Dear California Music Purchaser....

by Chris DiBona

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Back in "the day" when the music and hardware companies were touting the astounding benefits of the CD format, they promised a number of things to the consumer, including, but not limited to:

    Perfect sound forever

    Inexpensive CD cots

    Conversion of their entire catalogs of music.

We did get a terrific general improvement in sound quality (yes, vinyl lovers, I have a very nice turntable too so don't bother reminding me about the dangers of solid state technology) and durability. And CDs are indeed much less expensive to manufacture, not that consumers ever saw that benefit. In fact, in return for higher prices, the industry promised that their entire back catalogs would be available, which we all know was just another way of saying "nah, it's just gonna cost more, and , no, we're not releasing that "The Sparks" album featuring their groundbreaking 70's appeal to citrus consumption: 'Pineapple'"

Yes, I know large consortia lying to the consumer is nothing new, and noone really bought this stuff when the different people pushing the CD format we're hucking these lines. But when they recently were accused of and settled with the California court on charges of price-fixing, there was a handy website where you could make sure you were part of the class.

Today, funnily enough, I received my check (see the accompanying letter) for $13.86 cents. Which isn't so bad, I mean, that's $13.86 cents I didn't have, but it really makes you wonder about the nature of such things. I mean, I've probably bought somewhere around 800 cds through my life, and if each one was just a teeny rip off of say a $1 a piece (ha!) then that check should be much larger.

That said, money is good, and I wanted to see who else on O'Reilly had this nice gift from Bill Lockyer show up in their mailbox today? Do you think such settlements are a just punishment or just a waste of time and money that no one will learn from?

Did you get your CD settlement check?


2004-03-01 03:37:41
Wow! CD's really were overpriced.
an EU study has shown that there is NO pricefixing in the oil industry and that indeed gas prices in the EU (which are 4 times or more as high as they are in the US) are NOT inflated.

They of course forgot to mention that there's 75%+ taxation on gas and that any decrease in gas prices would cost them billions in tax income.