Dependable Erection

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Stupidity so monumental that it needs, well, a monument

No, i'm not talking about plans to add a second tower to the Renaissance Centre, although that will be generating its own monument to stupidity should it ever be constructed.

The state of Florida, you know, the folks who enabled George Bush to assume the presidency in the first place, the folks who gave us Mark Foley (remember him?), the folks whose culture is so conducive to the development of sexual predators that the Department of Corrections is housing them under a bridge, has decided to tackle one of the most pressing issues of our time.

Poverty? Homelessness? School overcrowding? Rampant destruction of the environment? Violent crime?

Keep going.
New "pawn shop" laws are springing up across the United States that will make selling your used CDs at the local record shop something akin to getting arrested. No, you won't spend any time in jail, but you'll certainly feel like a criminal once the local record shop makes copies of all of your identifying information and even collects your fingerprints. Such is the state of affairs in Florida, which now has the dubious distinction of being so anal about the sale of used music CDs that record shops there are starting to get out of the business of dealing with used content because they don't want to pay a $10,000 bond for the "right" to treat their customers like criminals.

The legislation is supposed to stop the sale of counterfeit and/or stolen music CDs, despite the fact that there has been no proof that this is a particularly pressing problem for record shops in general. Yet John Mitchell, outside counsel for the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, told Billboard that this is part of "some sort of a new trend among states to support second-hand-goods legislation." And he expects it to grow.

In Florida, Utah, and soon in Rhode Island and Wisconsin, selling your used CDs to the local record joint will be more scrutinized than then getting a driver's license in those states. For retailers in Florida, for instance, there's a "waiting period" statue that prohibits them from selling used CDs that they've acquired until 30 days have passed. Furthermore, the Florida law disallows stores from providing anything but store credit for used CDs. It looks like college students will need to stick to blood plasma donations for beer money.

That's right. Used CDs are harder to buy and sell in the state of Florida than automatic weapons.

Glad we nipped the threat of hordes of copies of "Ooops, I Did it Again" marching through the streets of Sarasota, taking hostages and blowing away Wal-Mart patrons in the bud.



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