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Promotional - Not For Sale or Jail

UniversalEbay.jpg

VERY interesting outcome to the case of UMG (Universal) vs Troy Augusto.

I do believe that record companies were inconsistent & ultimately wrong here; possibly desperate greed in the current climate of declining physical (CD) music sales. In the UK, 2nd hand shops like 'Music & Video Exchange' (aka 'Church') and 'Eil' have been selling 'promotional' items for decades with, as far as I know, no major probems and all 'kosher'.

Another famous 2nd hand record shop 'Beanos' has had problems selling 'promos' on ebay yet it only seemed to be problematic with 'newer' items.

In the early 90s, auction house Sotheby's had on the front of their rare record catalogue a 7" of the Beatles "Love Me Do", marked 'promotional copy, not for resale' and it went for 15,000.

The owner of Beanos, David Lashmar suggested to the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) that they might like to go back to Sotheby's and ask for the money back, because this is still subject to the same rules that modern promotional items are.

This 'grey area' of what you can/can't sell has been fascinating - ebay tend to sit on the fence and suspend sellers when a VERO member notifies ebay that certain items should not be sold as they are promotional.

I could bang about this for ages, having 'Churched' for years, witnessing the 'promotional item' market but wrapping things up, imagine if you applied the record company's 'not for resale' attitude to, say, restaurants/snack bars: "Sorry mate, you can't let anyone else have a bite of your sandwich" or "If you buy those eggs, only you can use/eat them and you can't take them out of this store." etc.

In short, yes, making illegal CD/DVD copies, illegally uploading, illegally file-sharing etc. is, er, illegal but what is wrong in legally re-selling an item you no longer want (i.e. book/DVD/CD etc)? As the EFF claimed and US District Court Judge S James Otero ruled, the doctrine of "First Sale" in copyright law has been upheld - i.e. once a copyright owner gives away a copy of a CD, DVD or book, the recipient is entitled to sell it on.

Will be interesting to see how this affects UK/Europe......

Posted on June 12, 2008 at 11:38 AM

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