So you don't read the legal notices? Okay, I don't either, but for the past month or so the record labels have been running ads, in fine print at the back of many national magazines. The ads explain that they owe us money. Provided, of course, that we purchased cds, pre-recorded cassette tapes, vinyl phonograph records in the years 1995-2000.

And who here didn't do that?

How did this happen?

Somebody sued them.

American States, all of 'em (and Puerto Rico), sued the labels for conspiring to maintain an "advertised minimum price" on CD's. Collusion to maintain a higher prices-- price fixing is clearly banned by US anti-trust legislation, as it is an anti-competitive practice. The states sued, and the labels, (Virgin, Elektra etc.) settled. The labels will contribute to a fund of over $65 million dollars to repay consumers for our loss, up to a maximum of $20 each. Of course you have to apply to get your $20. And hardly anybody is--- at least according to Wired.

To become a part of the settlement class, you need to visit the following website:

You have to certify that you bought albums (and who doesn't) during the affected period, give your name, address etc, and you will qualify. Once.

Given the record labels' incomparable greed and their unwillingness to support new, niche artists who aren't immediate hits, I'd say go get your money. If only a few people show up to claim the cash they won't have to pay.

And you can use the money to get a new CD. Or DVD. Or see The Two Towers again. Donate to E2. Whatever. You must do it by March 3, 2003 or the money goes away.

for details about how no one is taking their money go to:,1294,57111,00.html For details of the settlement, will provide them

Good news! cbustapeck got his $20! Only it was for $13.86, but hey, it's money and this is America. And I got my $13.86 as well, which I used to purchase a CD by The New Pornographers.

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