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CD Wow to pay millions

UK Recording Industry gets damages
29 May 07 - Online retailer CD-Wow has been ordered to pay £41m to British record companies after breaking a deal to stop selling illegally imported cheap albums in the UK.

Back in March the company The High Court in London ruled that the site's owners, Music Trading Online, were "in substantial breach" of a 2004 agreement to stop importing CDs.

It has now ordered Hong Kong-based CD-Wow to pay £37m plus interest to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Matt Phillips from the BPI told 6 Music that the case would send a message to other retailers thinking of breaking the law to make profits:

“I think this is huge, I mean if you look over the past ten years, an increasing number of CD sales have moved to online retailers, so if anyone thought this was a legitimate loophole that could be exploited I think they are mistaken.”

CD-Wow says it will continue to sell cheap CDs and may appeal the ruling.

Adrian Larkin

Have your say

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Comments so far

John, Ilford
There is a lot of concern about anti-social behavour in this country and I beleive this is because the BPI are supporting bad role models. CD Wow encourages people to buy legal copies of music CD's at reasonable prices. This court decision proves that they would rather back criminal gangs involved in piracy than talented artists and law biding citizens.The judge was obviously too drunk or too stupid to realise. There should be a serious review of the compedence of judges.

Patrick Folkestone
I would say any music fan in this contry that has accses to the internet should download all there music for 6 months and do not buy any cds from uk retailers. Only buy from sites that import such as USA sites they still work out cheaper after paying the post costs. If we all did this the bpi and the retailers would all have to reduce there prices or they would go bust which would not be a bad thing. Also the goverment would loose a fourtune in VAT. I can download any music I want for nothing anyway. But I only do this to try it out if it is good then I buy the album...I do not belive in stealing music but the bpi continues to steel our money.

Michael, London
I am ashamed to be britsh, this is red tape gone crazy, I like to shop on line for the best deals and CD WOW have save me hundreds of pounds, this is so unfair to them, I hope they will win their appeal.

DK - Wilts
This move will only serve to increase piracy, where every sale made by CD-Wow was actively decreasing piracy.The laws around parallel importing seem to be archaic and surely are used purely as method of price fixing in this modern age of the internet!

Ian H, London
Disgraceful, why should we pay more than others for the same thing simply because some fat cat executive want to make us. Also very dissapointing that the British legal system upholds the ripping-off of the people it's meant to protect.

Alan Price, Wellingborough
1. CDs are grossly overpriced in the UK compared to the rest of the World - anything which helps redress this iniquity or makes record companies adopt an honest and conscionable pricing policy is to be welcomed, whether it's cheap CDs or downloads.2. Record companies and top artists are making hideous amounts of money. They should stop bleating and start investing in/sharing with some of the developing bands/venues etc. who need it.

Alan Swansea
What better proof is needed that this is "rip-off" britain and the music industry is doing the ripping off. The prices are so artificially high here that CD-Wow can buy legal record company CDs in Asia, ship them to the UK, and make a profit while charging less than the official UK pricing. We should be changing the law to allow this, not sueing CD-Wow for supporting the free market economy.

Martin, Ashford,Kent UK
What's the problem ?, they are genuine CD'sarn't they, so there's no piracy involved is there. If I went to Hong Kong I could by these CD's in a store legally! Is it a case of greed ?

Richard, Birmingham
Absolute joke, they seriously think the way to stop piracy is by charging us more for cds, absolutely shocking move by the BPI.

Malcolm / Christchurch
Again the ordinary people will lose out from the incessant greed of the BPI. If we stopped buying the over inflated Cd's in this country they would very soon drop the prices to an acceptable level and we would stop being ripped off!

Lee, Brighton
So much for a free and open global economy. I'm fed up with paying such high prices for everything in the UK. Rock on CD-Wow.

Nick, County Durham
I thought CD-WOW was shipping to us cheap CDs which we'd bought in their native country? IE we were buying HK CD's from a HK company and they were just sending us what we've bought.The only message this is sending is that the UK is still a very expensive place to buy music - no wonder so many people choose alternative methods of procuring music....

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