CD Wow sued over ‘illegal’ CD imports
The BPI has filed for contempt of court against Internet retailer CD Wow, alleging that it has failed to stop importing discs from South East Asia.
In January 2004 the UK music industry trade body reached an out of court settlement with CD Wow, whereby the retailer agreed to not to sell CDs to its UK and Irish customers that it had sourced outside Europe. The retailer gave undertakings to both the BPI and the High Court that it would only import music legally.
The BPI says that earlier this week lawyers for CD Wow shareholder Philip Robinson confirmed that he accepted that the retailer had breached the terms of the deal and apologised. Although Robinson had agreed to pay £50,000 costs, according to the BPI, CD Wow, while similarly accepting that it had broken the agreement, said that it should not have to pay a fine, damages or costs. This prompted the contempt of court lawsuit.
The BPI said that it will produce evidence showing that CD Wow has continued to import CDs illegally.
‘We believe CD Wow is guilty of flagrant and systematic breaches of a High Court order,’ said BPI general counsel Roz Groome. ‘Contrary to some reports this case is nothing to do with price. Plenty of retailers manage to sell CDs at competitive prices without breaking the law.’
CD Wow is the UK’s third biggest online music retailer with sales of £21.7m and a 23 per cent share of the online CD album market.