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. Such is the state of affairs in Florida, which now has the dubious distinction of being so anal about the sale of used music CDs that record shops there are starting to get out of the business of dealing with used content because they don’t want to pay a $10,000 bond for the “right” to treat their customers like criminals.
The legislation is supposed to stop the sale of counterfeit and/or stolen music CDs, despite the fact that there has been no proof that this is a particularly pressing problem for record shops in general. Yet John Mitchell, outside counsel for the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, told Billboard that this is part of “some sort of a new trend among states to support second-hand-goods legislation.” And he expects it to grow.
It’s so tiring and so predictable that I can’t sit here and claim to be outraged. But this is outrageous. As Fisher says (I’ve added a link):
The music industry has never been a big fan of the Doctrine of First Sale, and the rise of digital music sales will only exacerbate the tension between consumers who believe that they “own” what they pay for, and the music industry. As more and more content-oriented goods transition to digital formats that are distributed free of physical formats, this issue is going to get tricky because it will be harder to spot the counterfeits from the authentic products, and consumers will still expect to exercise robust rights with the content that they’ve paid for with their hard-earned cash.
As of right now there is nothing and no one that I know of that acts as a counterweight to Big IP in the legislatures, state or national. But if someone wants to start one and put me in charge, why, we could have some fun. I might have to resign from INTA, I guess, but you’d make it worth it for me, I’m sure.
Originally posted 2011-09-27 13:07:27. Republished by Blog Post Promoter