Go to main content

EPE Takes Legal Action Against Global Bootleg Ring

February 08, 2011 | Other

Elvis Presley Enterprises took swift action to stop the commercial sale and distribution of a DVD/CD set which included recordings and audiovisual footage of Elvis Presley concert performances. Working with a team of investigators across three continents, EPE was able to track down the individuals they believe to be behind the release and distribution of the box set.

As of today, EPE has begun action in the Chancery Division of the High Court, England and Wales, against Joseph Prizada, the alleged source of the infringing materials in the box set. On an order from the High Court, on January 25, 2011, EPE lawyers and computer experts were authorized to search Mr. Prizada's home for evidence of the sale and distribution of the box set. The evidence uncovered led to the filing of a lawsuit against Mr. Prizada for copyright infringement.

On February 2, 2011, EPE also filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Northern District of Florida, against Bud Glass, an Elvis Presley memorabilia collector, for the alleged illegal sale and distribution of the box set in the United States.

EPE is currently reviewing the evidence and considering filing additional lawsuits against other individuals responsible for the manufacture, sale, and release of this particular box set as well as other bootleg recordings and merchandise.

Ton Bruins wrote on February 08, 2011
Wow that is serious stuff !!
Tony C wrote on February 08, 2011
Yes, the charges are very serious. It comes as even more of a shock when well known names from the Elvis world are alleged to be involved.
Pedro Nuno wrote on February 08, 2011
As a commercial firm, EPE aims profits. So in that point of vue it's natural these kinds of action. But as an Elvis fan, i can't help of beeing sad with it, since during that dark periode from mid 80's til late 90's when EPE and RCA just did'n knew what to do with Elvis music and Legacy, Botllegers were by far the only real force and light that keept Elvis Alive. And we, fans, like it or not, have to recognize it. Only with the arrival of Ernest and Co. things start to change, for the better.
TBG wrote on February 08, 2011
What DVD/CD set are we talking about here, the 77-stuff? The EPE doesn't own much of Elvis' music or movies, do they? I know they own the rights to the CBS 77-material, but what about the NBC 68 show, or the Aloha-show? The music is all owned by Sony, so EPE wouldn't bother to stop bootleggers releasing music I think. All other movies are owned by the movie companies. Am I right?
circleG wrote on February 08, 2011
I used to pick up Elvis bootleg albums and Cd's from a record stand in the 80's/90's. He closed and along came the internet and I bought a few on ebay. I don't use paypal so ebay was out. The guy I bought from sold me Cds privately but became seriously ill about 5 years ago and now I don't buy them anymore. FTD does a pretty good job when its not making silly mistakes but Sony really drag their heels and totally mess up things like the 35th anniversary of 'Elvis On Tour' and so the bootleggers made fans happy. Next year is the 40th anniversary so we can only hope that sony will deliver. Its funny but if sony respected the product and catalogue we wouldn't use bootleggers!
glennvis wrote on February 08, 2011
I hope these lawsuits don't distract any fans from buying the '68 special Mr. Potato Head.
glennvis wrote on February 08, 2011
Seriously though this probably about the Cafe Europa set from MRS.
drjohncarpenter0117 wrote on February 08, 2011
The bootleg/import side of Elvis going back to the earliest vinyl record to today's latest release has alway's been a illegal practice of which we all have probably brought into, FTD has managed to fill some holes in the market for the fans that want a little more than a regualr release but the bootleg/import industry has had a hard core of buyers who are prepared to keep buying the material that comes out,so it's a catch 22 scenario?.....if the bootlegs/imports were to cease through legal action all this will do is drive the producers deeper underground. I remember a time in the early 80's when the BPI and F.A.C.T had a major clamp down on record fairs in the UK and dealers had all the imports confiscated and at the time i though it was the end of my import buying but things have a habit of turning itself around and i probably buy more imports now than ever before so am not to concerned about EPE's so called clamp down on well known Elvis collectors/dealers and import copyright infringements as these guys named are only the tip of the iceburg and maybe because of who they are may have drawn attention to themselves with projects they have brought out in the past, so fear not bootlegs/imports will always been in the Elvis domain?......it may just be under another label etc.
Tony C wrote on February 08, 2011
My assumption was that this relates to the recent "Elvis In Concert" package. It mentions it being a DVD/CD set which included concert recordings and footage. I don't think it refers to the forthcoming "Cafe Europa" set as sale and disribution are mentioned. I am chosing my words carefully as people are innocent until proven guilty. With regard to bootlegs, they will always be with us as long as the demand is there. Some people wonder why EPE and Sony bother to investigate this matter because it cannot be fully stopped. I equate it with other criminal activity, crime can never be completelty eradicated, but that does not prevent the Police from trying to stop as much as possible.
benny scott wrote on February 08, 2011
You're absolutely right Tony C, this relates without any doubt to the "The Final Curtain"-box. As for MRS ' "Cafe Europa" , me too I think we can forget about it right now . Let's see what FTD has in the can in the near future. I hope it'll be as complete as possible, maybe split in 2 releases like they did with Jailhouse Rock. Always El.
memphisflash53 wrote on February 08, 2011
I Guess that would the Final Curtain for mr. Pirzada ...
mark wilson wrote on February 08, 2011
they should at least learn to spell his name right. On the MRS its Pirzada
SuziB wrote on February 08, 2011
Very specialised area of law in England and Wales, but the fact that EPE ispursuing this through civil courts is interesting, mindful the test of proof is 'reasonableness' rather than 'beyoinf reasonable doubt' as in criminal proceddings. In a civil court, there will be damages paid based upon financial gain and likely some punitive damage, but it will be just that - damages. If there is sufficent evidence to support a crimial conviction - which does seem likely given the High Court gave warrant for a residential search (which requires a significant body of supporting evidence), this may, and often does, result in a custodial sentence. Will also be interesting to see how far EPE takes this, as not only in the manufacture and distribution both breach of copyright (and trade mark, although not relevant in this case) and a criminal offence but so is the promotion and retail distribution of such material ie any dealer should be worried at this point. Can't blame EPE though - they are safeguarding their business rights, which they have alegal obligation to so do, ie they owe a duty of care to the shareholders.
Tony C wrote on February 08, 2011
Suzi is right, these two people could be just the start of this. Anybody who was further down the supply chain could well be in trouble as well after the search of one of the homes. A few people could be getting very worried about further action, we could see some well known names mentioned.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on February 08, 2011
And what names do you mean Tony C?
Tony C wrote on February 08, 2011
Your guess is as good as mine as to who might get dragged into this, if I did have any suspicions I would certainly not air them here. This is a legal matter and it is not for me to make any accusations.
marty wrote on February 08, 2011
Legally EPE is doing the right thing, protecting their interests. EPE is just company trying to maximize their profit and have nothing to do with Elvis; his heirs sold their rights a while back. If you think about who should be profiting from Elvis then in my mind maybe only him but he is gone, so nobody… But this is a philosophical question. As a fan I am willing to pay for a good product and I prefer to buy the official product since some profit will be made by the people who contributed to the music (e.g. the songwriters) and they are the ones that fully deserve it. As for the bootleggers, they are always taking a risk breaking the law and sometimes they are caught. I hope they get a fair trial…
Lefty wrote on February 09, 2011
I don't know for sure if "The Final Curtain" is the aforementioned product that spiked the interest in prosecution, but that's my guess. Boxcar advertised the thing on YouTube...that was way bold and bound to make someone really angry. The scope of the box set....huge! Loads of unreleased Elvis material. Yeah, they asked for it. Hopefully, the official label will take note and improve on the products they release. That's my hope against hope. We'll see how this all plays out.
glennvis wrote on February 09, 2011
It seems Mr Pirzada has been a thorn in Ernst's side for a while now. While the much discussed FTD Sun box is still delayed we had those MRS Sun releases. Not much musically but the books were packed. They could not have made Ernst or EPE happy.
Natha wrote on February 09, 2011
Indeed Lex. IF ... EPE, Sony etc. had paid attention to Fan sites they could have known what fans are asking for. And IF ... they had provided that what is the need for bootlegs (unless one is a completist). And IF ... they had not been in commercial products that are a disgrace to Elvis. And IF ... well the list could be made longer. This is called causality. Hope like Lex that they learn frrom this experience.
Rob V wrote on February 09, 2011
EPE can keep their teddy bears, and other junk they bring out, and this includes Viva Elvis CD.
loftmanuk wrote on February 09, 2011
It has been said that "Legally EPE is doing the right thing, and protecting their interests". Probably right, but if this action is related to the 77 box set why so upset. It is obvious that they have no interest or plans to ever release this type of material. The only criticsm I have of the box set is the price, which is out of my league. Now if EPE could release the 77 material in a nice set at a reasonable price I promise I'll buy one. Thank you.
SuziB wrote on February 09, 2011
Same old crap - everyone blaming EPE! So same old crap from the same misinformed idiots. EPE do not control cd releases, yes, they can influence, but ultimately it’s Sony's decision what does and doesn't get released. There are hundreds and hundreds of Elvis bootlegs released every year, how does anyone seriously expect Sony to be able to compete with the number of releases? They can't and shouldn't, as most of them are unadulterated garbage; instead Sony has tried to compete on quality notwithstanding the budget limitations and challenges imposed by a major record company including actually paying royalties instead of stealing people's performances and IP. Many of the FTD albums/books are top notch releases, yes a few duds along the way - ie the 76 shows, and possibly an indication of the label losing its way - but preference and liking is always personal, always subjective...Even some of the Sony mainstream releases are top quality, regardless of a lack of out-takes / alternative versions eg the Legacy series, the Complete Masters (which is THE greatest release ever, both sound quality wise and packaging. Sony and EPE have a right to release whatever they like, and for whatever reasons they like - if they believe holding back material is in their interest, or the public perception of Elvis, that's their choice and their decision. On the one hand, certain people continuously accuse them of being motivated merely by profit but the same people criticise them for NOT releasing stuff which they could easily generate considerable profit with. I have purchased the Final Curtain, but never would I have wanted all this material released to the mainstream market, it would have done Elvis no good whatsoever and EPE is right to resist releasing this stuff. Simply arguing "it's part of the legacy" is a facile and flawed argument. As for bootlegging and copyright breach more generally -how would you guys feel if someone stole your property? Stole your means of making a living? I would be very surprised if the current action stops at copyright infringement, invariably with such actions, there are related criminal enquiries re criminal infringement of copyright, theft, handling stolen property, criminal misrepresentation etc etc. The biggest wonder of all is why it took EPE so long!
Harvey Alexander wrote on February 09, 2011
There are so many things EPE have done over the years that I've not agreed with, but that's not what this is about. It's about footage that they own that's been issued illegally. And, after watching said footage, I can see why they've sat on it all this time and have refused to release it. It's horrible and shows Elvis in the worst possible light. I know you can't re-write history but who wants to watch a dying man on stage?
loftmanuk wrote on February 09, 2011
SuziB I'm a bit confused. You seem to be agreeing with what EPE is doing stating :- As for bootlegging and copyright breach more generally -how would you guys feel if someone stole your property? Stole your means of making a living? I would be very surprised if the current action stops at copyright infringement, invariably with such actions, there are related criminal enquiries re criminal infringement of copyright, theft, handling stolen property, criminal misrepresentation etc etc. The biggest wonder of all is why it took EPE so long!.. All very noble thoughts, But then you go and say that youve actually bought a copy of the final curtain. So youre saying its wrong but you'll buy it anyway.
SuziB wrote on February 09, 2011
Loftmanuk, where is the conflict or confusion? It is not illgal to purchase bootlegs only to manufacture, distribute, promote and sell - so yes, it is stolen material and all the other points I made, but there is nothing legally wrong with purchasing! Yes, arguably morally, but copyright infringement does not appy to the purchaser! My job is to one of legal principles not morality! So what I was saying was no one can blame EPE for taking this action, I actually support and condone it, but that doesn't mean I won't pay something if it looked interesting!
Bill (BW) wrote on February 09, 2011
This is good news. It's about time EPE took action against those who illegally distribute the worst possible images of Elvis.
drjohncarpenter0117 wrote on February 09, 2011
Of course we all know that the practice of bootlegging is illegal but have to ask how many fans have actually brought vinyl/cds etc that fall into this bracket??......i would imagine quite a few,the problem here is we are dealing with the greatest recording artist of the 20th century and the volume of work that Elvis recorded in the studio and of course the live material as well. The commerial side of Elvis is one thing and the demand for other material is another,as stated before in the golden days of vinyl when bootlegs were starting to make Elvis collecting that more interesting than standard commercial releases,of course we can't expect the record companies to release material that they feel is not commercial enough and have to respect that and after all FTD was set up to persuade us bootlegging buying fans to go for material of a similar nature but through the right channels and not the illegal one,of course Ernst and co have always been aware of the import side of Elvis and the kind of material that has been available over the years and face a uphill struggle to elimate just what the importers have been doing. As for EPE well can understand just how strong they feel about protecting the image fo Elvis Presley in the latter years especially '77, but again this package (TFC) does show how the demand for all things Elvis in the audio/visual side of things are what drive fans to buy this product, does not make it right of course and in the eyes of the court copyright/selling/distribution etc is illegal and EPE will won't to make a stand here and maybe it will send a message out to the importers but the practice of import distribution will of course always be there as long as the demand is. Well known Ernst and MRS have never really got on so Ernst may feel it's payback time and of course future MRS projects (GI Blues) may be on hold,but again until we have all the right info regarding MRS and TFC etc i guess we will have to wait.meanwhile Ernst let's get the bloody SUN BOX out and stop holding back when yo know it's almost ready to go.
marty wrote on February 09, 2011
How would I feel if someone stolle my property? No happy indeed! Why did they steal it though? Because they knew there were buyers waiting and these buyers knew it was stollen when they bought it! So when there is a bootleg market we are all to blame. Sony & EPE for not providing what the fans want & need (difficult I agree), the fans for buying it even if it's illegal but most of all the people that produce it... As for Elvis '77, I prefer that to an Elvis duck or something like that. What's the point of hidding it? Elvis was at a free fall when he did the TV special and we all know what happened soon after. We all prefer the young, healthy and full of energy Elvis of '56, '68, '70 e.t.c but he was there in '77 as well whether we like it or not... FTD should release all the '77 material (audio & video) for those who are intrested and I am going to buy. As for the legal battles, it's all about profit in the end. I am only spending...
benny scott wrote on February 09, 2011
I bought almost every FTD that was released so far, but also purchased some "imports" as well. Being still in the possession of the VHS "Elvis in Concert", I watched it AFTER ordering "The Final Curtain", but before the box was available. First, my usual supplier came back on his word and refused to deliver ( now I can understand why !) Then I found another contact who was willing to sell me the box . Well, I cancelled my order after watching EIC on VHS. In a previous posting I wrote that the footage was part of Elvis' musical heritage, and it is, but I have to agree with Harvey Alexander : it is not a pleasant sight to see our man in such condition, although his voice was still there. But the thought I'll have to watch a couple of hours of such footage was too much for me. Mind you : let this be clear : those who bought TFC and can stand the footage : no problem, I really hope they enjoy their purchase, and I mean it ! Further on I have to agree completely with oftmanuk ! SuziB : 1) Was it necessary to call some people " misinformed IDIOTS" ?? 2) Your own words : " It is NOT ILLIGAL to PURCHASE bootlegs,only to manufacture, etc....." !!! I beg your pardon ???? Is this coming from the pen of a layer ??? !!! Unless there is another law in the UK and different from ours : BUYING or RECEIVING stolen property is PUNISHABLE . As you consider bootlegs as stolen goods ( and you're right about that) then you yourself commited a punishable fact by buying "The Final Curtain", and so did I and thousands of others buying bootlegs now and in the past . Always El.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on February 09, 2011
Benny Scott you r wrong if your read the above article better, EPE is not after the people who bought this BOX or other bootlegs only for the people who made, sell it, again not for the fans who bought it, there has never ever anyone been arrested for buying bootlegs buddy,only for selling it and producing it,you don't know it any better then a lawyer friend.And i'm not living in the UK.So you r fans who bought this should be affraid? no
drjohncarpenter0117 wrote on February 09, 2011
EPE are not after the fans who brought this set (TFC) but the people behind the project,so all fans who think the authorities will be banging on your door and asking for it back....don't panic. EPE have now writtien to all fan club presidents with a stern warning that the practice of selling,distribution of all copyright material will not be tolerated and the authorities will be informed if this the case. So a timid warning from EPE and we will wait and see if the import market goes quiet etc. i think not with what will be out this year from these guys?...just maybe be a little differcult if your dealer suddenly decides to wait until this blows over.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on February 09, 2011
Thank you drjohncarpenter0117
benny scott wrote on February 09, 2011
Jesse, of course we, the buyers, don't have to be afraid, because the chance an individual is caught while buying a bootleg is 1 to, let's say, So of course EPE is not after the individual(s) . We are only small fry in their eyes.But that's not the point ! It's a matter of WRITTEN LAW ! Fact is : buying or receiving stolen property (and bootlegs are considered as being "stolen property" aren't they ?) is PUNISHABLE BY LAW . Period. Do you want me to send you the text of the law ? This has nothing to do with me " thinking knowing better than a layar". A lawyer in general is not the Pope anyway. It would not be the first time lawyers are not always right . Even judges make mistakes sometimes, we have examples by the dozen here in my country.You're Dutch and I'm Belgian, and I think there is no big difference between the laws of your country and mine. People who were condemned and had to pay heavy fines for buying stolen goods, are almost daily mentioned in the newspapers here. Condition to be punishable is the fact if the buyer WAS AWARE OR NOT that the goods were stolen. Of course I'm talking about "big affairs " of stolen goods, but the principle remains the same, that's all I wanted to state. And pls notice this : this will not stop me buying "imports" or whatever you call 'em. In any case : nothing personal ! Take care. Always El.
SuziB wrote on February 09, 2011
Benny, I'm afraid you're completely wrong. It is not illegal to purchase bootlegs - only, as I said before, to manufacture, distribure (including selling) and promoting. In England and Wales, theft is governed by the Theft Act 1968, and the definition of theft (ie the intention of permanently depriving...) is outside copyright law. Buying a bootleg is not receiving stolen property, unless the bootleg itself is stolen, which in this case it is not - it is manufactured and sold.
SuziB wrote on February 09, 2011
Just for clarification, I never ever said bootlegs were stolen property - perhaps you'd be kind enough to point out thwere I said this? What I said was that copyright infringement is often associated with theft but not the cd itself but stealing of tapes and/or illegal copying knowing the tapes to be stolen to manufacture the cd. Completely different.
benny scott wrote on February 09, 2011
SuziB : interesting subject ! But before I make my point let me tell you that I was not aiming at you personally when I was writing about "stolen property". Concerning bootlegs in general ,it has been written on this site by many members who are against bootlegs, that the origin of used material (tapes, cassettes etc...) for making bootlegs had been stolen. I meant a remark in general. So my apologies if it looked as if i was pointing at you. Now, about the fact that the bootleg in it's physica
benny scott wrote on February 09, 2011
(sorry)(stupid keyboard) ....in it's PHYSICAL FORM has to be stolen before a buyer is punishable makes me wonder. Suppose, just suppose... someone is caught the moment he buys a bootleg ( this may seem ridiculous, we both know the chance is almost impossible, but...you never know..) and this matter has to be judged, don't you think the judge could come up with the argument that the CONTENT (the music in this case) of this bootleg was stolen ? Is what's ON the audio-bearer not the most important thing? Once again, this is only speculation, but am I that wrong ? I think this could be food for discussion in court. Waiting for your (appreciated) answer, and if indeed I should be completely wrong then "I'll rest my case" and leave you without further discussion the last word.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on February 09, 2011
To benny scott : I'm not mad at you buddy, your a nice person really and also want to thank SuziB for her comments she knows what she is talking about.
benny scott wrote on February 09, 2011
Jesse, I know you're not mad ! I also know for a long time you're a very dedicated fan of our man and that's great. I'm waiting for SuziB's answer now. If I should be wrong, well...then I'm wrong, and I'll be the first one to accept it. Always glad to learn something I didn't know, one is never too old to learn! All the best to you !
Natha wrote on February 09, 2011
Watching EiC has always filled me with a mixed feeling. At one hand there is the man who is sick and in terrible shape. He is doing his best, but should be recover first. On the other hand there is a sick man, possibly knowing he was dying, who derives at least joy out of the awareness of his loyal fans who came to see and appreciated his presence. There is that glimmer of uplifting sentiment ina hard time. That was his only way out of feeling miserable. Also for that reason it is an interesting part of his history. Furthermore I feel that EPE is in its right, yes. But you can't blame people for providing bootlegs. EPE and RCA Sony have had decades of opportunities, but only now like in the case of the GIBlues cds they react. A little late wouldn't you say? Especially when one realises that the CD business i collapsing. So what now what next whereto?
SuziB wrote on February 09, 2011
In English Law, if tapes are stolen to manufacture cds, purchasing the cd simply can not be deemed as theft, as it is not stolen. The action of theft was in stealing the tapes. Buying bootlegs is not theft nor breach of copyright nor trademark (nor indeed any offence) as the action of buying - whether bootleg or Sony - does not give grant copyright or rights of copyright to the purchaser; the purchaser has no legal relationship with the owner of said copyright. Copyright in its most basic form exist to demonstrate 'authenticity' and as a protection of IP, it has nothing whatsoever to do with a purchase, which is an agreement purely between the buyer and seller. So Benny in your example, this can not be considered theft, indeed the purchaser has commmitted no offence - however the seller has, as he is representing during the sale that he has right to use the IP of the tape owner (ie the 'copyright'). If the tapes are cut up and distributed to others, again this is not theft under the English legal definition, it is receiving stolen property, which is a completely different offence. But merely receiving the tapes does not constiture breach/infringement of copyright unless the receiver tries to commercial use of the tape. Hope this helps!
SuziB wrote on February 09, 2011
was supposed to say '...tries to MAKE commercial use....'. If I buy a bootleg cd/dvd and then resell it (eg on Ebay) then this would be copyright infringement but again it is the act of selling (or manufacture, distribution or promotion) not the action of purchase.
benny scott wrote on February 09, 2011
SuziB, sincere thanks for the explanation and info. There's no shadow of a doubt you explained correctly the English law. Best regards from Belgium. Always El.
benny scott wrote on February 09, 2011
Natha, I absolutely agree with you. Your description of Our Man's condition and his way of trying to please the fans is correct. But man, after watching the VHS of EIC I felt so sad.... Ordering the TFC-box was one thing, and I thought I would be capable to watch the DVDs, but after watching the VHS...no way ! That's why I cancelled the box. As for the bootlegs : agreed too EPE is in it's right, but like you wrote , EPE, Sony, RCA are reacting a bit late, and IMHO no one can blame the fans buying "imports" with stuff they've been longing for during many many years, knowing it was and IT IS in the vaults.We are not getting younger, so why are the official companies waiting that long to release what we are begging for.Always El.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on February 09, 2011
Also a sincere thnx from me to : benny scott thnx for you kind words and also i understand your for not buying the box and SuziB for explaining everything so well you really helped me with this, and Natha i also understand you and i agree with you.
Ronaldv wrote on February 09, 2011
Will there ever be another boxcar release? Maybe in our dreams and that's EPE's nightmare..
SuziB wrote on February 10, 2011
Glad to be of help!
Jamie wrote on February 10, 2011
Hello, it's no longer true that those responsible for Elvis's recorded legacy stoke the bootleg market by acting meanly with the archive. There has never been a better time to be an Elvis fan. There have been mastering problems and maybe some errors of judgment with some FTD releases. But on the whole their releases are tantamount to opening a fans' gold mine. And now the BMG Legacy series is proving a revelation. For decades, literally, one of the most sought-after groups of outtakes was the International Hotel 1969 recordings; 'Elvis In Person' was so good it had inflamed interest. But now so many of those gigs have been given an official CD release that people complain about how samey they are! The bootleg trade simply isn't a very nice one. The bootleggers make money from breaking the law. Sure some of them are true fans and are conscientious in their work but the product simply isn't theirs to sell. I think FTD and BMG Legacy have done more than enough to deserve a little faith here. (And their refusal to put out 'Elvis In Concert' is down to Elvis looking, behaving and singing badly or worse). Let's support the official labels - they're doing a terrific job.
MickeyN wrote on February 10, 2011
This raises all sorts of emotions. Sure none of us wants to see law breaking and illegality. BUT the reason so many people are uneasy about this is because there is a lingering feeling that (as far as fans are concerned) EPE is not the real guardian of Elvis' legacy. True, there are some intellectual property rights issues - some musicians and writers who need to make some money out of Elvis' output. But who is making the big money and why? Enough needs to be made to maintain Graceland and one or two other issues but surely a lot of this trademark stuff is to protect big money for Priscilla, EPE and other corporate hangers-on. It reminds me of the stories of Elvis being forced to make formulaic films so that the studios could indulge themselves on the profits and make the arty films that Elvis himself wanted to make!!
You Dont Know Me wrote on February 10, 2011
Thanks for your clarification of the Legal points SuziB !~
Lefty wrote on February 10, 2011
I'm in total agreement with Harvey Alexander. I tried sitting through The CBS Tapes, and the other In Concert material that I own, only to find myself saddened by the disgrace of Elvis in decline. Once a person moves beyond the curiosity of watching Elvis struggle through his last tour, I can't see why anyone would want to watch it again. And as for listening to it, there are just a handful of songs that are good enough to hear more than once, and they're all on the official "In Concert" CD. Some of the posts I've read about The Final Curtain give me cause to ponder...Statements like, "He didn't look as bad as I thought he would," or "He's not as fat as I expected he would be," is like saying that the man in the casket never looked better! It's just damn creepy. And as far as this bootleg thing is concerned, the bootleggers simply pushed too far. Come on, putting ads on YouTube!! Of course EPE is going to take action. The bootleggers spit in their eye. Will this level of scrutiny and prosecution continue? Hell no. That costs money. All the bootleggers have to do is get back to flying under the radar, and this will all be forgotten.
SuziB wrote on February 10, 2011
Lefty, actually it probably doesn't cost any money - if EPE is successful, and it is obviously very confident it will be, and progress to date suggests it has every right to be - there can be an application made for full costs , which is actually lkely to be more than any damages awarded. In copyright cases, full cost orders are the norm.
Tony C wrote on February 10, 2011
EPE do not own the audio recordings made from 1973 to 1977, Sony do. EPE are not a record company, they merely get royalties. Regarding the 1973 sell-off to RCA, Elvis needed money quickly and insisted that Parker make a deal with RCA. Parker thought that the deal was madness. RCA offered a figure, which Parker had them push up to a higher figure, which was accepted. Does this constitute being screwed? No particularly, in my eyes. Regarding censorship of Elvis' material to remove swearing, there has been plenty left in on various FTD releases.
Steve V wrote on February 11, 2011
The Meatloaf comparison is a joke. Meatloaf was never a young slim sexy dude as a star as was Elvis. He was always heavy. Most people want to remember Elvis in good shape and I cant blame them (remember the postage stamp vote?). Meatloaf was also at the top of his game vocally in the 70's when he was heavy, Elvis was sick (look into his eyes) and should have never been on stage. A few notes of brilliance does not a concert make. The shows were bad , Elvis was bad & was dying. No comparison. I'm sure most real music fans are not into grooving to a 1977 Elvis.
Jina Sexton wrote on February 11, 2011
EPE are A..H.LES!
pab75 wrote on February 11, 2011
EPE is a joke. Elvis In Concert should have been released years ago. There is no justifiable reason it shouldn't be released. Just because he doesn't look good? His voice was very powerful and to ignore the last year of his life is a joke. This is an outrage!!! This Box Set has alot of work into it and to see the dedcation put forth by the fans shows that we are more stronger and dedicated than EPE. The more they fight Bootlegging the more it hurts the Elvis name. It's too bad. yes we all want to remember Elvis in his prime but the truth is that there were other years in his life other than 1968 and 1973. There were hundreds of great shows he did on AFTER "Aloha" The more EPE ignores 1977 the more they tarnish his complete legacy.
Lefty wrote on February 11, 2011
It doesn't bother me to see a "fat" Elvis. Actually, the 70's is my favorite Elvis era. What saddens me is the sickly, obviously drugged, disoriented man he had become. I've been an Elvis fan since 1972. The debate about the In Concert footage started right after it was aired in October of 77, and it has been hashed and re-hashed countless times since then. It all boils down to what a fan beholds in Elvis. If watching Elvis in concert circa 1977 does it for you, then by all means, enjoy it. As for me, I'd much rather watch On Tour or Aloha any day of the week. I don't watch Elvis movies because I don't care for the production. I don't watch footage of Elvis in 1977 because it breaks my heart. I hope you all understand the difference.
Blue Swede Shoes wrote on February 11, 2011
Remember that EPE does not mind using clips of In Concert for the visitors of Graceland to watch, not to forget the material used in This Is Elvis, all of this seen by millions of people who would never consider buying a package of 1977 concert material. So where is the logic? How many minutes of Elvis 1977 can you show to the public until it is no longer acceptable according to EPE? The problem with this issue is that it has become a matter of prestige. As hinted in some other comments, is it not insulting Elvis' memory a lot more by turning him into a freak figure when making money selling countless more or less tasteless souvenirs?
Jamie wrote on February 11, 2011
Hello, I strongly disagree that Elvis's voice was powerful for the EiC shows. Yes he hits some big notes but then he spends most of the concerts saving his voice by muttering his way through 'Teddy Bear', 'Little Sister' etc. The prevailing tone of his voice is terrible - on the well-known version of 'My Way' from 1977 he sounds breathless and his voice has an obvious hollow quality far removed from the full-bodied timbre we know from, for example, his powerhouse delivery of 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' in 1970. He goes for a big finish on 'How Great Thou Art' but it sounds fantastic because the backing singers' voices come together perfectly not because Elvis can be heard nailing and sustaining a clear high tone. Regarding the snippets of EiC that ahve been authorised, I would argue that there's an honesty in putting out what they've released officially - particularly the risible performances of 'Love Me' and 'Are You Lonesome Tonight' - and putting out more of the same would just be labouring the point that Elvis was dying out there. You know Joe Esposito's commentary on 'This Is Elvis', "Elvis's voice never failed him"? It's a beautiful sentiment but it's plainly untrue: His voice had diminished alarmingly. Though the existing 'Elvis in Concert' CD sounds horribly muddy, it does represent these performances flatteringly in terms of musicality. They should remaster it from the source tapes and leave EiC at that. The whole project was an incorrigible disaster beyond rescue.
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on February 11, 2011
Jamie i don't agree with you a 100 percent, did you hear some of the soundboards of elvis lately from 1977?? the new ones? guess not.. then what Joe Esposito say's in This is Elvis is not far from the truth anyway,He was an ill man yes and when you are tired then your mind is not set for singing top-notch at that moment,but some of the new soundboards really surprises me..his voice did not leave him entirely, just listen for instance to Hurt from EIC..goosebumps all the way..no matter how he looked.
Viva wrote on February 11, 2011
This one's a bit of a paradox really, on the one hand EPE are quite right to pursue anyone who takes what is theirs, and on the other hand the bootleggers are pretty much heros in the Elvis world as they have consistantly given the fans the material they demand. Yes, I know there's been a lot of rip offs out there, but on the whole I hope the bootleggers win everytime. If Iwant to hear the real Elvis, a bootleg is where I'll go. No one's going to feel sorry for EPE: They've done more to harm Elvis's image than any '77 box set could.
Jamie wrote on February 12, 2011
Hi Jesse, I've just dug out the 'EiC' CD to check out 'Hurt'. It's better sung than I remembered, particularly the ending. But Elvis's voice is shouty and strained in places and it's a real surprise when he pulls the ending off so well. In no other era do I feel surprised when Elvis pulls off a coup. I've just got out the Spring Tours '77 CD and Elvis does sound better than on 'EiC'. But if anything that's a reason to get the ST'77 CD rather than a reason to release DVD's of 'EiC'. It's great that this guy can still give us goosebumps after all these years though. Kind regards, Jamie
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on February 12, 2011
I really like your reaction jamie, and i have to say on The Spring tours '77' FTD he sounds indeed better then on EIC and that FTD release happens to be one of my favorites, kind Regards Jesse.
Paul Sweeney wrote on February 13, 2011
From EPE; What is the status of the TV special "Elvis in Concert" (1977)? Will it ever be released? This special and its related footage are owned by EPE. The 1977 television special "Elvis in Concert," which was shot during Elvis' last concert tour in June of 1977 (not actually the last concert itself as Vernon Presley indicated in a statement at the end of the special), aired a couple of times on network television and parts of it, and additional footage shot during the production of it, have been used in various television and video documentary projects over the years. However, much to the disappointment of a number of fans, we have no plans for releasing on DVD at this time. Because of the severity of Elvis' health problems at the time the special was shot, Elvis was far from his best in the way he looked and the way he performed, though there are some truly brilliant moments in the footage. The true fans look at this through the eyes of love, respect and understanding, and see the great historical value - as do all the members of our staff. But, this not so with much of the general public and the media. It's not that we don't want the fans to have this footage or that we don't know how much it would mean to them. We do. There just simply is no way to get it only to the real fans (and we've exhausted all kinds of ideas) without also having Elvis served up to the general public and press for ridicule. They already emphasize and exaggerate the tragedy and sadness of the last years of his life too much. Right now, the emphasis for us is to remind them of all that came before. Bring on the ducks, the general public and press don't ridicule such high end products. Right now, the emphasis for EPE is to remind them of all that came before, and the tacky crap they sell now.
Wiebe wrote on February 15, 2011
I do understand EPE's point of view. When you put something out, people are going to write about it. And I'm afraid that at this point people will not see past his appearance and hear his excelent singing. I have to say that only goes for Rapid City, Omaha was below par. But I think this is just the way to get it to fans, let the bootleggers give it to us and look the other way, since they weren't planning on releasing it anyway. I don't know what people are talkong about mumbling through songs. In Rapid City he only mumbled his way through Houd Dog, even Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel was sung in a decent way. So give me more examples.
Tony C wrote on February 15, 2011
While not ignoring Elvis' severe health problems in 1977, I think part of the problem with the oldies that were performed in that era was the very fast tempo. If one were to compare the versions of "All Shook Up", "Teddy Bear", "Don't Be Cruel", "Hound Dog", "Jailhouse Rock", etc, to the original records, they were see how speeded up they had become. I would challenge anybody to sing along to the 1977 version of "Jailhouse Rock" and try to get the words out, it is virtually impossible. Obviously Elvis' health made this even more difficult, he was even having trouble speaking at times. It is not uncommon for bands to play their oldies much faster, Paul McCartney has stated hat The Beatles were guilty of this out of boredom. The Rolling Stones did this throughout the eighties and it was not until they employed a new bass player following Bill Wyman's departure that the tempo of these songs was brought back to the original recordings. The new member had questioned why they were playing the songs so fast, something the band had not even noticed!
WayDownUnder wrote on February 16, 2011
What's the problem here? Others releasing material we all want to hear and see or EPE not releasing material we all want to hear and see? Now hear this EPE!! Elvis had a drug problem, Elvis was a troubled human being, we all know that and you're not helping by trying to deny, or at least trying to keep it from the public who know anyway. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" It didn't wash for the President of the USA and it doesn't wash with us. The truth will set you free. Lets be honest to ourselves but most importantly lets be honest to Elvis.
MikeE wrote on February 16, 2011
Tony C you raise a good point re the oldies performed in the 70's. Elvis was bored not of the oldies themselves but of his 70's monotone versions of them, which amounted to the same nah nah nah, nah nah backing with different words half sung over the top. If you contrast that with Michael Jackson for example, who made the performance of every former hit an event within his performances.
Steve V wrote on February 17, 2011
According to legend Bobby Darin didnt want to do Splish Splash anymore in his shows. Elvis apparently told him dont ignore the songs that got you here and if you notice in some footage of Darin before his death he not only did Splish Splash he knocked it out of the park! Why then did Elvis not take his own advice. Even when he returned in 1969, he did fast 1 and a half minute versions of some classic songs and put 2 bonafide milestones of rock Dont Be Cruel/Jailhouse Rock into a medley. He never treated these 50's classics with the respect they deserved.
dgirl wrote on February 17, 2011
Yes Steve V, and they faster and more poorly performed as the years rolled along. Pity that he gave Oliva Newton John songs more attention than his own classics.
MickeyN wrote on February 17, 2011
Everyone's a critic. What a bunch of negative, nitpicking, second guessing "fans" we have here. Everyone knows Elvis was not a saint. But he was a STAR, much more than any of those mentioned here, Sinatra, Jackson, Darin etc. I really wished I had seen him live - even June 1977. He might have been overweight, ill, drugged or whatever, but the only harm he did was to himself and he could still sing, entertain and hold an audience - that's a STAR. And on the topic of EPE and safeguarding Elvis' image. Is that the same EPE that has just sanctioned and advertises the new 1968 Comeback Elvis MR POTATO HEAD?????
WayDownUnder wrote on February 17, 2011
Hey MickeyN, don't forget the quality number plates and outstanding ash trays, brilliant!! Who authorises some of this rubbish?
Tony C wrote on February 17, 2011
I take great offence at being described as a "fan" in quotation marks, meaning that because I mentioned the fact (yes, fact!) that Elvis' seventies live versions of his fifties classics were very rushed, I am not a true fan. I have been a true and devoted Elvis fan since 1970, much like many of the other people on this site. I did not say that Elvis should have done things differently as I see no point in trying to rewrite history, I merely pointed out that that he completely stripped away the majesty of these songs by rushing through them in little over a minute. It is ironic that he could easily have cured the boredom by doing other oldies instead of the same ones over and again. But he didn't, the past is the past. As for putting down Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and Bobby Darin, each to their own, but I would put them at the top of their league alongside Elvis. We are lucky to have shared our lifetimes with such great recording artists.
Steve V wrote on February 17, 2011
MickeyN, I have been a 'fan' since 1956, have seen Elvis 4 times and bought every record that came out in his lifetime. I have every Sun, EP, LP, & 45 in their original form. But I guess I am not a 'fan' because I dare to say a performance or a whatever is not all that great. The only thing I am guilty of is buying some of the garbage Elvis was putting out in the mid 60's and later on in the 70's because of my blind loyalty. I wish the songs, movies, and majority of albums could have been better and maybe on a par quality wise with Sinatra, or whoever. We 'fans' bought everything and that was part of the problem. Back then I tried to find a silver lining in something like Clambake but looking back on it now I can say it is crap and he could have been doing so much better, just as I can say the 1977 shows were for the most part dreadful and he should have been getting himself together instead of paying off the fat man and being on stage and scorned by critics. I do agree with you that EPE is insane for putting out Potato Heads and not thinking these types of products do not open up a whole new world of ridicule.
Wiebe wrote on February 18, 2011
I think in 1969 Elvis and his band created a new feel for the old rockers. They took the shuffle feel out of them to make them sound more contemporary even funky here and there . With some of the songs it worked, like Hound Dog, and Blue suede shoes and were meant be an explosive showstopper, other songs I would have prefered more held back especially vocally like All Shook Up. Heartbreak Hotel got slower and I really like the bluessy renditions of 69/70.and I always liked all live versions if Big Hunk. I remember first hearing the rock medley from the Memphis 74 album, great! I also think that we as fans have heard them too often in the last 35-40 years.
paulreno wrote on February 19, 2011
How long does EPE not want to release the last professionally recorded TV Special? How long should the fans wait? Do we know the answer? NO. Could be next year or in 40 years time? I see some brilliance and touches of the "old magic" Elvis had in the CBS concerts. Yes, Omaha was no where near as good as Rapid City. I have never understood how "Love Me" ever made it onto the "This Is Elvis" video release. It's one of his worst performances. I can watch the CBS shows without reaching for my handkerchief every five minutes. Elvis agreed to record the shows and it was filmed. But now the original tapes are locked away, only for the odd song to escape. There are fans who would love to see this footage remastered digitally, but are being denied the chance. EIC could be made into an interesting documentary, with explanations of Elvis's health at the time. The two last recorded concerts could be packaged in an informative set. It could easily be released as a 'fan only' package. Let's face it, there are plenty of Official releases bypassing the general public through lack of promotion. Just employ the same tactic.