The BPI, representing the British recorded music industry, has said that it is pursuing an order for contempt of court against one of the UK’s biggest internet music retailers, CD Wow. The trade association is seeking fines, damages and costs in the High Court against the company. The case relates to undertakings CD Wow made in January 2004 to the High Court that it would cease illegally importing CDs and music DVDs into the UK from south-east Asia (a practice known as parallel importing). On February 19 counsel of CD Wow shareholder Philip Robinson confirmed that Mr Robinson accepted that CD WOW was in breach of its undertakings to the Court and that Robinson bore some responsibility for failing to comply with the Court undertakings. Counsel for Robinson apologised on his behalf and confirmed that he had agreed to pay £50,000 to the music industry for costs incurred by the industry in bringing the case against him. The CD WOW company has also now accepted that it has breached the undertakings that is gave to the Court but argues that it should not have to pay a fine, damages or costs. The case against CD WOW therefore continues. The BPI have said that they will produce evidence which it says shows that CD Wow has systematically broken undertakings embodied in a court order. The BPI alleges that despite previous court orders, CD Wow has continued to import CDs illegally and is seeking:
- A finding that CD Wow is in contempt of Court
- A fine payable to the crown by CD Wow.
- An order that CD Wow pay damages for breach of copyright.
- An order that CD Wow pay the UK record industry’s costs.
With retail sales of £21.7m in the UK in 2005, CD Wow is Britain’s third biggest online music retailer with a 23% share of the online CD album market.
From the BPI at www.vpi.co.uk see also BPI sues CD Wow over illegal CD importshttp://www.bpi.co.uk/news/press/news_content_file_949.shtml and see also Injunction forces CD Wow to withdraw misleading price statementshttp://www.bpi.co.uk/news/legal/news_content_file_758.shtml