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Sophie B’s Small Claims

Singer Sophie B Hawkins found her new album available on eBay before its April 20 release date. She went to small claims court:

    The Grammy-nominated artist won $346 from the eBay seller for offering advance copies of her new CD on the online auction service.

    The album, called Wilderness, is not due in record stores until next week.

    Hawkins, who had hits in the 1990s, said: “He was making easy money off something that’s my blood and guts.

    ….Hawkins, who rose to fame in 1992 with her song Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover, said money was not the motivation for taking the matter to court in Santa Monica, California.

    Wilderness is Hawkins’ first album released by her own Trumpet Swan Records label and she said she felt compelled to protect her intellectual property.

    She added the eBay seller was purely in it for the money and taking advantage of her fans.

    …Hawkins said she planned to return the money to fans who bought the CDs on eBay, then buy them authorised copies after it is released on 20 April.

    eBay shut down the online auction of Wilderness after Hawkins alerted the company the CDs were not intended for sale.

    Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Roberta Kyman ruled in Hawkins’ favour after the eBay seller failed to show up in court, a court clerk said. [BBC]

This is an interesting legal issue: the guy was selling advance copies of her CD, not pirated copies he had made himself. People sell advance/promotional copies of CDs to used record stores every day – so is the “public” nature of the sale the issue here, the extremely high price the seller was asking, or both? I’m not sure what would have happened if the seller would have contested the case – was it actually illegal?

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014.Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted.Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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