Tuesday, January 02, 2007

RIAA Wants Wholesale Pricing Information to be Confidential in UMG v. Lindor

A new discovery dispute has erupted in UMG v. Lindor: the RIAA is refusing to comply with Magistrate Judge Levy's order directing them to turn over "all relevant documents" concerning their wholesale prices for downloads unless Ms. Lindor's attorneys agree to keep the prices confidential. Ms. Lindor's attorneys are willing to keep the details of the contracts confidential, but not the pricing and volume information, and have submitted a proposed order to the judge to resolve the dispute:

January 2, 2007, Letter of Ray Beckerman to Magistrate Levy*
Proposed Order Governing Production of Wholesale Pricing Documents*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:

(English language:)

Ars Technica
Digital Music Weblog
PC Pro

(Other languages:)

Heise Online

Keywords: digital copyright online download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs


Matt Hendry said...

Ray I know for a fact that digital content distribtors are also reqired to keep the wholesale pricing confidential .

I know an employee of a content service that almost lost her job after she posted on the customers forums the pricing range of whole sale price of music was actuly 60-80c per song depending on the label and the popularity of the content ,in other words varible pricing is alreay in effect at the wholsale level .

Im sure Apple get a better wholesale rate than a small time digital download service gets and this is one reason why the record labels are trying to keep cofidential .70c is just the average wholesale price per song .

Anonymous said...

I to, have worked in the music retail industry in Canada. I believe that under Canadian law, a wholesaler cannot offer a deal to one retailer that is not in some way also offered to all retailers. The result of this is that the wholesale pricing *is* known to everyone. All the volume discounts are also known. The playing field is leveled. Otherwise, it would be seen as unfair competition.

However, there are other deals which come along occasionally, seasonal promotions etc. While the actual price may not be the same, a deal of equivalent value must be offered. These different deals are in the form of free goods, lower pricing, or advertising dollars.

So while the exact invoice price may not be known from retailer to retailer, it is not hard to make an educated guess based on the volume of business that retailer does.

I find it hard to believe that online retailers would not be watching like hawks for any evidence that someone got a deal they were not getting.

There is a wholesale price, and it is known.