Jail for Father and Son who Defrauded Music Industry of More Than £500,000
At Newcastle Crown Court earlier this month, two men were collectively sentenced to more than four years in jail for the illegal supply, distribution and installation of unlicensed digital jukeboxes to pubs and clubs across the North East of England.
Malcolm Wylie and his son Peter set up a number of companies, including ‘Access All Areas’ and ‘Rent-a-system.co.uk’, that supplied unlicensed jukeboxes containing illegally downloaded music and video content to pubs and clubs across the North East from their Gateshead based company whose turnover was more than £1.3m. Over the course of seven years, the defendants incorporated the PPL and PRS licence fees into their customer quotations but did not make a single payment to PPL, defrauding them of approximately £550,000.
Following a landmark legal case by the BPI and PPL, Wylie Senior and Junior have been given jail terms totaling more than four years. Another defendant, was also given a 36-week prison sentence, suspended for one year as part of a community order.
Malcolm Wylie, 59 of Gateshead, admitted one count of distributing infringing copyright work between May 2003 and January 2009. He was sentenced to three years in prison and banned from taking the position of director for 10 years. His son Peter Wylie, 27, was found guilty by a Crown Court jury of two counts of the same offence. He was given a nine-month prison sentence and a 15-month sentence, to run concurrently.
Delivering the sentence, the judge stated unequivocally: “Intellectual property is property and stealing it is a crime.”
David Wood, BPI’s Director of Anti-Piracy commented after the sentencing, "This has been a significant operation undertaken by Gateshead Trading Standards with support from Northumbria Police and I would like to acknowledge their professionalism and dedication in the way they have investigated this offence. The significant sentences delivered today demonstrate that what may seem a victimless crime clearly is not. The defendants made a considerable income from supplying unlicensed and illegally downloaded music to pubs and clubs in the North of England and their actions have not only harmed the music industry but also those landlords who, in difficult economic times, believed they were paying for a legitimate service when in fact they were also being exploited."
Published: 21 July 2010