DJ Arrested For Selling Pre-Release Promo CDs On eBay

from the ridiculous dept

Just days after a US court ruled that selling promo CDs sent out by the recording industry is perfectly legal, Techdirt reader cram writes in to let us know of a DJ and music reviewer in London who was arrested for doing exactly the same thing. The only difference in this case was that the guy was selling the CDs before they had been released. Still, this seems positively ridiculous. As we had just noted, while some places do treat pre-release leaks differently, UK law does not. Furthermore, he's being charged with theft and money laundering. He was turned in by the IFPI, which apparently thinks that jailing the folks who promote your product is a good thing. What's not entirely clear from the article is whether this guy was sent these CDs by the labels in the first place. However, it does sound like he got them as part of his role as a DJ and reviewer, since the IFPI even mentions that "people who have access to pre-release music by virtue of their job," should watch out. If he really was "stealing" them, that's one thing -- but if the industry was sending them to him to promote the CDs, then hopefully the UK courts will react similarly to the US courts and quickly throw this out. Once they've sent him the CDs, they're his. They're no longer the record label's. That he was arrested for selling something willingly given to him to promote seems ridiculous.

Filed Under: arrested, dj, london, pre-release, promotional cds
Companies: ifpi


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 17 Jun 2008 @ 8:43am

    The reselling of promo CDs is actually pretty common in the UK. Indy record shops usually have a rack or 2 of promo CDs. There's really nothing wrong with it, and I'll guess this guy was just selling of the ones that didn't fit hit personal taste / remit as a DJ. They give him free stuff, he uses his right to resell the gifts.

    This is utterly dumb. They're not pirate CDs, after all. It's just like that arrest of the mixtape DJ in the US who got arrested - another case where a person who's actually promoting music is prevented from doing so. Fantastic.

    I don't have complete faith in his success though. Look at the CDWOW cases where they were prevented from selling cheaper CDs under copyright law because the CDs had been sourced from outside the EU. Or the Lik Sang case, where they were shut down for daring to sell PSPs before they were officially released in the UK. Sometimes laws over here can be idiotic.

    Oh, FTA, Universal are behind the US arrest? That makes me so surprised and once again vindicates my decision to never buy major label product. Maybe someone can beat some sense into them before their inevitable bankruptcy somewhere in the future.

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