UnNews:New laws doubleplus good for consumers
10 May 2007
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TALLAHASSEE Florida -- New legislation aimed at curbing the sale of stolen goods is poised to bankrupt criminal syndicates that use pre-owned CDs to launder money three dollars and twenty-five cents at a time.
John Mitchell, an attorney for the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, reports that Florida and Utah have passed second-hand goods legislation, generally referred to as 'Putting Consumers First Laws', that could make the buying and selling of used CDs much more onerous to stores and less attractive to criminals looking to sell music that has aged poorly and is leading to embarrassment when spotted by friends and family.
"The problem is that people who purchase CDs think that they actually own them and, by extension, that they can sell them once they tire of that irritating Technotronic single, for example." said John Mitchell. "What our customers fail to realize is...oh, screw it. We're in it for the money."
In Florida, the new legislation requires all stores that buy second-hand music for resale apply for a reasonably priced permit. After being approved for the $10,000 permit, the stores are required to obtain thumb-prints and a small sample of brain tissue from customers, or "suspects", before tagging them with radio collars to ease tracking by authorities after the customers, or "criminals", are released back into the wild. Furthermore, stores can only issue store credit, not pay cash, in exchange for traded CDs, and are required to hold them for a 30-day period before re-selling them.
"Used CDs, as we all know, are Al Qaeda's favored method for laundering money." continued Mr. Mitchell, after lighting a Cuban cigar with a hundred dollar bill. "If people are free to easily resell things that they've purchased that means that people can easily buy used things, and the terrorists win. You don't want them to win, do you?"
In states where pawn shop laws are getting more restrictive it's impractical to sell used CDs, merchants complain. In fact, one music retailer in Florida reports that one of his stores has already been visited by local police, backed up by members of SWAT and the RIAA, enforcing the law. As a result, the chain stopped dealing in used goods in that store.
"We need law enforcement to enforce the law, y'know?" mumbled Mr. Mitchell, pausing to snort cocaine from the cleavage of a two-grand a night hooker. "Without their support we'd be defenseless! People would run amok in the street, selling and buying CDs! Do you understand? Do you? Chaos!"
Video game retailers have thus far avoided similar laws. Stores selling previously owned video games do not need a permit, and only have to hold used merchandise for 15 days before reselling.
"I don't work for those nerds, so why would I give a damn? Now, if they start selling music, boom!, I'll be all over them like payola on radio! Ah, those were the days..." reminisced John Mitchell.
Record industry executives are positively ecstatic about the laws, believing the secret to maintaining their steadily shrinking customer-base is to protect consumers with new laws that make it harder for them to sell the CDs that turned out to not be worth listening to more than a couple of times in the first place.
"Hey, we invented those cellophane things that prevent you from getting to the music that you just bought. We're all about the customer. Did anyone use the 'terrorists win' line yet? They did?" said one executive while topping off his dog's water dish with Dom Perignon. "How about safety? We have statistics that, spun properly, prove that more consumers are injured by used CDs than are killed by...oh, I don't know...guns or something."
Consumer reaction thus far varies from shoulder-shrugging apathy to suicidal dance frenzy.
"Meh, most music is crap anyway." said one customer at Ted's Music 'n' More in Jacksonville. "I'll probably just pirate it."
"What? Now my copy of 'Sports' by 'Huey Lewis & The News' is worthless. Worthless! Waaah!" screamed another who, panicking while trapped in the spiraling descent of a swirling maelstrom of despair, proceeded to cabbage-patch his eyes out with his bare hands and electric slide himself through the plate glass window at the front of the store in a despondent and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to escape misery's suffocating embrace.
Ed Christman "New Laws Threaten Used CD Market." Billboard, 1 May 2007