away, but, to be honest, we can't help but wonder if people won't just use it as a handy way of tracking down albums at affordable prices. Anyway, here's the list:

Wembley Market
Nine Elms, Battersea
Shepherd's Bush
Kempton Park
North Weald - Essex
Saddlers Farm - Essex
Pedham Place - Kent
Whittlesey - Cambridgeshire
Finmere - Buckinghamshire
Leechmere Industrial Estate - Sunderland
Batleys (Chester-le-Street, County Durham)
Tanfield Lea Market (Stanley, County Durham)
Sedgefield - Co Durham
Seaham - Co Durham
Cross Green - Leeds
Grey Mare Lane - Manchester
Stanley Dock and Walton St - Liverpool
Thoresby Market, Sheffield
Coed Mawr Market, Flint
Splott Market, Cardiff
Newport Market
St Julians Market - Swansea
Brean, Somerset
Whitchurch, Bristol
Southmead, Bristol
Barras Market, Glasgow
Paddy's Market, Glasgow
Wishaw Market
Ayr Market
Falkirk Market
Windsor Car Boot, Belfast
Nutts Corner
St Georges, Belfast