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"They’d bring back the exact same CDs with the receipt."
—An employee at local San Diego retailer Music Trader, quoted in the San Diego Reader
MILLIONS FOR DOWNLOADS, NOT A CENT FOR USED-CD SALES
MP3.Com Buys, Then Returns, Used CDs After Using Them On Site
Now we know one place that MP3.com's michael robertson',390,400);">michael robertson',390,400);">Michael Robertson isn't spending his hundreds of millions—record stores.

According to the San Diego Reader, MP3.com employees are purchasing a large number of used CDs at local retailers, then bringing them back just a day or two later with a receipt asking for a full refund.

The company was apparently using the discs to stock their controversial My.MP3.com streaming service database of 80,000 CDs, which brought a lawsuit against the company for copyright infringement from the record industry trade group RIAA. After an initial ruling against it in court, MP3.com voluntarily pulled the offending titles off the service.

"They would buy, like 100 or 200 at a time," said an employee at local San Diego retailer Music Trader. "Then they'd bring back the exact same CDs with the receipt."

Robertson denied the charge, saying none of the purchased albums was used for the service.

MP3.com VP Fulfillment Laura Carroll said the company purchased 2,000 titles, of which they kept 800-900. "We needed to get particular versions of songs in order for our customers to beam up and get the exact match," she insisted.

One insider blasted the company's hypocrisy. "On one hand, you say you care about the rights of copyright owners, artists and labels, and then turn around, buy these CDs and return them the next day. Not only aren't they paying licensing fees, they won't even pay the relatively small cost of owning the CDs. Now, please excuse me while I go share all the files from the new Eminem album on Napster…"

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