Sometimes the music industry just doesn’t help itself. With music sales plummeting there has never been a better time for the record labels to start garnering a little sympathy. But then they go and do something like this. Following the 2004 ruling against discount online CD retailer CD WOW (see my posts from 2004 for more details) the labels are following up with further action. They claim that there are further irregularities, CD-WOW claim they were administrative errors.
Whatever the specific causes, the same fundamentals remain: the labels’ complaints revolve around the issue of parallel imports. i.e. they sell CDs at different prices in different territories in the globe and they use protectionist measures to ensure that those prices differences are maintained. CD-WOW were buying their CDs cheap ion Hong King and selling cheap to UK customers. The great irony is that CD-WOW weren’t buying from shady distributors but directly from the local divisions of the very labels taking them to court in the UK.
With music sales declining the labels need to be doing everything they can to foment sales. CDs are still too expensive. That’s why sites like CD-WOW have proven successful. If the labels insist on trying to maintain CD prices then they’ll lose sales and force many consumers into choosing between either not buying or going to a file sharing network.