This is topic Can't believe Paul Foster read on in forum General Yak at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on January 21, 2016, 05:49 PM:
£100k fake DVD racket man jailed

A fraudster caught buying and selling bogus DVDs in a scam worth nearly £100,000 on ebay has been jailed.

Paul Foster imported fake box sets of hit TV series from China and delivered to his home in Penkridge.

He then sold thousands of the DVDs on the auction website without the necessary consent of trademark owners, Stafford Crown Court heard.
this was published in the express and star newspaper on 12th jan
type in google and read
Foster was reported to Staffordshire Trading Standards which searched the address in January last year and recovered 1,816 box sets - including 54 different titles - worth around £40,000.

Investigators trawled through Foster's emails which showed he had sourced the products from China and made orders totalling in excess of £8,500.

Via Ebay he recorded sales totalling around £60,000.

Mr Watkin told the court Foster arranged for some of the fake DVDs to be delivered to his unknowing mother-in-law and brother in an attempt to throw the authorities off the scent.

He said: "The defendant even attempted to negotiate a deal with his supplier in which he said if goods were seized by customs the supplier would have to bare 40 percent of the losses.

"Also interesting is the prices at which he sold the DVDs. They did not differ hugely from the price of legitimate DVDs. We sometimes hear that buyers knew they were getting a fake product, but this is not one of those cases."

Foster, who represented himself in court, said he only benefitted from up to £20,000 in profits from the goods.

"£40,000 of stock was taken away so I lost all of that. It was only £60,000 that I sold on Ebay and if you take off VAT and tax it comes down to around £15,000 or £20,000 in profit," he added.

Judge Mark Eades said: "You went into this operation with your eyes wide open and you did it out of greed. This was fraudulent through and through.

"It is not just the DVD and trademark aspects but you were also seeking to avoid import duty by having the goods misdescribed."

Prosecutors will now seek to reclaim some of Foster's profits under Proceeds of Crime legislation.
Posted by John Richard Almond (Member # 2939) on January 21, 2016, 06:06 PM:
Play with fire and all that.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 21, 2016, 06:29 PM:
Paul is, whatever the outside world views, a lover of our hobby and the film hobby in general.

The facts don't lie but nevertheless, this is very sad news in the era when it's impossible for ANY dealer to make a living from film and film alone!

Very sad news all around I'd say. [Confused]

One less in a UK which now has only three major players as it is!!

Very very sad day for all in our hobby!
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on January 21, 2016, 06:33 PM:
yep, his movie shop on ebay is down, i just think the jail thing is way overkill, he's hardly a danger to the the public.
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on January 21, 2016, 06:38 PM:
I to was shocked when I stumbled on it on the net looking for something ,I have looked on ebay now but its all ended on there now I believe he has got 16 months jail its a long time .
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 21, 2016, 06:45 PM:
Thanks for sharing David. This was indeed sad news to us all albeit inevitable some might say.

A loveable rogue it would seem!
Posted by John Hourigan (Member # 111) on January 21, 2016, 06:47 PM:
Regardless of format, you don't mess with copyright and trademarks.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 21, 2016, 06:48 PM:
As is proved here john sadly.
Posted by Douglas Meltzer (Member # 28) on January 21, 2016, 07:02 PM:
A reminder....this Forum has a "no discussion of politics" rule.

Three posts have been deleted.

Shocking to hear about Paul.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 21, 2016, 07:06 PM:
Indeed Doug!!
Posted by Mark Todd (Member # 96) on January 21, 2016, 07:17 PM:
Hope Paul is OK as he can be, and in an open or OK-ish place.

Best Mark.
Posted by Larry Arpin (Member # 744) on January 21, 2016, 11:08 PM:
I hope they didn't confiscate the films but I suspect they did. I'm sorry to hear this happen.
Posted by Jason Gronn (Member # 3921) on January 22, 2016, 01:15 AM:
I can't believe it, such a shame.
Only just received some 16mm films from him the other day.
Posted by Mark Mander (Member # 340) on January 22, 2016, 02:09 AM:
I think it's a shame,hopefully he'll bounce back from this, Mark.
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 02:28 AM:
really not supprised. i like many others had been sold a film from him not as described.his attitude left a lot to be desired when you complained about a film. i warned people on here but no one wanted to listen.the attitude of im alright jack from some collectors i found very sad indeed.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on January 22, 2016, 02:33 AM:
Despite it being Paul's first offence the Judge sentenced him to 16 months in prison.
Posted by Steven J Kirk (Member # 1135) on January 22, 2016, 02:51 AM:
Oh dear, this is a bit of a shock. My dealings with him were always fine. I hadn't noticed that the ebay shop was gone.
Posted by Ferran Gimenez (Member # 1069) on January 22, 2016, 03:02 AM:
I can't believe it.
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 03:07 AM:
yes he was such a great guy that he even decieved his partners mother and his own brother.whatever people thought he was, the truth of the man is out at last.
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on January 22, 2016, 03:22 AM:
I would believe it as the British legal system found said person guilty and now serving sentence of 16 months.

Personally the only thing I find sad about all this is its a blot on our beloved hobby.

[ January 24, 2016, 07:46 AM: Message edited by: Lee Mannering ]
Posted by Jonathan Trevithick (Member # 3066) on January 22, 2016, 03:58 AM:
Being overseas, I always paid via Paypal Lee which is much safer. I must say that although not every film transaction i've had with Paul has been perfect, this is a total surprise.
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on January 22, 2016, 04:14 AM:
I was lucky to get my money back for a film I bought recently as I would have had to wait 16months for it I wonder how many are in a similar situation who had bought recently
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 04:19 AM:
Knowing our judicial system here, he will be out by May anyhow David.

I just hope no one has any valuable items in limbo at the moment through all of this.

I tried phoning him only last week for some Filmguard, but I was surprised when repeatedly, I could get no answer.
Posted by Dave Groves (Member # 4685) on January 22, 2016, 05:46 AM:
Not my favourite man. A Bowery Boys film had more spices than I thought possible in a film and other transactions haven't always proved satisfactory. I'd decided not to buy from him again. A number of his dvd customers were upset to find they had purchased copies and not originals and made no bones about airing their feelings of being ripped off. Sad that it happened to him but that's the risk you take when you get involved with dishonest means.
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on January 22, 2016, 06:27 AM:
Putting the whole film dealership aside, i am just very surprised that this has ended in a jail term, at the end of the day he clearly did wrong but selling DVDs, "movies" TV programs" to me just ridiculous that they sent him to prison. Confiscate everything, fines but Jail? The things people do in this country that are so much more serious and they end up being let off or just given the pathetic punishment of community service.
I dont recall Bob Monkhouse going to jail when he was arrested for having 16mm films he shouldn't have had.
Utterly over the top.
Posted by Mark Mander (Member # 340) on January 22, 2016, 06:48 AM:
Tom, to me that just about sums things up, Mark
Posted by Graham Sinden (Member # 431) on January 22, 2016, 07:07 AM:
He might have got 16 months but by our system he will be probably out in 2 [Big Grin]

Graham S

I did buy a GS1200 Fuji blub from him which was no brighter than the EJL bulb. Im now wondering if this was fake [Roll Eyes]
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 07:10 AM:
lets face it he done wrong. we can all give our thoughts re his sentence. at the end of the day he was ripping people off. it didnt matter what he sold. he would sell to us all knowing they were counterfeit.lets see some common sense remarks for god the end of the day it was just sheer GREED. not happy at making a reasonable profit he wanted more. and didnt care who he sold dodgy items too. and reading some comments on here and another forum many are just bothered about where will they get there films etc from now. a bit pathetic to say the least.he knew what he was doing and has paid the price.
Posted by David Fouracre (Member # 3883) on January 22, 2016, 07:21 AM:
You do NOT mess with customs & excise!!!
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on January 22, 2016, 07:29 AM:
I like the message on his ebay shop it has "This Shop seller is currently away. Please add this Shop to your favourites so that you can visit again." No mention of where and for how long he is away.
His film-only web site is still up though, no mentions of any trouble there so I wonder how many people will try to buy from there? 19 years trading (was that when he left Derann?)and now this.......
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on January 22, 2016, 08:12 AM:
Sad new [Frown]
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 22, 2016, 08:19 AM:
Reading the details of the case I think the reason a sentence was passed down is because "profit money" is still missing. I also remember loads of DVDs being sold by him on EBAY two or three years ago.

Wonder did he move into selling DVDs because the film side had slowed? He isn't be the first dealer to be caught out with trading standards or copyright problems but I think he is the first to see prison.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 08:54 AM:
As I say Mike, I doubt anyone could run a business selling only film nowadays and make any kind of livelihood from it, so I think you're probably correct in your assumptions.
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 09:30 AM:
where has everyone been. he has been selling dvds for years. why the assumption only now that you could not make a living just selling film.i would have thought that was obvious to us all some years ago. nothing new here.
Posted by David Skillern (Member # 607) on January 22, 2016, 09:47 AM:
Hi all,

Any ideas what's happening to his film stock - and will he be able to continue trading - someone must be on the look out for all that Super 8mm and 16mm that he still had on his lists. I bought some great stuff from Paul over the years - but as people have said during these posts - you really have to watch yourself and try not to overstep the official tax and excise duties - it will bite you in the proverbiall's !!!!!!
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 22, 2016, 09:52 AM:
Look out for next police auction sale. [Eek!]
Posted by Evan Samaras (Member # 5070) on January 22, 2016, 10:03 AM:
I totally agree that it is over the top. However, he should have known what he was getting himself into. It has been a while since I watched a DVD, but I recall an FBI warning against unauthorized production and/or distribution, punishable by 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on January 22, 2016, 10:53 AM:
I don't think the forum members on here are reading the article in the paper reporting that paul has got 16 months jail .read it carefully as what he did was wrong as if someone on here had bought a dvd top of the range vid projector and later found out it was a copy you would all have to something to say the judge said he was supprised that he was selling pirate dvds as much as legigamate ones then paul said when you take out the commission and pay the vat there is not much profit left so was ok to do this .I think he was given the sentence one for selling dvds but more serious than this was earning £100 thousand but he tried to cover his tracks by having them delivered at different address ,we all do things sometimes to make a quick buck I work very hard for the money I earn building up dodgems and waltzers throughtout the summer months getting bogged down in muddy fields with lorries etc .I wish I could just press a button and press record and all my rides built up them selves then every 3 mins or so earn £15.00 a time ,there is one good thing he should be out by may all being well if he is a good boy ,so it will give all your forum members a chance to order you dvds paul is a tough cookie and will come bouncing back maybe
Posted by Del Phillipson (Member # 513) on January 22, 2016, 11:16 AM:
Very good post Mr. David Guest.
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 11:25 AM:
David in my opinion after all this i think anyone would be crackers to buy from him if he did start selling again. he has now shown his true colours.he didnt mind who bought from him as long as they paid big bucks.he has deceived his customers and those who looked on him as a friend.he has let them and the hobby down badly, and knowingly sold counterfeit items to them. anyone with common sense would stay well clear in the future. and David your so right. if any member on here had bought a so called top of the range HD PROJECTOR and then found out they had been sold a counterfeit one. just how would you feel . just because its dvds doesnt make the deceit any better. you have still been badly decieved.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on January 22, 2016, 12:19 PM:
I agree Tom ...

While I obviously do not know all the particulars of this case (and mind you, just because we read something on the internet doesn't mean we have all the facts, though I'm sure that being he was prosecuted, he MUST be guilty of something, and in some cases, even that can be debatable ... I hope that's doesn't sound like politics, Doug ... [Smile] ) ...

... I think that this is a case of "Let's make an example out of this guy!" situation, as the prison term does sound quite excessive.

One things for sure, we have lost a fellow collector at least for awhile, and a seller as well, and there are not a lot of them around anymore. [Frown]
Posted by Michael O'Regan (Member # 938) on January 22, 2016, 12:31 PM:
I've always liked Paul. I've bought 16mm and 8mm from him over the years and on the rare occasion I wasn't totally happy with the film, he took it back and refunded me without any questions at all.

However, if he has broken the law, I guess he has to pay the price.
Nevertheless, I'm sorry to hear it.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 12:38 PM:
Michael, Your experiences in dealing with Paul, exactly mirror those of my own.

Your sentiments also reflect exactly how I feel regarding all of this.

It's a very sad day indeed for our hobby for the very reasons Mike points out below.
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 22, 2016, 12:42 PM:
Paul was convicted of copyright and distribution of counterfeit DVDs. There were no issues with him doing anything underhand with 8mm and 16mm but judging from the inspiring comments from some parts it's safe to say film collectors are effectively down to two full time dealers in th UK. Independent 8 and Classic. eBay and conventions being the other avenue to buy and sell films and equipment.
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 12:44 PM:
Osi. i dont know where you get the idea he was a fellow collector. Paul Foster hasnt collected film or dvd blu ray for several years. he just sells. buying very cheap and selling with high profit margins. that has now been his downfall. GREED. and he is now paying the price.there are no excuses for it. he has been well and truly caught.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 12:54 PM:
I know Paul had a Xenon GS that was his own and he had no intentions of selling it he informed me. He spoke of how long he had waited to find one in the first place, so he said, despite having several offers for it, he wasn't wanting to part with it.

From this information alone, I'd say Paul must have had some interest in films and associated equipment.
He had a tremendous amount of film and equipment on each gauge each visit I made.
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 12:58 PM:
your so wrong Andrew. so so wrong. i find it odd that there are so many here who say they know the man. but dont really know him at all.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 01:04 PM:
Well i can only say what I was told Paul. I witnessed with my own eyes the films and equipment.

I don't say I knew him well, because I didn't.
After all, I was just another customer to him. But what I will say is he was always very welcoming and accommodating towards myself and he certainly never did me personally any disservice in the same way Michael reported likewise earlier.

I remember one particular Christmastime when Paul was awash with DVD sales and was rushed off his feet, he still managed to take a little time out for me for a few cine items I wanted from him.
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 01:11 PM:
a good job you didnt get any dvds then Andrew.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 01:18 PM:
No,to be fair Paul, I didn't.

I have never had any real interest in trying to obtain Blu Ray discs or DVD discs for any less than they already cost.
I find places like Amazon sell them really cheap as it is,so I tend to only ever get them from these type of places now.

Previously, I used to get hundreds from Blockbuster when they were having a clear out. These usually went for peanuts.
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 01:23 PM:
well your right on that one Andrew.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on January 22, 2016, 01:26 PM:
Paul, Paul Foster's site says : "Paul himself has been a collector for over 25 years", so what Andrew shared with us confirms that statement. The fact that Paul Foster was involved with illegal dvd business (which nobody denies or minimizes) doesn't mean he is someone to run away from. It seems that several members have had good experiences buying from Paul, me included.
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 01:30 PM:
i can say i have been a pianist for 25 years but i doesnt mean have. believe what you want to believe i suppose.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on January 22, 2016, 01:33 PM:
I believe what Andrew said :-)
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 01:34 PM:
dont we all.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on January 22, 2016, 01:38 PM:
I hope so [Smile]
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 01:42 PM:
i love your innocence Dominique. what a grand chap you are. [Smile]
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 22, 2016, 01:43 PM:
From memory Paul and Derek were the only two who collected film at Derann. To the rest of them it was selling beans. Away to watch Fugitive from a Chain Gang with Paul Muni from my pre production code series. Was going to watch Witchfinder General but can't find my home recorded DVD disc anywhere [Mad] [Mad]


Full copyright to Channel 4 and any old priests living or dead or any actors who played priests etc etc
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on January 22, 2016, 01:45 PM:
All i would say in the common sense front having read everything is this,
Yes he did do wrong, How many people did these DVD copies pass through in customs and excise as well as all the other checks before it got to Paul Fosters house for delivery? Has anyone in that profession looked at that, im sure no one in the system has picked that up nor any checks done to find out how so much of this junk got through into this country, this has been going on for years,
I do not in any way condone what he has done, i just think the sentence is so way overkill for the crime. They could have fined him thousands, took his licence away for trading etc, but 16 months is so ridiculous. You only have to watch Police camera films and see hardcore scum stealing cars , endangering men women and kids without a care, crash into shops houses etc only to be told a the end credits these guys got banned from driving for a year and 100 hours community service, woopy doo,
Compare those sort of crimes which endanger lives and upset many others with selling scabby copies of films.
Anyway, as Graham said, 16 months out in 2 in the UK [Big Grin]
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on January 22, 2016, 01:47 PM:
has anyone read this
Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards leader, said: “This sentence sends out a strong message that dealing in counterfeit goods is a serious crime. This person knowingly sold illegal goods and ripped people off, which is completely unacceptable.”

Foster had previously headed his legitimate film-selling business for 14 years before entering the black market of piracy in 2014. Judge Mark Eades said in court Foster had shown serious levels of deceit as well as going into the operation with his ‘eyes wide open with greed’.

Councillor Heath added: “We would like to remind people counterfeiting is not a harmless crime – it has a detrimental impact on legitimate businesses and more often than not funds organised criminal gangs.

“We will continue to do all we can to protect Staffordshire people and businesses from the counterfeit goods trade.”

An ebay account linked to Foster’s company website displayed angry reactions from devastated consumers over the previous 12 months. Several users of the online bidding site were disappointed with the quality of the sale – with some even claiming they believed the film to be bogus.

“New dvd? Its a copy... Absoloute rip off... DO NOT BUY!” one furious user stated.

Foster was said to have recorded ebay sales totalling £60,000. A further £40,000 were uncovered when Staffordshire Trading Standards searched his Walhouse Drive property last January where 1,816 boxsets were uncovered
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 22, 2016, 01:51 PM:
Tom, Bob Monkhouse didn't go to jail because he was Bob Monkhouse and could afford a very good lawyer who proberably played up the my client does charity work is old, senile and in poor health etc cards. I think I remember hearing it was very close to jail time and a lot of money was paid to respective plaintives which is why old Bob suddenly started doing tv shows and lottery programmes to replenish his pension coffers.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on January 22, 2016, 01:53 PM:
Thank you, Paul [Big Grin]
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 22, 2016, 01:56 PM:
i rest my case David.i could not have put it better myself.
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on January 22, 2016, 02:04 PM:
16 months out in 2
Well, I guess crime does pay! It's no wonder it will continue to be in practice, crime that is.

Bill [Smile]
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on January 22, 2016, 02:09 PM:
what puzzles me is why paul did not get a barrister to defend him I am sure he would have just got a hefty fine and maybe community service .he is not stuck for money and could have easily afforded it .but like the judge said it was pure greed he wanted to earn money selling
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 22, 2016, 02:14 PM:
A lot of politicians and actors went on to success after a time in prison Churchill,Hitler, Mandela ,Gandhi Stalin Robert Downey Jr etc. There could be comedy script being developed about the insane world of film collecting and collectors.
Posted by Steven J Kirk (Member # 1135) on January 22, 2016, 02:29 PM:
Typically he will serve half the given sentence, so eight months. Presumably he will be banned from eBay.

Anyone have any other links to reports on the case other than that one already in the thread perhaps they can link in. Thanks.

Interesting to see on that local newspaper page the reports on several other big piracy rackets and how much is going on. I guess it is the same all around the country.

I can't say I have much sympathy for his 'get rich quick' scheme. I never supported pirate videos in the 80s. I have been told I'm mad for buying Blu-Rays... 'Why don't you just watch them on the net?' A good friend of mine came back from a holiday in the far East with a pile of DVDs and offered me some for free and I told him I didn't want them. Mind you they were laughably bad copies with miss-spelled artwork, etc, but he was offended...
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 02:36 PM:
Some people Steven,simply know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Those that value such art forms like film or music, simply want it presented well and don't mind paying for the privilege of owning these professionally manufactured items in whatever format floats their boat.
Posted by Steven J Kirk (Member # 1135) on January 22, 2016, 03:04 PM:
Yes, perhaps it is partly I want the best quality. I don't mind paying £15 for an official Blu-Ray, it's a great product and I want to support it. Film companies are interesting to me. Different logos, different histories and the moguls who ran them and run them now. I want to support them not rip them off. Film companies do go bust too and piracy is a big issue for them and with modern technology is only getting more of a problem.

Paul Foster though was not only in the wrong he was also foolish because eBay is scrutinised by everyone, including law enforcement, and is known as a place where people try to offload dodgy goods. Trading Standards are very active on just this sort of thing. Unlike market stall trading there is a computer record of everything! So easy to bring a prosecution. All the evidence is there.
Posted by Jonathan Trevithick (Member # 3066) on January 22, 2016, 04:10 PM:
I don't quite get the Bob Monhouse reference Mike. Was he a dvd pirate? All I remember is he was searched at a time when it was cosidered dodgy to collect 16/35mm film prints full stop.
I must just add that although I don't condone this act, I noticed pirate dvds all over the place on my last visit to the UK. This was mainly at boot sales but also charity shops. Is the police force going to jail Oxfam?
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 22, 2016, 04:52 PM:
Bob had a few run in's with the law. There was a case were he copied a Bond movie for Terry Wogan's son which got to the courts in 1979. I remember another time when he announced he had virtually every Laurel and Hardy movie on radio he got hauled up as they hadn't been even released on video. The sad thing is they seized most of his film collection 16mm and 35mm and destroyed it. In quite a number of occasions he had the only print still in existence of films dating back to the 1930s. He was a fanatical copier of everything on TV and radio to either audio tapes or video. He was videoing all comedies from 1966 well before the general public had access to video recorders so again when he died they found in some cases he had the only recordings of programmes. I think the family gave British Film Institute 40,000 videos when he died and they have since found another stache of 60,000 tapes hidden elsewhere. There was a documentary about him before he died and he had VCRs taping away in various rooms in his house all the channels he could access in th UK or via satellite from overseas.

He had the common collector problem he collected but never had time to watch anything apart from snippets.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 04:57 PM:
Good point Jonathan, and in Bob's case, he was a huge film fan and collector himself.

Obviously no individual should have the 35mm prints in their homes. These are owned by the film companies themselves lock stock and barrel.

Bob was known to have a huge collection of professional prints on 35mm and 16mm for use in his lavish home cinema.
Back then, this was a real issue even if it isn't so much now given the digital media world we now live in.

Sorry Jon, I was typing this while Mike gave a far more detailed explanation of affairs than I ever could. Thanks Mike [Wink]
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on January 22, 2016, 05:02 PM:
It is interesting to think that some films or tv shows exist only because someone was breaking the law to save it.

Bill [Smile]
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 05:06 PM:
Indeed Bill, us collecting fanatics have our uses at times! [Big Grin] [Wink]
Through their sheer compassion for film, people like Bob Monkhouse should be congratulated rather than demonized as far as I am concerned.
He kept some of the only living prints alive only for some politically correct jobsworth to burn them all!!

What a ridiculous world we live in!

Why not just return them to the film companies?
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 22, 2016, 05:15 PM:
Secret life of Bob Monkhouse. Interesting bit for us is from 57 minutes

Makes us look less obsessive 😀😀😀😀
Posted by Jonathan Trevithick (Member # 3066) on January 22, 2016, 05:16 PM:
Thanks Mike and Andrew. That gives me a better understanding of Bob Monkhouse.I will read those links now.
However, taping shows 'off air' has been the norm in most households since the advent of VHS. If he did sell any of them, that's another matter. My understanding is it was about preservation for him not duplication.
As has just been pointed out, if it wasn't for people like Monkhouse, some films would be lost forever.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 05:17 PM:
Thanks Mike, just taking a mid reel break but will watch tomorrow thanks when time is no object till 17:30! Ha ha [Wink]

Jon, I couldn't agree with you more!!

Bob Monkhouse had more money than you or I could ever dream of.
All Bob would have ever been interested in here, is simply preserving one of his loves in life, just in the same way as we all treasure our film collections no matter how humble they may be.
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 22, 2016, 05:23 PM:
I don't think he sold stuff just collected and unfortunately caught the jobsworth eye as he talked about having prints on radio and tv. After he was chased for owning it he became even more secret about what he had.

Some early stuff did turn up at auction after he died.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 05:26 PM:
Mike you are an absolute font of treasured information and knowledge! Thank You so much. [Smile]
Posted by Clyde Miles (Member # 4032) on January 22, 2016, 05:38 PM:
bob monkhouse had very little on 16mm or 35mm , snippets, i spoke to him years ago outside the atv studio in birmingham, he had no full length feature films
Posted by Jonathan Trevithick (Member # 3066) on January 22, 2016, 05:42 PM:
Ah Mike, all from the Kaleidoscope Archive. After some dealing, one of my films went to them but that's another story! Except, someone from the BBC Archives told me it's not illegal to own one of their old programmes on film but if it's a missing show, they strongly suggest you give it back! (at least to copy)
At least history has put things in perspective now and Monkhouse is now seen to have done the right thing by saving a considerable amount of shows.
Posted by Paul Suchy (Member # 80) on January 22, 2016, 05:52 PM:
I can sort of understand a person selling obscure television shows by transferring 16mm prints, especially when the copyright owner isn't going to release something because they don't anticipate a profit. Of course, it's still a violation, but most I have seen are sold cheaply and are purchased by people who would gladly buy a legitimate copy if available. People routinely contact Sony and others to release long forgotten (by most) shows, but they will never see an official release. However, I think it is really out of line to generate cheap copies of shows that are legally available to the public.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on January 22, 2016, 06:21 PM:
Many live programmes from Belgian television are lost. They once talked about a kid show that was on air in the 70's and the only remaining footage was taken in super 8 by one of the parents of a child taking part of it (one or two 50 ft cartridges). Frenc television, however seem to have kept (almost) everything from the beginning through a dedicated society called INA (Institut National de l'Audiovisuel).
Posted by Steven J Kirk (Member # 1135) on January 22, 2016, 06:46 PM:
That link to Bonhams is interesting. Dated 2012, it shows it can't be illegal to own 16mm prints or an auctioneers like that wouldn't touch them. It shows NOSFERATU, originally subject to lawsuit and declared an illegal infringement of Bram Stoker's work it would now be, what, Public Domain?

It also says Monkhouse was acquitted and the collection was saved.
Posted by Alan Rik (Member # 73) on January 22, 2016, 08:51 PM:
That was shocking for me to read this too. I have purchased many films from Paul so on the Super 8 front, he has been very good for my collection personally, and I think for the Hobby very good as well. We all make mistakes so now he has to pay the piper so to speak. I hope that when all the dust settles he continues his Super 8 operation.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 22, 2016, 09:03 PM:
Your reply doesn't surprise me one bit Rik, be it from from the Film side of his business from a film loving and film purchasing aficionado!

I do however, struggle to see where Paul goes forward regarding all of this in respect of his film sales.

Like you, I live in hope, but I feel it is more in aspiration than anything else if I let my head rather my heart do it's judgement.

We shall see.
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on January 23, 2016, 02:25 AM:
So do I Alan.we need all the dealers we can.
In a nutshell,he did do wrong but prison is over the top.he didn't copy the discs,he sold them,are the authorities now working to find out where these came from to get them prosecuted No and they they will never stop it,do car boot sales get checked at weekends,hardly,there are two huge ones close to us every weekend and every one each week has several huge vans selling copied dvds and cds,I myself have reported this to both the police and FACT nothing has ever been done. Paul was silly enough to use ebay and do it from home,easy target.
Posted by David Skillern (Member # 607) on January 23, 2016, 02:30 AM:

Like you - I wonder if Paul can carry on with film sales - as I mentioned in an earlier post - we don't know if any of his film and projector sales has been confiscated in order to pay this hefty fine - as it says "prosecutors will seek to reclaim some of his profits under proceeds of crime legislation " - so would this include film sales - who knows ???
Posted by Steven J Kirk (Member # 1135) on January 23, 2016, 03:07 AM:
Okay, here is an oddity! EBay shop is back online as of 9am this morning 23rd Jan:

His wife or another family member...
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on January 23, 2016, 04:17 AM:
I was talking to Paul Foster a couple of years ago and he told me that film sales were but a very small source of his income. The majority income came from the sale of his DVDs.
He further said that all the sales of DVDs came from his site on eBay.
Posted by Mark Silvester (Member # 929) on January 23, 2016, 04:41 AM:
Hi all

I have read this post with interest - I always liked Paul. But, he stepped too far and ended up "nabbed" as it were and offered up as an example.

I have no doubt that all his mailing lists and customers will have been looked over to by the "boys in blue".

Yes he will pay a price - but there could easily be a lot more "cell mates" in there with him...including people who are connected to 8mm and 16mm/35mm...cos a lot of that stuff is not "legal" copyright wise AT ALL! And only so much of the Derann stuff was totally "Kosha"...the Disney and the mainstream stuff. What about other releases subsequently also by other people?? I said the principle is the same whether film or DVD...makes you think..

Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on January 23, 2016, 04:47 AM:
99,9 % positive comments on his EBay account.
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 23, 2016, 05:15 AM:
I don't think collectors have as much to fear as distributors. I remember you could buy new Derann product at substantial discount if you went to other 8mm dealers and if Paul has had dealings with others you can guarantee there will be bank records identifying them. If they are bootlegging DVDs as well as super 8 which is more or less a definite to make it worthwhile they will be in the target range they are a easier catch than China. In turn dealers in the UK and US who are selling them on to customers will also be drawn into the net.

If you remember Elvis EPE they decided in 1990s to draw up a list of the biggest bootleggers of Elvis CDs and memorabilia and target them with the aim bankruptcy and jail. Sid Shaw in the UK was the only one left standing the rest were toast.

Franchises like Disney,James Bond & Star Wars all adopt similar approaches. They won't care if the people in question are doing it for love or few thousand. They will pursue you maybe spending ten times the amount they are saving convicting you. Courts in the US are particularly draconian but UK and EU authorities also adopt an aggressive approach.
Posted by Paul Spinks (Member # 573) on January 23, 2016, 05:50 AM:
This is really bad news. I have bought a few 16mm and Super 8 films from him over the years and I have always been very pleased with the way he has conducted the transactions. The films have always been good quality and his delivery has been fast. Whenever I spoke with him on the phone he was always pleasant and friendly. It is sad that this probably means the demise of another UK Cine dealer. I didn't like that bit about prosecutors will now seek to reclaim some of Foster's profits under Proceeds of Crime legislation. Does that mean he could lose his home?
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 23, 2016, 05:57 AM:
who knows but lets face it you would have to be a number one prize IDIOT to buy from him after this. but i dare say there are some ready too. my god you have even got some making excuses for him. put them top of the list on the IDIOT board.
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on January 23, 2016, 06:00 AM:
From what I remember was said about the Bob Monkhouse films, the police were told to return all that had been taken but some had gone missing in storage, so it was assumed they had been destroyed.
Posted by Mark Silvester (Member # 929) on January 23, 2016, 06:09 AM:
Hi Mike

I could not agree more with your comments, etc.

Also, like others have mentioned people would be crazy to continue dealing with him as if he takes up the business when he is released as will be watched like a hawk...although they have probably watched his whole business for quite a while as is often the case in these matters. ALL his dealings etc will have been scrutinised and also those he dealt with.

Posted by Keith Ashfield (Member # 741) on January 23, 2016, 06:23 AM:
In view of the mounting "paranoia" about "possible outcomes" for the collecting fraternity, would it not be prudent to take this particular topic "out of the spotlight" so to speak?

After all - who knows how many "big brothers" are watching us?

It could be a perfect opportunity for some young, aspiring would-be executive to gain a "feather in his cap"

I would think that, by now, most of the "interested parties" who know Paul Foster are aware of his "self made predicament" and the result that has been given for his misdeamenour.

As they say - "You buys your ticket and you pays the price"

To keep "brooding" over the possible ramifications of the situation is "not helping the cause".

In my opinion the topic should be "vastly edited" or removed by the moderators.

The unfortunate thing, from a "British justice" point of view, is that if Paul had been employed by a certain "broadcasting company" he would probably gotten away with "commiting far worse offences" and been awarded a knighthood for his services!

Just my opinion of course [Embarrassed]
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 23, 2016, 06:46 AM:
Considering it is on all the other forums a bit pointless to delete. What do we say every time someone queries where Paul Foster is? Comments here are mild compared to what is written elsewhere. I would say the authorities would have a full road map of Pauls dealings and associates without playing Inspector Clouseau here. Looks more like a trading standards bust rather than FACT. The fact that business is as normal on eBay is beyond belief. The 8mm/16mm side a small insignificant portion of the business and will no doubt be up and running soon with a different voice on the other end of the line.
Posted by Michael Hyde (Member # 748) on January 23, 2016, 07:39 AM:
I feel Pauls problems are only just beginning,however long he spends in prison,upon his release, with the CPS waiting to serve a proceeds of crime writ against him,hes facing a hefty fine of many tens of thousands of pounds,plus thousands in court costs,so I don't think he will be bouncing back any time soon, and if he cant raise the fine his home will go too,such is the aggression of the CPS
Posted by Paul Barker (Member # 4318) on January 23, 2016, 07:42 AM:
you are probably right Mike. you can almost guarantee there will be several total idiots waiting to buy there treasured little film find from such a foolish foolish person.
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 23, 2016, 07:54 AM:

As the Gloria Estefan song goes "We seal our fate with the choices we make"

Posted by John Hourigan (Member # 111) on January 23, 2016, 09:12 AM:
No matter the format or the hobby, or desire one has to own a particular title, copyright is copyright, period. As much as some want to deny it, film-making is a business, and the resulting product isn't something that one has the "right" to do whatever they want with it, particularly turning a profit from pirated copies of that product.

I've also heard the argument that film studios wouldn't go after something as piddly as pirated Super 8 prints struck from an unauthorized negative/source. I've been in the broadcasting/communications industry for over 30 years, and have seen instances where piracy has been pursued and prosecuted for doing far less.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on January 23, 2016, 12:44 PM:
I'm not sure if it's been commented on yet, (I just don't have time to read all 5 pages of this now, wow, this might be a record post on the forum for speed of posts, eh Doug?) ...

But I'm betting that, whether fair or unfair, being that the powers that be have got Paul Foster, and knowing that he was a film collector/seller, perhaps they will also scrutinize those very few other film sellers, legitimate film sellers that haven't done a single thing wrong and therefore, make they're lives crap, whether for the long term or short, so my heart goes out to those who may or may not, end up having undo scrutiny because of Paul ...
Posted by Tom A. Pennock (Member # 202) on January 23, 2016, 01:38 PM:
I kind of wonder if they will go over his film customers lists. I have purchased a considerable amount of film prints from Paul in the past. I still think that many films fall into the grey area as far as being legal to own even in this video digital age. Do you think they will confiscate his film prints as well?

Posted by Paul Browning (Member # 2715) on January 23, 2016, 01:41 PM:
What is more disturbing about this is that you could argue that his secondhand films and equipment have been bought with the proceeds of crime ?.How could he dismiss the two could overlap at some point, he has stated that he does more business selling dvd's on ebay, so does this mean his film purchase's have at some point only been possible because of the success of this other enterprise?. I think he may have an hard time convincing the CPS, when he gets out. The hornets nest has been well and truly poked.
Posted by Kevin Hassall (Member # 2352) on January 23, 2016, 01:52 PM:
Only time will tell guys if he does carry on dealing its such a shame he was holding a film for me couldn't afford it at the time but he said he would hold it for for a month it's a wonderful life have been after it for ages
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on January 23, 2016, 01:53 PM:
this is a quote from my friend del boy
je neis seiz quoz poqoui avec mon le hon
routhly translated it means
he who sicks his nose in a bee hive will get more than a nostril full of honey
Posted by Dave Groves (Member # 4685) on January 23, 2016, 02:11 PM:
I have an old religious film produced in the 60's in the U.K. The library and all associated with it long since gone. A Church asked me to run the print in their evening service. I checked the building over and found it far too light for film projection, so I had a dvd copy made at considerable expense. On the day all went well and a bright picture was enjoyed by all. On going to retrieve the disc the IT man proudly told me he'd copied it to his hard-drive and shown it from that. Now, he could make copies to dispose of as he wished. You can imagine how I felt. About as happy as the folk who found their work being sold by an unauthorised persons for personal profit . Now, isn't that called stealing?
Posted by Steven J Kirk (Member # 1135) on January 23, 2016, 03:11 PM:
I hope we don't need to get too paranoid for ourselves. Paul was selling at a profit counterfeit copies of modern DVDs like 'Downtown Abbey'. A current format illegal version of a very current show and deceiving the customs in the process. And the figures of profit were in the tens of thousands. It doesn't seem the photographic film or even other DVDs were part of it because they have all reappeared for sale.
Posted by Mike Newell (Member # 23) on January 23, 2016, 03:27 PM:
Take it you boys will be double locking your doors tonight. I hear 3am raids by NCA / FBI agents are the most popular. Make sure you have fresh underwear left out. I believe you have one phone call after they read you your rights👮👮👮
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on January 23, 2016, 03:37 PM:
I intended to buy a Filmguard bottle from Paul Foster next week so I was Lucky I was warned by the forum that Paul was not able to sell anything at the moment.
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on January 23, 2016, 04:20 PM:
I'm sure, from some TV programmes, that trading standards officers bust many sellers at car boot sales etc. a week. This is just a bit (lot?) bigger and better publicised.

They are after people for this all the time, this one won't make much difference
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on January 24, 2016, 11:36 AM:
I see paul is back on ebay selling films and dvds has anyone got his new address tried contacting cell block h but no reply
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 24, 2016, 12:22 PM:
Dominique, I have just done likewise from Jack Roe (Jackro). It was a little bit cheaper this time than I've previously paid from either here or Paul.

They also said they are committed to continuing to stock this cleaner while ever it remains available, which is good news for us all here.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on January 24, 2016, 01:23 PM:
Andrew, does he have a website ?
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 24, 2016, 01:48 PM:
They do yes Dominique. I will post a link here when I'm on the pc.
I can type it instead Dominique.


Oh that was good, it turned into an active link once I manually typed it! [Smile]
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on January 24, 2016, 01:51 PM:
Thank you for that, Andrew.
Posted by Thomas Smith (Member # 1889) on January 24, 2016, 05:55 PM:
Bob Monkhouse wasn't selling any films in his
Collection they were for his own personal use.
If you break the Law there's no excuse for it, its just greed
Posted by Paul Mason (Member # 4015) on January 26, 2016, 07:11 AM:
A heavy fine would have been more just but the sentence was obviously intended to make an example of him.
Posted by Terry Sills (Member # 3309) on January 26, 2016, 11:40 AM:
Absolutely agree with Paul. Far better to hit him financially than have the tax payer have the burden of keeping him in the pen at huge cost.
Having said that I am so surprised and disappointed by his actions. Such a pity.
Posted by Tommy Woods (Member # 2437) on January 27, 2016, 06:25 PM:
Judges typically have far more information at their disposal before sentencing than the press report,it seems to me that there was much more going on that we're not privy to.
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on February 01, 2016, 04:16 PM:
I see paul foster is off ebay again I suppose its hard to run a business from cell block h
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on February 05, 2016, 01:13 PM:
Andrew, I keep having this message : Jack Roe (CS) Ltd

Currently it is not possible to purchase on our website. Please contact us on:
I was hoping it would be ok after some times but it isn't :-(
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on February 05, 2016, 01:32 PM:
I telephoned them Dominique for my order. Have you tried that method?
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on February 05, 2016, 01:46 PM:
No, I haven't. I will try by e-mail, now you confirmed they are still in activity :-)
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on February 05, 2016, 01:51 PM:
Yes Dominique, they are definitely still active. Some nice lady answered the phone immediately when I rang.
Obviously normal working hours UK time, Monday to Friday.

Try the telephone method Dom if your e mail goes unanswered. Failing that, I will buy one and send it it to you if you like?

See how you get on first by mail and telephone. [Smile]
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on February 05, 2016, 01:56 PM:
Thank you, Andrew ! I've sent them an e-mail and will wait until Tuesday (it's school Holiday next week so I will be in Amsterdam on Monday and Tuesday) before considering your so kind offer. Thanks again.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on February 05, 2016, 02:18 PM:
Also Dominique, a new advertisement and a new dealer of Filmguard but it is more expensive than buying it directly from Jack Roe.
(on parity with what Paul was charging for it last.) e=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I've dealt with this company in the past and found the guy extremely helpful and friendly. So at least it is another, simpler option for you albeit a little more expensive. [Smile]
Ships worldwide also! [Smile]
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on February 05, 2016, 04:10 PM:
Thank you, Andrew !
Posted by Paul Suchy (Member # 80) on February 28, 2016, 07:09 PM:
I had Paul Foster's site on my bookmarks and I just hit his link; it says, "Closed until end of May 2016". I guess that's when his term is over.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on February 28, 2016, 11:31 PM:
Andrew, I could buy Filmguard through them. Once again, thanks.
Posted by Mark Todd (Member # 96) on February 29, 2016, 07:58 AM:
Hope Pauls keeping OK as he can do.

Feel aweful thinking about it.

Best Mark.
Posted by Daniel Macarone (Member # 5102) on February 29, 2016, 09:47 AM:
Andrew, you mentioned three major players in the UK- I'm trying to learn of all the collectors to buy from. What are the other two? I assume Classic Home Cinema is one.
Posted by Kevin Hassall (Member # 2352) on February 29, 2016, 10:42 AM:
I use cresclean from chc it's a good cleaner
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on February 29, 2016, 12:22 PM:
No doubt Paul will come on the varied forum's to apologize in some manner to help "reboot' his sales which of course, wouldn't be a bad thing to do, sales-wise. If he's wise, (and he has access to PC's in prison, I don't know how the U.K. prison system works or what it allows), he'll keep up with all of this ahead of time.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on March 01, 2016, 04:54 AM:
Paul may not be interested in selling films any longer upon his re emergence Osi.
Equally, he may have absolutely no desire to read what is written here.

Film sales were a minute fraction of what Paul could ever make a living from within his business, so who knows, with other aspects of the business gone, there may be new ventures and new pastures green that lie ahead for him in the future...who knows?

I cannot see things panning out quite in the manner you describe them though Osi, somehow. [Big Grin] [Wink]
Posted by Daniel Macarone (Member # 5102) on March 01, 2016, 09:09 AM:
Hi, What are names of the major Super 8 sellers who are left in the UK?
Posted by Paul Spinks (Member # 573) on March 01, 2016, 09:18 AM:
Hi Daniel,
the three UK dealers are Perry's Movies, Independent 8 and Classic Home Cinema.
Posted by Daniel Macarone (Member # 5102) on March 01, 2016, 09:31 AM:
Thank you, Paul.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on March 01, 2016, 12:36 PM:
You might well be right, Andrew.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on March 01, 2016, 01:20 PM:
Thanks Paul, didn't see that question till just now.Sorry Daniel.

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