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New online CD swap service

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Mar 2006 15:32 User comments (21)

A new service called La la aims to make it possible for consumers to pick up used CDs for just $1. This is possible and also legal because the discs are in fact "traded" by members of the service. The company is backed by $9 million in funding from Bain Capital and Ignition Partners. It works by allowing members to trade CDs they own for CDs they want. The trade is made in pre-paid envelopes, similar to how online DVD rental services operate.
If members can't find CDs for trade, they can also buy the new CD from the service. The company is also looking for licenses for the sale of digital music. A spokesman said the company expects 30% to 40% of its revenue to come from trading and the rest to be made up of CD sales through a deal with CD distributor Baker Taylor. The company claims that it is protected against legal action from the Recording Industry.

They contend that the owner of a CD can transfer a legally acquired copy without permission or payment of additional royalties. The company will be paid $1 from a member when they receive a CD and an additional 49c shipping charge. La la said it will set aside 20% of trading revenues for recording artists.

Australian IT

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21 user comments

17.3.2006 16:13

"The company claims that it is protected against legal action from the Recording Industry" We'll see how long that lasts.

27.3.2006 16:35

The viability of swap sites like La La seems extremely challenging - if not sure to fail. Historically all swap sites have failed and now swapping CDs for the cost of $1.49 seems unattractive when you can buy a pre-owned CD for $4-$8 offline or online and sell it back to, Amazon, or eBay and have it cost less overall than La La. This way one doesn't have to wait (you'll never quickly see new titles) for your requested title to be available or wait and see if the guy actually sent it. You can possibly send out your own CDs under this program and get credits, but you may not ever get to use them (like Peerflix) all - so one would have essentially have gave away their music. Take your discs and sell them to a record store, buyback site or online marketplace, receive the money and get what you want when you want it and then do it all over again. There would seem be less headache and risk for either the casual or avid music fan.

37.3.2006 16:35

"Claims", once a lawsuit hits them, they will be at a negotiating table at the mercy of these record industries.

47.3.2006 17:13

I think this writer at "Austrialian IT" is sereiously confused. It is not illegal int he US or Australia to sell (or trade) used cd's. Inded it is a specifically protected right. I could go down to the record store, by five or five million cda and if I could get buyers sell them for $50 or $0.05. I can do it as an individual or I can set up a full fledged business. The "recording industry", the record store and no one else has a legal right to challenge me. The buyers from me can then sell them -- ad infinitum. Limelight, hot_ice, I can see you are also working under the misaprehension as the Australian writer. Are you in the US, EU or Australia? non of this is illegal at all in any of those places. Original physical CD's and DVD's, along with books, paintings etc have always been able to be sold by any owner. It looks like the Australian IT peice was cobble together from a press release written to gain attention. The line supposed controversy is manufactured and bogus -- as anyone who has ever been t oa used bookstore or used record store can attest..

57.3.2006 21:25

I feel this isnt goin to last long... Sounds really weird to me CD Swap, why wouldnt ya just may a backup copy of your own and just lend it to ur friend much eaiser and gets rid of the middle man.

68.3.2006 0:51

In Germany a similar service exists called Hitflip (see ) It has been operating for quite a while and it seems to be quite successfull. Besides music CDs users trade their DVDs, audiobooks, computer and console games there.

78.3.2006 5:00

MUZE used to have a site called "SwitchHouse" that let you trade games, cd's, was basically a where you could also trade instead of just buy. I used to use it all the time to trade N64 games when I beat them. I bought a few things from there and they only charged commission on things bought. They eventually went under or just gave up, but I used to LOVE that site. I don't know if this can do too well only "trading" CD's and for a fee? It should be free to trade and charge for sales...Let be ad based, who cares...every other site is ad based.

89.3.2006 8:49

*gets out worse southern red neck voice* U see here,we have something like that here in the Uuuu nintend states,its a called rent'n and we make damn well sure we charge retail prices when you are late,why would we give up R monopoly....swapping discs just for cost...what R we hippies that live for love piece and sharing! BAH! *spits his tobacco* 0_o...I hope this "voice" never crosses my mind again >< Anyway...this is sure to fail unless they have large money backing the MPAA wont let Pawn shops sell videos or Cd's because their not getting a cut of the action....and that's where I buy 80% of my stuff I refuse to buy half assed games and movies and Cd's at full price....and the worse quality and prices are getting the more I want to dress up with a eye patch...>>

99.3.2006 10:42

This is a brilliant idea. I certainly feel there as consumers, different strokes for different folks! Everybody has a choice on how to buy/trade product and this is just another example of how technology is changing consumers buying behaviour. I love the concept! There are a few of these shooting up in all genres, another is, for lovers of books, book trading, books for free..the benefit of their system it is built like netflix, automation to to a 't'! Best of luck to you lala..

109.3.2006 10:55

Zippy, You are also mislead by the article, which NEVER should have been posted here as it is misleading. The article says there is a "controversy." There is not. Either a PR person wrote that to get attention for the company or a reporter who doesn't know the facts added it. Every single day there are thousands transactions like this and this has been going on for for as long as there has been is recorded music. The RIAA and MPAA would not oppose this, they don't even have an interest in doing so.

119.3.2006 10:59

S2K THe frist half of my comment is a joke altho that and the coperations stamping out buying used is what I fear slowly they are passing WTF laws and soon you have to pay a coperate tax when you buy used so they can get thier 50%. What i am sayign tis all about the money they could get and its only a mtter of time befor soemone tries...

129.3.2006 18:45

The RIAA and the MPAA do oppose this. Omly they have lost in court before the recording industry threatened many a mom and pop used cd shops with all sorts of things including refusing to ship them new products advertising materials such as posters and the like, only this never worked because most of these small chains could give a crap as they made more on the used product and could easily get advertising materials for these. so While they have come to realize that that the can do very litttle about it the certainly do not condone or approve of it. That being said this won't work, you'll to many copies going out. with the ease that you can now make a cd look just like the real thing they will get shut down prettty quick.

1310.3.2006 7:41

gtcthird pretty much,it wont be long before they find scheme and some public officials to make it a law and soon we all will pay 30% tax or more on used media 0-o

1410.3.2006 8:56

zippy when this was originally discussed when cd's first came out the problem arose that any tax would have to included used books, paintings...even collections of national geographic. right of fist sale is very vbery clear. Look, TODAY there are millions of such used cds and dvds on amazon, half, ebay, netflix and your local blockbuster. Again, the idea that it is "controversial" is absurd.

1510.3.2006 9:44

S2K Ok,but wasn't "fair use" a clear law or was it always off balanced and easy to attack? Nowadays "fair use" is being reformatted in the interests of the corporations so "right of first sale" might be next at least for digital media (CD's,DVD's,Games). Will it happen soon maybe not but its on their to do list *L*

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Mar 2006 @ 9:47

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

Check out my crappy creations

1610.3.2006 14:10

S2K Perhaps the idea that the La la service (swapping phisical CDs)is controvercial may be "absurd", but the music industry has already subverted the right of first sale doctrine for iTunes music "purchases" (and their wintel counterparts). You cannot resell an iTunes song file because technically you never bought it. You leased the right to listen to it, and only use it in ways narrowly defined by the copyright owner. The music CD's days are numbered. If the music industry has it's way when the next retail format is rolled out this type of service will be null and void.

1710.3.2006 14:14

"The RIAA and MPAA would not oppose this, they don't even have an interest in doing so." P.S. That comment IS absurd.

1812.3.2006 2:09

"but the music industry has already subverted the right of first sale doctrine for iTunes music "purchases" (and their wintel counterparts). You cannot resell an iTunes song file because technically you never bought it." You have not read any of the rulings. Firstly something like iTunes and a physical disk are quite different. You are just proving my point that the article is confusing to peopel who don't underdstand the basic premise of fist sale. (and your WRONG -- there has been no court case saying you can't resell it if you make a clear case you have transfered your ability to reuse the original download.)

1912.3.2006 12:26

S2K Ok so it seems thigns arent as bad as I thought *L* BUt it wont keep me from worrying that they will change laws and rules when it suits them,or at elast try to change them. dont mind me I am always coinfused look at my fuzzy brain *L*

2012.3.2006 15:04

Sounds good.

217.9.2006 17:43


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Sep 2006 @ 11:49

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