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Holy Security State, Batman!

Hollywood may like to criticize GWB for his over-eager and intrusive anti-terrorism precautions, but they sure seem ready to take a page out of the homeland security book when it comes to protecting their CD sales:

In Florida, the new legislation requires all stores buying second-hand merchandise for resale to apply for a permit and file security in the form of a $10,000 bond with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In addition, stores would be required to thumb-print customers selling used CDs, and acquire a copy of state-issued identity documents such as a driver's license. Furthermore, stores could issue only store credit -- not cash -- in exchange for traded CDs, and would be required to hold discs for 30 days before reselling them.  (HT Overlawyered)

Requiring thumbprints from customers just to sell used CD's?  Are they nuts?  Can you imagine if they tried to apply this to anything else?  You'd have to have a retina scanner to use eBay.  Freaking totally insane.  I can buy a gun, an aircraft, and a shopping cart full of rat poison without a thumbprint but I need to go through the jailhouse booking routine to sell a CD?

By the way, note how insane the requirements on resellers are.  For example, having to hold a disc 30 days before selling.  Why?  I am sure for a lot of hot music products the value goes down about 50% a month.

Of course, we all know the reason why.  This is about politically powerful incumbents protecting their business from competition.  In this case, music companies don't want to have to compete with their own CDs showing up on the aftermarket.  Well you know what -- suck it up.  Car companies have had to deal with this problem for years.  I am sure they would love laws that make it difficult for anyone to buy a used car (or maybe they wouldn't - a healthy secondary market gives consumers the ability to trade up to new models frequently, something music sellers should consider).

Think about the recycling angle, by the way.  The best recycling plan is to reuse an item for its original use.  We all remember Hollywood giving Al Gore a big wet kiss at the Oscars, and congratulating themselves for being more green than the rest of us schmucks  Except, of course, when it hits the bottom line.  "Hey you little guys out there, don't resell those CD's, we want to make sure you throw them out and buy new.  After all, we can't keep our private jets flying without selling lots more CDs."

Posted on May 8, 2007 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

Comments

We have a shopping center that has a music store at one end and a used CD store at the other. I have seen people go into the music store, come out, pull out a lap top and copy the music from a CD to the hard drive and then go to the CD store. Take a wild guess what's going on there. When the new DVDs come out I just wait a week and then buy the title at the CD store for $7.99 instead of $19.99 or $24.99.

Posted by: Jim Collins | May 9, 2007 5:27:07 AM

Is one legally obligated to destroy copies of music one has made from CDs if one sells/gives away the CD?

Posted by: Steve | May 9, 2007 9:23:16 AM

As I understand it, Steve, it's still really up in the air whether even ripping CD's to a digital format is considered 'fair use' (the RIAA members et al would love to say that it's not, and breaks the law, such as DMCA). But if you get rid of the original CD, and keep the ripped music, you don't even have a fair use argument you can make for possessing a copy of the songs.

I've long thought that the RIAA should go to an a la carte system of licensing. Basically, you're responsible for owning a license for all the music you possess, and the producers/artists sell licenses for some reasonable fee (not this dollar a song crap). How you get it is up to you, whether you download it from the producers or over P2P or borrow someone's CD, or anything like that. People would love to have legal copies, and it would get the content owners out of the manufacturing business. But there are too many things that would spook the RIAA, and I'm not convinced that their goal isn't to make you pay them something every single time one of their songs wafts into your ears.

Posted by: Highway | May 9, 2007 8:39:12 PM

Imagine what they would do to a “cover band,” one who plays another band’s music (without their permission) live.

The question is, does the increasing simplicity of musical format interchangeability and proliferation help or hurt copyrighted material sales?

Steve Jobs is betting “help,” as they are most aggressively pushing for ever-lower cost, and increased volume sales, with increased portability.

I’d tend to agree, as I’ve built quite a musical library myself, much of which spawned interest from either downloaded clips or other formats which caused me to go out and purchase the original source CD, many of which are now being offered with bonus outtakes and live tracks I never previously had, or had in inferior quality.

[I’m also an ex-musician and audio snob, and can easily tell a compressed audio file format when I hear it.]

Posted by: Mesa EconoGuy | May 10, 2007 5:06:55 PM

Mesa: The one thing the record industry did right was to create one place where cover bands and anyone else who performs or plays copyrighted music in public can easily pay the appropriate royalties and be legal, no matter who created the music. OTOH, I suspect that darned little of that money ever finds it's way to the creators.

Also, both the RIAA and MPAA often go too far in trying to collect those royalties, IMO: the MPAA in trying to collect royalties when a nursing home shows a movie to it's inmates, the RIAA when it claims that a business owes royalties if there's a radio playing in the office. Maybe they are legally entitled, but every good business owner knows there are times when you give up a little for customer good will. They keep pressing such cases, and eventually people will be pressing their congresscritters to exempt such cases from copyright law - and a whole lot more.

Posted by: markm | May 11, 2007 8:10:08 AM

Markum:

Back in my musician days, I was in numerous cover bands, and never once paid any royalty or fee; many of the venues I performed in openly displayed the ASCAP/RIAA stickers on the front door.

The question never even came up, unless we were considering studio recording cover tunes, and that never went further unless we sold copies.

Posted by: Mesa EconoGuy | May 11, 2007 3:53:17 PM

Venues that hire cover bands pay a yearly fee to BMI or ASCAP that takes care of licensing for cover songs. ...beats me how the accounting works. I'm sure more goes into G-V's for self-important middle men in LA and Nashville, than for tiny checks to artists.

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To get alot of dofus kamas,go to moon island and fight the Bamboo monsters make sure you have 3 dofus.If you dont then they will take major damage from you.When you fight them,be wearing the Gobbal Headgear and SMALL redness cloak.If you want even more kamas make sure that you have a bworky as your pet.When you fight and when against the bamboo monsters.They will drop like 500-600 dofus kamas. This secret worked for me and it should work for you too. If you do not wear the following they will not give you as much dofus. (Gobbal Headgear)(SMALL redness cloak)(3 dofus kamas) (bworky)

Posted by: blogerblog | Jun 11, 2007 2:23:43 AM

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