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May 30, 2007


The CEO here seems to be a touch light on he actualite over the core points in the case over cheap CD imports being sold by CD WOW:

CD Wow claimed it was being treated unfairly and that consumers would lose out. It has vowed to fight yesterday's ruling, saying it will take the matter to the European courts, and carry on selling cheap CDs to British shoppers.

"It shouldn't matter whether we are buying from an official distributor in the UK, Europe or the Far East, what is important is that we are buying legitimate products from the record companies themselves," said Henrik Wesslen, the CD Wow chief executive.

The point is that it does matter. The music companies, just like the books and any number of other patented and copyrighted industries, do not in fact cover the world as one collossus. They are rather a web, a net, of people who buy and sell the rights to distribute in various countries.  Company A might discover a band and market them in the US. The rights to market the music in Japan migh be sold to Company B, with a strong Japanese distribution arm. To Australia to Company C and for the UK to Company D.

Having paid for these rights, and having invested in the marketing, of course they're going to be a little pissed off at seeing people selling what is, after all, their property in their exclusive area.

If we're going to have a system of patents and copyrights, and in the absence of truly global companies marketing their products, this problem is inevitable.

Sure, you can argue against copyright itself but I'll not follow you there.

May 30, 2007 in Music | Permalink


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This market-slicing is an attack on property rights. If I buy something, it's mine. No-one should be able restrict what I can do with it. If I want to set fire to my CD, I can. If I want to put it in a jiffy bag and post it to someone, I should be able to.

I wonder if CDWow tried arguing property rights under the ECHR?

Posted by: Kay Tie | May 30, 2007 9:56:18 AM

Uhh, isn't this usually the point at which you say "Of course, if they priced them correctly, this wouldn't be a problem."?

Posted by: Neil | May 30, 2007 10:42:32 AM

Well, apart from Neil's point about pricing, to follow Kaytie's point, this isn't about copying things, this is about the right to distribute.

Why there should be a right to distribute exclusively is a quite separate question. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this monopoly was upheld under trademark laws rather copyright laws (haven't seen the judgment yet though).

Posted by: Marcin Tustin | May 30, 2007 11:51:52 AM