Monday, May 7, 2007

Offload Your Old CDs; Become a Criminal

Update: Whoops, forgot to tag this post. My bad....

New laws and regulations are now popping up everywhere speak frankly, stink. New restrictions on trading in/selling your old CDs to record stores and pawn shops seem to be designed from the ground up to make the entire process frustrating. Of course, this will increase CD sales and cripple the used CD market.... I wonder who pushed for these laws *cough* RIAA *cough*.

From Ars:

New "pawn shop" laws are springing up across the United States that will make selling your used CDs at the local record shop something akin to getting arrested. No, you won't spend any time in jail, but you'll certainly feel like a criminal once the local record shop makes copies of all of your identifying information and even collects your fingerprints.
In Florida, businesses that resell old CDs are now starting to get out of the business, as they are required to pay a $10,000 "bond". The primary reason for this legislation appears to be to prevent the sale of counterfeit and stolen merchandise.

While this may in-fact be a major problem, no data is provided to suggest that it is. However, even if we assume for the sake of argument that this is a major problem, shouldn't the targets of any enforcement be the people who are counterfeiting and/or stealing the CDs and not the completely innocent resellers who happen to get caught in the cross-fire?

Furthermore, what about the First-Sale Doctrine? In Florida, stores cannot give you money for your old CDs, but instead can only give you in-store credit (after a 30 day waiting period of course!). Once again, much like the controversial DMCA, we see the interests of the people completely ignored in-order to "protect" large corporations, many of whom have the legislators who pass these moronic laws in their back-pocket through the use of "lobbying" (hell, let's call a spade a spade, it's bribery, plain and simple). Like the DMCA that essentially destroyed fair-use rights on any copyrighted work that was encrypted, this legislation essentially strips consumers' rights under the First-Sale Doctrine and broadens the rights of the major record labels, filling their pockets with more undeserved gold.

Copyright was originally designed to promote the progress of science and the arts. Now, it is merely being used to make the rich even richer and to trample all over consumers in the process. Serious reform is necessary...


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