Selling mixed CDs leads to lawsuit - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Selling mixed CDs leads to lawsuit

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February 12, 2003

ALBANY - One by one, greatest hits and best of CD collections are coming off the shelves at Southwest Georgia music stores. That's because they learned Odyssey Records owner Gilbert Udoto is being sued by Jackson, Mississippi recording company Malaco Records, for selling cds put together and burned on a home computer, with handwritten markings. The problem, someone else is profiting from an artists' original work, without their permission. It's an issue that's already got a lot of airplay on capitol hill.

"It should be my choice, that choice was taken away from me," Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told us.  

"I don't think it's fair to aritst," shopper David Madison said. "But as far as being customer, it's better that you can get more of you want than buying a cd with only one or two songs."

In the case of alleged copyright infringement at Odyssey Records, the owner told us we'd have to speak to his lawyer, when we asked who that was, he told us he didn't have one. Meanwhile a vendor of mixed cds who wanted to remain anonymous said the Albany man who created the compilations said he pays a fee to ASCAP, or the American Society of Composers, Artists and Publishers.  But until they can find that out for sure the store won't be taking any chances.

That's a choice consumers like Dawn Owens are already making. "I wouldn't buy a bootleg cd either, it might not sound right."

Something that doesn't sound right to Malaco Records, the idea of someone making a buck off of their artists work. It's just so far they are one of the few record companies to try to do something about it.

The lawsuit against Odyssey was filed in Albany's federal court. At this time it's unclear how much the record company will try to receive in damages.