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"We are not aware of any action the BPI may or may not be taking. We clearly respect copyright laws in all the countries we operate in."
——Patty Smith, Amazon.com
AMAZON.COM UNDER FIRE IN UK FOR ILLEGAL CD IMPORTS
British Trade Org Accuses Online Retailer of Possible Illegal Importing of CDs into England
Amazon.com is under the gun in England, where the world’s largest online retailer is being investigated by the music industry over possible illegal importing of CDs, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The probe by the BPI, the UK’s version of the RIAA, is still in its early phase and is seeking to ascertain whether the company breaches copyright law when it sells CDs to UK consumers.  The trade org has separately concluded amazon.co.uk does not import CDs illegally.

BPI is set to fight its most high-profile illegal importing case against CD Wow, a Hong Kong-based retailer which earned an estimated $182 million in sales last year.

The BPI's lawsuit, to be heard in the High Court next month, alleges that CD Wow imports CDs bought outside the European Economic Area into the UK, where it sells them cheaper than traditional retailers. The BPI has also issued legal proceedings against play.com, a New Jersey-based online CD retailer.

The legal actions represent the UK music industry's first large assault on parallel importing, where goods are bought in one country, usually more cheaply, before being imported and sold in another without the copyright owner's consent. It is a practice that is also illegal in the U.S. The suit follows Levi-Strauss' recent successful court action against Tesco for selling jeans bought in eastern Europe to UK consumers.

Amazon.com’s Patty Smith said: "We are not aware of any action the BPI may or may not be taking. We clearly respect copyright laws in all the countries we operate in. You must be confusing us with KaZaa."

CD Wow’s Philip Robinson said: "We have got consent [from the record companies] and change of ownership takes place outside the UK. There is a huge difference between us and the Tesco-Levi case. Though I can get you some very cheap Calvin Klein knockoffs made in Taiwan."

Play.com said it had reached agreement with the BPI, though the org denied this and said proceedings were ongoing.

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