In contrast to the many, many things I love about being a music journalist, I can really only think of one thing that I loathe: the massive accumulation of unsolicited promo CDs I have laying around my small abode. Seriously, I fear the day the stacks of them come tumbling down and I end up buried alive under a mountain of mediocre music.
But now a path to safety is in sight. A federal court in California ruled today (June 11) that folks who receive promo CDs can legally sell them. The court ruled against Univeral Music Group in the case UMG vs. Augusto, in which UMG was attempting to sue Troy Augusto, who regularly sells promo CDs on eBay. UMG contended that labels affixed to the promo CDs that contain some variation of the words "for promotional use only, not for resale" meant that the label retained ownership of the CDs. The court, however, ruled against the validity of those labels, stating that the promo CDs are gifts, and therefore ownership of them is transferred to the recepients.
Copyright law junkies can read the ruling here. As for me, I’ve got some excavating to do.
Liberation Day for Promo CDs (Electronic Frontier Foundation)