Bad Faith in Music Industry Litigation Settlement


To review our story so far: As a part of their settlement for being price fixing, anti-competitive, ologopolists, the music industry had agreed to make substantial donations of CDs to schools and public libraries.

Given the pounding the Music Biz rep has taken over the past few years — the price fixing, the illegal conspiracies, the not paying their artists, (the list goes on and on) — this was a golden opportunity to generate a little good will, rub some of the tarnish off, and shine up their (deservedly) bad reputation.

Instead, they have used the settlement as an opportunity to dump worthless, unsellable junk on these unsuspecting public non profits. (scum sucking weasels apparently don’t change their stripes). This is precisely why when settling litigation, one should never accept “trade.” It encourages, well, lets just call it bad behavior:

“Fifty-seven copies of a CD featuring the classically trained trio may be a bit much for one library in Tacoma, Wash. “I was pretty surprised by the numbers,” said librarian Lara Weigand.”

Is anyone surprised at this? The class action attorneys have already been paid — this is as clear an example of bad faith as you will ever come across:

“The CD cornucopia — consisting of approximately 5.6 million compact discs — was billed as a windfall for libraries and schools when it was announced in September 2002 as part of a $144 million settlement of the lawsuit, which alleged that music distribution companies illegally inflated the price of CDs by requiring retailers to sell them at or above a set level in order to qualify for substantial advertising funding.

But when the first shipments began arriving last week, some librarians suspected that the companies — the Bertelsmann Music Group, EMI Music Distribution, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment — were dumping CDs that had been gathering dust in warehouses when they received hundreds of copies of some titles for which there is little or no demand.”

The industry has blamed this on a programming bug: “The good news is that the mystery has been solved and the source of the overabundance has been determined to be nothing more sinister than a computer-programming glitch that will soon be fixed, law enforcement officials say.”

Why is it that I doubt that?

UPDATE: 11:07pm June 24, 2003
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter details the pathetic industry droppings in excruciating detail . . .

Librarians: Free CDs too much of a good thing
Settlement of music industry price-fixing case yields some odd lots
By Mike Brunker
MSNBC: 1:35 p.m. ET June 17, 2004

CD trove is proving short on treasures
Candace Heckman
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter, June 24, 2004

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Daniel Birch commented on Jun 24

    Barry, am a regular reader, and do follow your dislike of the music industry “big 5”. Am writing this from London and I wonder how big the collective indie label is the US ??? they do say that it is 6th member of the industry in the UK. Have all the independant labels been bought out??

Posted Under