The High court in London today imposed a £41 million fine to CD-Wow for selling legal (as in original, not pirated) albums in the UK. The catch is the CDs are imported from cheaper regions therefore enabling us the consumers to benefit, therefore according to some weird law, makes it 'illegal'.
The CDs are still legal, aren't region-coded (unlike DVDs and video games) but the British Phonographic Industry, being the prat they are, failed to see the point and decided that us, the consumers, are still required to pay upwards of ten quid per CD. The BPI's main assertion in their offence against consumers is that by buying cheap legal and original CDs we are 'hurting' the artists.
The way some of BPI's arguments are laid out seems to indicate that CDs are sold at a lost in Hong Kong which I seriously doubt. Whether the CDs are sold in Asia or the UK, moolah always make their way back to the original artists (although the majority still remains in fat cats coffers in both regions, that I am sure of). It reminds me of the time when I bought a legal non-censored but published in Asia version of Antichrist Superstar from Malaysia for a fantastic £5 in '98. I am pretty sure Marilyn Manson received the same amount of royalty from the sale in Malaysia as if it was if I purchased it in the UK.
If Britain really wants to claim itself to be a champion of free economy then leave us consumers alone to choose where we want to purchase our goods. It isn't fair that even with the current exchange rate we still have to pay through our noses for shit. Free market my arse.
Until then, thanks to you BPI (and SCEE) the day when even legal consumers get fed up and start researching on this torrent thingy is getting closer.