A Market For Used MP3s... Or A Parody To Prove A Point?

from the this-can't-be-serious dept

ChurchHatesTucker was the first of a few readers to send in the news about a new website claiming to have set up an online system for selling "used" or secondhand MP3s. The whole idea, of course, is fairly ridiculous, which leads me (and CHT) to believe that this is more making a statement to show just how silly it is whenever recording industry types try to treat digital copies as if they were physical objects, or declare that "downloading an MP3 is no different than walking out of a shop with a CD you haven't paid for." If so, bravo for the satire. If, however, this actually is real, I imagine it will survive all of about a day, before it gets shut down.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    alex, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 11:54am

    if i pay money in exchange for a good, i own that good, correct? even if i'm buing copyrighted material like a CD or DVD, i own that physical object, its mine to do what i want with.

    but if i buy an MP3, i don't own it? i can't resell it? you can argue because i'm buying an infinite good that i don't 'own' it. so really theyre trying to say i've rented it.

    but what if i buy a CD, rip it to itunes, and then resell the CD? i still have most of what i paid for, but i sold the CD.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 11:58am

    Re:

    I think 'everyone' here would agree that you have every right to resell your mp3. It just... seems a little foolish for the other guy to buy it, don't you think? In any case, reselling an mp3 doesn't have the same dynamics as reselling a CD, which is why Mike and CHT think this is a farce to get a point across.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    I think no one would argue that you don't own it simply because it's 'abundant.'

     

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  4.  
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    Bryan, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:04pm

    I think 'everyone' and 'no one' agree and argue all the time.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    "i still have most of what i paid for, but i sold the CD."

    Some might argue that what you paid for was the CD. Especially if they believe that music wants to be free.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:08pm

    This gimmick creates quite a legal quandary. The first sale doctrine means I can sell an mp3 I legitimately purchased. It's my property so I can do with it as I please so long as I don't retain a copy. The RIAA would be hard pressed to prove the seller doesn't have legal possession.

    So here's what I think everyone should do. First purchase some tracks from Amazon for $.89 - Some really obscure crappy ones you don't even like. Next, post them for sale for $9.99. [Make sure you delete your copy from your devices if anyone actually purchases the track.] Sit back and watch the RIAA go nuts.

     

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  7.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:14pm

    Re:

    I'll purchase as many of your obscure tracks as you purchase of mine. That way we don't even have to write any checks, but we can share our files and delete the ones the other bought after being transferred. Then the RIAA can whine some more about how they need a cut of 2nd hand sales and we can all point and laugh at them for being idiots.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    HFC, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:18pm

    Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    If I only like 3 or 4 of the tracks on a CD, can I sell digital copies of the other tracks and just refrain from listening to the physical CD? What if I destroy the CD after ripping the tracks to my computer?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    PixelPusher220, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:19pm

    Re:

    That raises a very interesting point. If I purchase a song through iTunes and then use iTunes to record it to CD and re-rip it as an mp3. Have I done anything illegal? (Since the RIAA has licensed Apple and iTunes to sell their music they would seem to have at least implicitly agreed to *all* of the functionality within iTunes.)

    And using your suggestion, then putting said mp3 up for (re)sale, it's a seemingly ironclad way to put DRM-free mp3's into legal distribution channels. Of course you probably have to notify iTunes somehow that you no longer own a license for the song in question.

    I do wish I could watch the smoke coming out of RIAA's ears trying to figure out how to squelch it.

     

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  10.  
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    eleete, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re:

    If you really want to drive them nuts, continue buying them from each other (same tracks over and over) and racking up the transaction numbers.

     

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  11.  
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    PixelPusher220, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    Doubtful, you purchased the 'CD' which is a physical manifestation of the product, so you purchased a single entity. If you had only purchased the album via individual songs, then yes you could do that.

    Think of bulk candy buying: if you buy a bag of KitKat's, you'll notice they are labeled 'not for individual sale' so you can't buy the bag and then sell some of them individually.

    My guess is the same concept applies when purchasing an entire album vs as individual songs.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:24pm

    http://www.bopaboo.com/

    check it out guys thats the site.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    "Think of bulk candy buying: if you buy a bag of KitKat's, you'll notice they are labeled 'not for individual sale' so you can't buy the bag and then sell some of them individually."

    this may work for Candy, but I beg to differ when replacing the "KitKats" in your analogy with a 6-Pack of beers... which CAN BE sold separately - and often times, are.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    I think he is speaking legally. I know that is something people don't like here, but whatever. Of course, I am sure I am wrong and I know that wikipedia will disprove my comment, so please rip it to shreds.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Audience, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:46pm

    Now That's Entertainment

    This will be entertaining.
    Get some popcorn, a drink and pull up a barcalounger.
    Will it be a DMCA, C&D, or a threat letter.
    Anyone got a pool going ?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    pegr, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    "Think of bulk candy buying: if you buy a bag of KitKat's, you'll notice they are labeled 'not for individual sale' so you can't buy the bag and then sell some of them individually"

    So does all writing on candy bar wrappers have the force of law? Who is the lawful authority in this case, Willy Wonka?

     

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  17.  
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    Freedom, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    If I buy an MP3 album and only want a couple songs, I should be able to sell the other MP3 songs individually.

    As for the candy analogy, just because the manufacturer says you can't doesn't mean that it is a legal requirement. Only a statement by them that may or may not be legally enforceable - last I checked, unless you contract with them and limit your rights, once a good is bought it is yours to re-sell as you see fit.

    I love the idea of re-selling MP3s. This could literally be the idea of the year that finally gets everyone to wrap their head around this issue. Good times!

    Freedom

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:50pm

    FAQ

    Their career blog suggests it might not be a parody.

    From their FAQ section:

    Q. What is bopaboo?
    bopaboo is an online marketplace that allows you to legally transfer and resale digital music. Unlike, peer-to-peer file networks - bopaboo never creates duplicates of your music.

    Q. Can I download another copy of my MP3 files after the initial purchase?
    Your purchases on bopaboo are always stored in your bopaBox until you delete them.

    So does bopaboo create copies??

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:50pm

    KitKats analogy

    I was under the impression that the KitKats said that they were not labeled for individual sale, meaning that they do not have the nutrition information that is required on every unit. That means the labeling requirements are not up to par for our country's requirements to sell them. I believe you would run into trouble with a group like the FDA for improper labeling, not for selling individually.

    Nonprofits frequently buy large packages of candy and sell them separately for fundraisers. This does not seem to be illegal, so I would presume that the same thing would be true of individually selling songs you've purchased. You'd still have to make sure you paid taxes, though.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:00pm

    Non-profits and candy

    That's exactly it. They are not labeled with required allergen information, so they cannot be sold separately by a corporation. Of course, the companies do this on purpose to make more money.

    If you want to sell Kit Kats separately, simply make a copy of the Nutrition Facts and the Ingredients and tape a copy on each bar. Problem solved.

    You'll notice that at some stores some off-brand company is selling Smarties or Pixy Sticks in a weird, circus-colored bag. In fact, I have even seen mini-Kit Kats with the warning on them in one of these bags. Because they copy the ingredients, they are fine.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    JB, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Now That's Entertainment

    This will be entertaining.
    Get some popcorn, a drink and pull up a barcalounger.
    Will it be a DMCA, C&D, or a threat letter.
    Anyone got a pool going ?

    Aren't those one and the same when coming from the RIAA? I'm for the simplistic threat letter since there doesn't seem to be much in the way of legal grounds for a DMCA or C&D.
    Definitely, this is going to be entertainment!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    another mike, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Now That's Entertainment

    What odds will you give me on a court ordered injunction in 3...2...1?
    Oh, no, wait, that would be online gambling. Never mind then. I'll just go talk to my state-sanctioned bookmaker.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Hey, I'm on board. It would be worth it just to see them try to make a case out of it.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:21pm

    bopaboo....hmmm....sounds a little like Bobbabooie to me...I vote for parody.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    They can put what ever they want on a package but that doesn't mean they have any legal standing. You bought the product so it is yours to eat, give away or sell regardless of the package's 'restrictions'.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Caveat Emptor, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:28pm

    The Money Goes In

    Please note that as far as I can tell, there is no mechanism for funds to leave the bopaboo.com system. Review the faq for sellers, and it points out that the 80% of the sale that you get to keep can be used to purchase other tracks on bopaboo.

    Hrm....

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    chocolate Lover, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:32pm

    Hmm ... all you creative types out there, I wonder what a Hersheys chocolate bar label written by the RIAA would look like? (No I won't put it on the side of a delivery truck, could you imagine the gaggle of lawyers on that one??)

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    the "not for individual sale" is so that consumers know that they're being ripped off if all they see is a bunch of 'not for individual sale' bars, and no bags.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    the "not for individual sale" is so that consumers know that they're being ripped off if all they see is a bunch of 'not for individual sale' bars, and no bags.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Chris, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:38pm

    How about this.

    Ive put this idea on the internet before, but figured it was relevant to the conversation at hand.

    A service similar to itunes except that you trade songs with friends. So your library is essentially the collective library of all your friends on the service (my own thought is that anybody using the service is an implied friend ala I said hi on the message board, everybody knows me). One copy of the song can be kept, or the service could keep all the files centrally. As long as no more people are listening to a song at a given moment than there are legally held copies the system should be legal. If you want to change sharing to reselling music for a cent whatever, nominal fee for infinite music.

    Theoretically this model could be extended to any type of file. You could also restrict things if you would like to require a checkout process for borrowing a user's file, such that they could reserve or hold a movie or song for a specific time.

    Is there anything illegal there?

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Evan, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:48pm

    Illegal Copies

    So can I sell the mp3's that I (illegally) own? This seems like a quick way to make a buck - download a bunch of mp3's that I don't care for, sell them on this site, and get rich!

    Sounds like my dreams are coming true... money for nothing!

     

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  32.  
    icon
    D Mac (profile), Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:50pm

    From their blog:

    If you are curious about the people behind bopaboo, you are just going to have to patient - but it just may surprise you!

    hhmmmm?

     

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  33.  
    icon
    D Mac (profile), Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:52pm

    You don't get money back, you just get credit to download more tracks and since you were downloading free tracks to begin with that credit is worthless.

     

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  34.  
    icon
    D Mac (profile), Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    In what way is the consumer getting ripped off?

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Jenny, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 2:02pm

    Jointly owned by online music and movie club?

    Why wouldn't it be legal for an online club to put music, ebooks, and movies owned jointly by its members online for member use? Just because membership may extend to a large number and the club has dues and takes donations does not mean that the members of the club are not entitled to use club property. If they just kept one legal copy on a club server, I would think it should be OK, even if member access the server over the Internet. Dues and donations would seem fair, and if members illegally download copies I am sure that would be against the TOS so the club should be no more responsible than Google. Following that logic, if another server streams it's legal acquired copy from it's server for free to anyone who uses their site, it should be legal as long as no extra copies are made and sold. Someone bought it, and sometimes the Internet is like a library. If people like it, they can buy their own legal copy. Simply seeing or hearing a copy someone legally bought should not be illegal, even if the Internet is involved.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    Actually, the "Not for Individual Sale" notice is because the little candy bars aren't labeled with the nutritional info and ingredients list required by US law; it's all on the overwrap bag.

     

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  37.  
    icon
    ConceptJunkie (profile), Dec 5th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    That would probably be the FDA or whatever agency governs how food products must be labeled. The only thing stopping them from selling the little candy bars individually is that they are not labeled according to food packaging rules. If they were (and it's unlikely you could get everything you needed printed on such a small wrapper) then they could be sold. It has nothing to do with the manufacturer, AFAIK.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    nasch, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 3:27pm

    Re: How about this.

    Is there anything illegal there?

    Illegal, maybe not. Is there anything there the RIAA would attempt to crush with a hail of lawsuits? Certainly.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Mark Regan, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 5:12pm

    What about stores selling and renting used DVDs and CDs?

    Since the music industry and film industry does not pursue the retail stores in the BUSINESS of selling and renting USED CDs and DVDs, because they are TOO BUSY suing college students who downloaded a few tunes to study by on grandpas computer (oops, they sued grandpa by mistake), then how can they justify telling us we cannot sell our mp3 players which happen to have music we legally downloaded from iTunes on it?

    I call that a "value added" mp3 player, because the purchaser doesn't have to go through all the crap necessary to buy music online. FREE is EASY. Purchasing is complex. So, I'll just SELL my mp3 player, thank you. And if Apple or MCI sues me, I'll file bankruptcy. Let them go after the commercial enterprises and leave us FANS and MUSIC LOVERS alone.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    StopWhining, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 6:03pm

    It's all about licensing. If you don't like the terms, don't involve yourself in the deal. If you want free music, get it from someone who wants to give it away for free, or write your own. Or change the law creators of music have no rights to license it, and must give it away. Etc. Etc.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Chortle, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 12:30am

    Plausable

    With many popular things like Old Time Radio in public domain he could sell the file, although you could get most of them for free legally through podcasts.
    Is every Mp3 file after the one recorded of converted a used file just as when you drive you new car off the lot?
    StopWhining has a point and it is why I buy books and CDs from people who use Creative Commons License because they will use the money to create more art rather than to sue someone's grandma.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Jesse, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 9:53am

    In Canada, it gets even crazier, because we have that blank media levy. The copyright board says you can one person can copy another persons music onto blank media (so that both people have a copy, even though one person paid for the original) because you paid the levy on the blank media. But, I mean, if you copy a CD, it implies that it is okay to be on a computer first right. And ripping for personal use is okay, so you can transfer music to your computer.

    But what if you add the step of transfering over the internet? So instead of physcially going to my friends house, I transfer it over the internet. As long as it ends up on a CD/DVD, it's okay right? Plus what if you transfer to mp3 first, then you can put lots of music onto one CD (even more on a DVD), way more than a store bought CD.

    Does this apply to only music? What about software, movies etc?

    Mike, I would really like if you did a piece on the levy in Canada, and explore these possibilities. Is file sharing legal in Canada now?

     

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  43.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 6th, 2008 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    As another poster mentioned, its because they are lacking the nutritional information.
    Although I would beg to differ that they are actually being ripped off. Everybody knows its not exactly healthy food and made in a plant that contains peanuts. =)

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Twinrova, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 4:06am

    This could have HUGE impacts down the road (for the better).

    "If, however, this actually is real, I imagine it will survive all of about a day, before it gets shut down."
    I'd be interested to see how the site could be shut down. In theory, it can be quite legit.

    If we can take our used CDs in for resale, why not our MP3? There's no guarantee we didn't make a copy of the CD before reselling, so there's no issue on the MP3 as well (assuming users deleted the song from their library).

    I would LOVE to see the music industry try and sue this site for any copyright violation. If the site takes down the MP3 after the first sale, they'd be set to take on the challenge since it would be NO different than the CD itself.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    joe, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 1:13pm

    good idea if...

    This would be a good idea IF they would raise the quality of the files. I am all for purchasing music, but the current state of the files are NOT on par with the same sound coming off a cd. So I have yet to venture into the mp3 realm (well I did at first back in the late 90s when it was just becoming a standard and for the "cool effect") just to hear a few songs but ever since they are a commodity I have gotten away from them.
    I would love to be able to buy cheaply songs online that are quality and to resell them when I want along with the DRM rights. Until they raise the standards of audio quality though I won't be buying, or, obviously selling any.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    joe, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 1:19pm

    although...

    this could fall into the realm of things like liquor, where you need a proper license in order to sell...

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2009 @ 8:46am

    fuckoff you stuckup cunt

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Jenni, Feb 18th, 2010 @ 12:08pm

    If so, bravo for the satire. If, however, this actually is real, Enzyte I imagine it will survive all of about a day, before it gets shut down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Bad Credit Mortgage, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 6:47am

    Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me.


    Scholarship

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2011 @ 6:00pm

    Im definetly gonna try and start a site that will allow you to do that! I doubt it will be silly when im in a g5

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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