riaa eyes used-cd royalty
SixDifferentWays links to this rant against the notion of a royalty on used CDs. I estimate I've bought at least as many CDs used as new, so I was concerned. A quick Google search located what I believe is the primary source for Menta's comments, this San Diego Union-Tribune story, and it does appear that the recording industry, alarmed at declining revenues, is considering requesting the Federal government assess a fee on used CDs. Apparently sales of used CDs have been growing--after all, a CD is much more durable than an LP or cassette--and the RIAA wants a piece of the action. The industry cites concerns that used CDs undercut sales of new copies, and that music fans can buy, copy and then resell CDs.
Of course, the music industry has been aware of and tolerated stores that sell used music for decades. In an April 14 USAToday story (that's just two months earlier than the Union-Tribune article), an RIAA spokesperson acknowledged that a CD is the property of the person who bought it:
"We follow the doctrine that the original purchaser can resell the product if they bought it," says the RIAA's Jonathan Lamy
The very notion strikes me as the desperate flailing of an industry that's saddled itself with a failing business model and trying compensate by requesting legislation that reverses the long-standing notion that music, once purchased, becomes the buyer's property to keep, discard, trade, or sell as he or she pleases.