23/1/2004

CD Wow @ 11:13 am

I just recieved my mailing from CD-WOW to explain that basically because they aren’t allowed to import CD’s from outwith the EU they now have to charge a ?2.00 surchage to all EU based buyers.

Its the absurd situation that the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the British equivalent of RIAA, forces one of the few retailers which actually sells and distributes “reasonably” priced CD’s to pour more profit into the coffers of the record industry. Allegedly CD-WOW was breaching the copyright of the BPI’s members by sourcing its goods from outside Europe .

The music industry has been ripping customers off for years – but still the UK/EU and US governments have sought to further the monopolistic attitude to the European and US markets. This is the same industry found guilty (in courts in both Europe and the US) of wide spread price fixing and profitering and yet with the same breath the courts obstruct the free and open market economy that could really affect CD prices to consumers.

Of course the music industry bleats about how CD profits pay for the introduction of new artists and music blah de blah and how low cost CD’s are damaging to the industry – but quite frankly thats bollocks – we’ve seen that album sales have actually risen, that CD distribution and production costs have fallen and the profits of the big record companies have increased. However, in turn the record companies are only promoting “sure fire hits” – in other words the constant stream of pap from pop idol, or whatever other reality tv show you want to pick – or from existing artists with an existing strong fan base.

So Record companies make more money, sell more albums and get a higher profile in the media but still choose to produce fewer artists – and yet its our fault because we choose not to be ripped off by CD’s which are probably manufactured in the same place but which are distributed to asia rather than the EU…once again the british consumers get screwed whilst the record companies make more profit – and at the same time continue to raise the cost of entry into this exclusive boys club of record companies in turn continually squeezing out the small and medium sized record companies and independant labels – and in so irreparably damaging the originality of music that we hear on our radios….personally I don’t look forward to hearing Unchained Melodies by Pop Stars the Rival Idols 2057 (it’ll probably sound a bit like Gareth Gates)

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One for killing a bit of time….and a few penguins

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