Government Reform

How City Hall is F*cking "Record Store Day"!


April 21, 2012 marks the fifth annual Record Store Day, a nation-wide project to promote struggling brick-and-mortar music shops. Across the country, independent stores offer exclusive, one-of-a-kind recordings as a way to bring customers through the door.

"It is the busiest day of the year," says Matt Moffatt, co-owner of Washington, D.C.'s Smash Records, a shop that sells new and used CDs and vinyl LPs, along with clothing, posters, t-shirts, vintage clothing, and more.

But now the powers that be in the nation's capital have decided that record stores must get second-hand dealer business licenses, which cost a lot of money and have onerous reporting requirements. Store owners such as Moffatt would have to report every new piece they put up for sale to the police, allow the cops to verify it's not stolen, and get information about all customers who buy used goods. Failure to comply would mean incurring massive fines of thousands of dollars a days. (Read more here and here).

"Basically," says Moffatt, "they want us to get a pawn shop license."

Local business groups such as the Adams Morgan Partnership are pushing back but the future of stores such as Smash Records is far from clear. "It just seems so heavy-handed, it could easily destroy businesses like mine," says Moffatt.

About 3.45 minutes. Produced by Meredith Bragg and hosted by Kennedy; co-written by Nick Gillespie.

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  1. report every new piece they put up for sale to the police, allow the cops to verify it’s not stolen,

    I can kinda almost see how that could be justified, although it seems ass-backwards. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the cops to send around a listing of stolen goods (which will be much shorter)?

    and get information about all customers who buy used goods.

    What possible law enforcement purpose does this serve?

    1. C’mon RC, how are the SWAT teams going to know whose dog to shoot if they don’t know who bought that copy of the Beatles White album??

      1. Since when did the SWAT team concern themselve with which dog to shoot? The dogs that get shot are where the SWAT team is. It’s very quantum.

    2. The purpose is to bother people. The government and those loyal to it are my enemy.

    3. I can’t see how that could be justified. The items are selling for $5 a piece.

      Jesus H Christ, fencing stolen CD’s was popular 10 years ago, nowadays stolen cars don’t even have CD’s in them.

      About the only justification is for collector items that go for a couple hundred bucks. And records stores have ALWAYS doubted the authenticity of those items that come in – their business is mostly based on volume sales of somewhat low-value stuff.

      Just another misallocation of government resources, as usual.

    4. In San Francisco, when you sell records or books to stores, they ask for your driver’s license and write your name/address/I.D. number into a notebook. I have asked, and the stores always say that the police have never asked to see the books.

  2. Is DC the worst-run city on the continent?

    1. See Detroit.

      1. You have a point.

      2. no, thanks

    2. See LA.

  3. Of course we have to stop the horrible epidemic of CDs being stolen. Haven’t you heard about the recording industry bitching about all the stolen music?

    Um, what do you mean the stolen music is not physical? What is this download thing you are talking about?

  4. DC, doing everything possible to make life suck.

  5. Good old extortion. Mafias gift to government. They won’t do prostitution and gambling but they have no problem with strong arming protection money.

  6. Whatever

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