Friday, April 11, 2008

Throw That Beat In The Garbage Can - but check the label first

The long-contentious status of the promo CD - seen by record labels as a way of spreading knowledge of bands amongst tastemakers and by journalists and DJs as their beer fund - has come to court. Universal Music Group is suing Troy Augusto, who sells on unwanted promo records through eBay.

Universal contends that the little label "this disc remains the property of Universal" is enough to make selling the records on illegal; the counterview is that if you send out thousands of discs, without keeping records of where they go, and without any expectation of return, you can't complain if the recipients sell them on. Wonderfully, Universal even claims that throwing the disc away is a breach of the rules - presumably, burying the discs in a wooden chest on a desert island, in the style of a pirate, would constitute, well, piracy.