Spate Of New Laws To Make Life Miserable For Used CD Stores

from the that'll-fix-your-problems dept

For a long time, Ticketmaster had to defend itself against charges that it was a monopolist. After awhile, the uproar died down, but then the company turned around and embraced monopolistic practices by using politicians and the courts to go after the competition. The company claimed that it wanted to crack down on the concert ticket after-market in a bid to protect consumers from scalpers and fakes, but the company's only intention was to eliminate competitors and keep its margins high. The incident was a good demonstration of the fact that the truest monopolies are ones that are buttressed by the government. A similar story is now playing out in another aspect of the music business, as various state and local governments are stepping in to make life harder for sellers of used CDs. Under the new laws, used CD stores would have to take all kinds of security measures and apply for a special license, which would require them to post a $10,000 bond. In some places, stores would only be able to pay out store credit. Ostensibly, the new laws are all about protecting the public, with the idea that used CD stores shouldn't be accepting merchandise from thieves. But there's no doubt that these laws are essentially designed to protect sellers of new CDs and record labels, which have never liked the used CD business. While it may be true that the used CD business subtracts marginally from the market for new CDs, these issues distract from more important issues, as record labels and CD music retailers of all sorts have bigger fish to fry if they want to thrive in a changing industry.

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  • identicon
    ScaredOfTheMan, 7 May 2007 @ 10:27am

    On a sinking ship you bail water with whatever you got...even if its a teaspoon.

    Next they will outlaw garage sales

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2007 @ 10:29am

    Oh ho ho ho do you seriously want to drive customers online to find cheap music?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2007 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      Oh ho ho ho do you seriously want to drive customers online to find cheap music?
      Sure, that way you can sue them for way more!

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

  • identicon
    Dave M, 7 May 2007 @ 10:30am

    Gee, thanks, Techdirt, you caused me to break the

    You see, now I'm apparently guilty of theft, and it's your fault Techdirt!.

    At the bottom of that Reuters article about selling used CDs, there is a link entitled, "Click for restrictions", which tells me, among other things:

    "Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters."

    When I followed the link to the Reuters article, my browser automatically made a complete copy and stored it on my hard drive. Do you think they would go easy on me if I just turned myself in?

    Man, I am so screwed!

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

  • identicon
    Jamaal Johnson, 7 May 2007 @ 10:40am

    Stolen CD's

    This has nothing to do with technology and does not need to be on techdirt. It is about kids going into walmart, stealing 20 cd's, and then reselling them at the used CD store.

    This is what kids used to do for drug money at my school.

    For once, an article that says "Stolen Music" actually means "Stolen Music".

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2007 @ 11:09am

      Re: Stolen CD's

      Bring it on, the way it is now we have a chance to catch these kids and throw them in jail or juvie or whatever it takes to straighten them out or ruin their lives or whatever ends up happening. The war on drugs is stupid, but I've got no sympathy for shoplifters.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2007 @ 11:56am

        Re: Re: Stolen CD's

        The war on drugs is stupid, but I've got no sympathy for shoplifters.

        Wow, that last statement killed your posting. It actually makes it sound like your a proponent of legalizing currently illegal drugs. That would not be a stance to take if you want people to believe you to have credibility in a debate. Might as well have just put on a tin foil hat so the government couldn't read your brain waves...

        While preventing kids stealing to sustain a drug habit is a positive goal, it would seem that the reform should come from the stores losing the product rather then the governments regulation of stolen goods. Receiving of stolen property is already illegal, but in the case of CDs, there is no way for them to know if they are legit.

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

        • identicon
          ehrichweiss, 7 May 2007 @ 1:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: Stolen CD's

          What does desiring to legalize currently illegal drugs have to do with killing his statement, in anyone's but your own eyes? It's been proven that the moment we make a "War On" something we are immediately doomed to lose it...drugs, terror, homeless, poverty, dumbass politicians trying to make it even harder than it already is to get by..

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2007 @ 1:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Stolen CD's

            It's been proven that the moment we make a "War On" something we are immediately doomed to lose it...

            How has it been proven? In order for your statement to be true no one could have ever won a war...

            BTW: There have been attempts to legalize currently illigal drugs, and it has never panned out well. In fact, with the increase of availability of drugs there have been significant increases in other problems. Remember, people don't steal and kill because drugs are expensive. They steal and kill because they are not free.

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

    • identicon
      ehrichweiss, 7 May 2007 @ 1:08pm

      Re: Stolen CD's

      Don't you think that it's up to the publishers here on Techdirt to determine if this article is supposed to be here or not?

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

    • identicon
      Nismoto, 7 May 2007 @ 4:28pm

      Re: Stolen CD's

      What article were you reading? Nowhere did I see the words "stolen music".

      Reselling stolen "new cds from Walmart" would still be new cds. Perhaps you've been spending too much drug money on, well,... DRUGS.

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

  • identicon
    Adam, 7 May 2007 @ 11:08am

    Truth in advertising

    Since most DVD and CD advertisements end with the exhortation to "own it today!", I can only pray that some enterprising soul will file a class action suit for false advertising.

    This kind restriction on resale of CD's and DVD's makes it clear that the members of RIAA and MPAA do not want to you to "own" it at all... just rent it with ownership remaining with the publisher/distributor.

    "Intellectual property" is an oxymoron under the original intent of copyright, trademark, and patent laws.

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

  • identicon
    Count Porkula, 7 May 2007 @ 11:10am

    I wonder how this will affect online retailers such as Ebay and Amazon? I quit buying new CDs years ago after Metallica, Sony the RIAA, etc. started treating their fans like criminals and infringing on my rights to fair use. As such I now get all my music by P2P. Life is good.

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

  • identicon
    OKVol, 7 May 2007 @ 11:59am

    Bring in the dogs

    Surely the RIAA is training some dogs (at the same place used by the MPAA) to sniff our stole CDs. For that matter, you could use dogs trained to sniff our marijuana, since most CDs are stolen from cars in which pot has been smoked, and the owner was too stoned to remember to lock the doors...then they used the money from the CDs that were stolen to go buy more drugs and CDs that they liked, until those were stolen...wow, this is like a product cycle.

    Anyway, I'd lay odds that more CDs are stolen from individuals than from Walmart.

    Didn't your soulmate have a CD that you really couldn't stand, so you sold it at Ameoba Records?

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

  • identicon
    Amethyst, 7 May 2007 @ 12:02pm

    People have been stealing since the dawn of time. I don't advocate it, certainly, but are they really naive enough to think that punishing the little guy is going to actually stop it? It'll still happen.

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

  • identicon
    Amethyst, 7 May 2007 @ 12:02pm

    People have been stealing since the dawn of time. I don't advocate it, certainly, but are they really naive enough to think that punishing the little guy is going to actually stop it? It'll still happen.

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

  • identicon
    Most of you are idiots, 7 May 2007 @ 12:09pm

    Idiots

    This has NOTHING to do with the RIAA. Are you people stupid? It has to do with shoplifting and burglaries.

    If a store reports that 5 cd's were stolen and a pawn shop received those 5 cd's the police can easily track down the stolen goods and catch the shoplifter. If someone broke into your car and stole your cd wallet, the police can more easily track them down.

    This is why they want the 20 day window. Used CD stores are very similar to pawn shops, and receive a lot of stolen goods.

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

    • identicon
      MichaelK, 7 May 2007 @ 12:32pm

      Re: Idiots

      Yeah, Idiots, I'm sure the cops will get right on that 5-CD theft.

      For example - they ignore $500 bikes getting stolen every day around here, and those have serial numbers on them... and even more expensive bikes in larger cites. I don't see any effort to regulate the used bike shops that buy bikes for cash.

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

    • identicon
      Lucy, 7 May 2007 @ 12:43pm

      Re: Idiots

      I think you're an idiot! Once the wrapper comes off the CD package, how are you going to track it? This is a dumb rule that restricts free commerce. And yeah, I'm biased against the idea because I'm an Amaz*n seller of used CDs.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2007 @ 1:58pm

      Re: Idiots

      If a store reports that 5 cd's were stolen and a pawn shop received those 5 cd's the police can easily track down the stolen goods and catch the shoplifter.

      Are you serious? First of all, stores don't know anything has been stolen in most cases until they do inventory and notice a numbers discrepancy, which can be weekly or monthly depending on the stores. Second, how would they find the kids who sold the CDs to the shop? It's not like they take your finger prints and a DNA sample when you hock some CDs.

      You are over simplifying the problem. What do you think they would do if they caught the kids? They would get a slap on the wrist and sent back out to get high and steal more CDs.

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

  • identicon
    TheToe, 7 May 2007 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Stolen CDs

    Is this going to affect pawn shops also? They sell a butt load of used cds. Are they going to have to put up a ten grand bond also. What about stolen CD players (or insert name of any item here), how do you know the kid didn't steal the player when he stole the cds. Most CDs in major outlets have the screaming tags in them that make the alarm go off when you leave the store if they weren't scanned.

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

  • identicon
    Chris, 7 May 2007 @ 12:18pm

    Do you really think that the Police would care/have enough time to track down some stolen CD's??? I would really love to live some place where, if somebody stole my CD case the police would track it down.

    This is the reason that I stopped buying CD's. My CD's were stolen, reported it, nothing....., So I downloaded my entire collection instead of buying them. I haven't bought a CD since.

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

  • identicon
    JustMatt, 7 May 2007 @ 12:21pm

    waste of time

    Another example of "We've got to do something, and fast!" by a wasteful government. Wait until this law extends to Craigslist and Freecycle and garage sales.

    The rule of first sale says that I have a legal right to resell my . Until that is repealed I see no point in enacting legislation to make things more difficult.

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

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 7 May 2007 @ 12:23pm

    Comment #4:
    I used to be part of a small shoplifting ring when I was in college but I was nearly caught twice in one week and was scared straight without getting caught. But looks like at least one judge is trying to find a way to scare/embarrass shoplifters.

    Comment #8:
    I think what he/she meant by the war on drugs being stupid isn't that fact getting rid of drugs is a bad idea but perhaps that for the most part the war on drugs isn't going that well.

    And I can see years from now the RIAA trying buy a law that forces CD manufactures to rig a CD so that it will only play in the first CD player it plays in be it walkman, car stereo, pc or whatever.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2007 @ 12:34pm

    This has NOTHING to do with the RIAA. Are you people stupid? It has to do with shoplifting and burglaries.

    If a store reports that 5 cd's were stolen and a pawn shop received those 5 cd's the police can easily track down the stolen goods and catch the shoplifter. If someone broke into your car and stole your cd wallet, the police can more easily track them down.

    This is why they want the 20 day window. Used CD stores are very similar to pawn shops, and receive a lot of stolen goods.


    How exactly are they going to prove that those CDs are the ones that were stolen from WalMart or wherever? How do the authorities know that they didn't come out of some kids collection. "Some hopped up teenager and his gang friends just wanna smoke the marijuana so they are stealing CDs for drug money". This is the same argument as the "Save the children" arguments. Some bought and paid-for politicians are doing this to show that they are doing something. This doesn't have anything to do with a CD that gets stolen from a store. RIAA, MPAA, and the rest cry foul when they can't get your money more than once for the same item. What do I do when I just don't want a CD anymore? I take it to a used record store. I don't want in-store credit, I want to go to 7-eleven and buy some PEZ or something. I'm tired of that MC Hammer CD and I think PEZ will be a good replacement. Who is the government to interfere between a valid and legal business transaction between a record store and me? This isn't a gun that will kill someone.

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

    • identicon
      Charles Griswold, 7 May 2007 @ 12:54pm

      Re:

      What do I do when I just don't want a CD anymore? I take it to a used record store. I don't want in-store credit, I want to go to 7-eleven and buy some PEZ or something. I'm tired of that MC Hammer CD and I think PEZ will be a good replacement. Who is the government to interfere between a valid and legal business transaction between a record store and me? This isn't a gun that will kill someone.

      What if it's a fully-automatic assault PEZ?

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

  • identicon
    Kenny, 7 May 2007 @ 12:46pm

    CD's Are Dying

    Does it really matter? CD's are a dying technology. These "helpful" laws are two decades to late. Maybe they will do the same thing with cassettes, 8-Tracks and Records. What about phonographs...heaven forbid!

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

  • identicon
    Wyatt, 7 May 2007 @ 12:52pm

    Stop attacking the kids..

    If the county wasn’t already f***ed up then maybe they wouldn’t feel the need to steal. If this article is really "about kids stealing" then why not comment on that aspect. How about doing something productive with them, rather than just locking them up. I'm sure these kids have damned good reason to do what they do. Weather its bad parenting or bad role models on TV telling em to shoot people and steal to get what they need.

    Anyway, back to the real point of the article. I'm betting that the largest percentage of the people who sell their music to a used CD store purchased that music legally. I would love to see a study done on the subject. It would be a waste of money and prove absolutely nothing.. But hey, why not waste more time and money on small scale problems that only affect a company that makes billions ripping off musicians anyway.

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

  • identicon
    rEdEyEz, 7 May 2007 @ 12:55pm

    Simple solution

    RIP'em to mp3's, destroy them, and toss.

    ...then, don't buy them (CDs) anymore.

    You retain the "value" of the content, and no longer are subjecting yourself to "pawn shop booking" aka fingerprinting/ID databasing/background checking.(lol)

    ...the industry is self-destructing, - good riddance.

    ps. How long before M$FT removes the "RIP feature" from WMP?

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

  • identicon
    Chris, 7 May 2007 @ 2:01pm

    Used CD stores help sell new CDs.

    The write-up says:

    While it may be true that the used CD business subtracts marginally from the market for new CDs...

    I'm no economist (this is about to become obvious), but: It's my understanding that healthy markets for used goods actually help sell new stuff. I'm far more likely to take a gamble on a CD if I know I can get half my cash back if I don't like it. Even if the person I sell it to would have bought it new, it's still good for the new CD market in general: the record company makes the cash from the sale they would have had anyway, and I'm more likely to try new stuff.

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

  • identicon
    maybe, 7 May 2007 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Stolen CD's

    Yes drugs are not free. But a certain drug.. pot wouldn't be so pricey if it were legal. The cost to traffic drugs is also what drives the cost and the violence up. In a world where you could just grow your own or in which the gov't regulated the sale of this plant would not only drop the overall cost of the plant but all the negative aspects(mules, forced labor, turf wars, etc.) of the business of moving it around. The big picture is that while not all drugs should be legal some shouldn't have been made illegal in the first place. Pot is a plant that you can grow and smoke unlike coka ( misspelled ) which must be processed en masse to produce cocaine.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2007 @ 8:24am

    What article were you reading? Nowhere did I see the words "stolen music".

    Reselling stolen "new cds from Walmart" would still be new cds. Perhaps you've been spending too much drug money on, well,... DRUGS.


    It only takes a second to open up a CD and take out the mag-strip... then they aren't New CDs anymore.

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

  • icon
    John (profile), 8 May 2007 @ 2:53pm

    What's the real issue

    For years, I've gone to used CD stores to buy older CD's.
    Is the real issue here that some corporate attorney thinks people buy too much older stuff from used CD stores instead of the latest release of yet another American Idol singer? Are sales of new CD's so bad that the corporate attorneys want to shut down used CD's stores to help inflate sales of new CD's?

    This is probably due to lack of retail space: places like Best Buy want proven sellers, so they'll give plenty of rack space to American Idol, Britney Spears, and the latest "bakd of the week". But just try to find an older Elvis or Rolling Stones CD.

    Or is it because organizations like the RIAA have basically locked-down CD prices for more than 20 years. Why are CD's still in the $15.99 to $19.99 price range? (Note: I haven't bought a CD is years, so please correct me if the prices are different.)
    CD players have fallen in price and so has the media (such as blank CD's with jewel cases). So why do CD's cost the same in 2007 as they did in 1981? (Cue long debate on the falling price of physical goods, but the rising cost of production *services*.)

    If people are wary about a new artist, wouldn't it be better to try out the music by buying a used CD at half price? If it's no good, you've only spend half your money. If you like it, you'll go get some more CD's by the same band.

    But then we're back to the earlier issue of trying to find the band's earlier CD's in the big retail store.

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

  • identicon
    gdavisloop, 2 Feb 2009 @ 4:20pm

    Stollen CDs

    So my friend stole all my CDs and sold the good ones to Amoeba. I'm about to find out if these new laws do the original owner of the CDs any good...
    --Gary

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


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