Another artist affected, I believe, is 5 Hand Reel. Their 2 LP reissues on Black Crow give CM's address...Boy would I like to see those LPs reissued; both would just about fit on a CD.
By the way, GUEST, the argument that there would be no market for these albums is belied by what other labels are doing. Nic's topic album has been in print for years, so there's no reason to think his previous albums couldn't do as well. Topic's 4CD acoustic folk box, plus the great box sets on Free Reed, suggest that a well-packaged Nic Jones box set containing his earlier releases could survive in the marketplace, and Topic's Walter Pardon record suggests that the absence of Pardon's Leader material in the market actually opened a market opportunity for Topic. The Voice of the People series suggests that releases like Unto Brigg Fair could do fairly, as well.
I have no personal knowledge of Nic's original deal. What I have been given to understand by those who do was that he entered into a standard contract which gave the record company rights to the album and Nic the right to a royalty from sales. There is no question of "selling the rights to his songs" because few of the songs were written by Nic, and Nic has never seemed to begrudge the use of his arrangements to other singers; everyone from Martin Carthy to Mary Black has mined Nic's catalog for ideas. The question of why seems obvious: it's the standard way for records to get made and marketed. As for the solicitor question, it would strike me as unlikely, because the original contract would have been between Nic and Bill Leader, a personal friend.
It may be that the reason why the so-called "Jones Camp" has never answered these questions to GUEST's satisfaction is that Nic has suffered substantial memory loss from the years before his accident. It is possible that he dosn't even remember the details himself.
Everyone, too, should keep in mind that Nic rarely comments publicly on these matters himself. No excesses of hand-wringing pathos should be laid at his door, even if people like me who wish him the best might get that way sometimes!
Anyway, enough conjecture and innuendo! I think buying a CD burned from someone's record collection is essentially the same thing as buying a CDR from Bulmer, except that you don't support Bulmer's legal defense. Otherwise, you're still buying a bootleg and not supporting the artist. If you do buy, consider sending a small check to Mollie music as well as a "royalty." Then I think what you're doing would be ethical, if not strictly legal.