August 5, 2008

Meanwhile I can't give away the even more rare and vastly more awesome Huckapoo album

The New York Times reports that the out of print first Jonas Brothers CD, It's About Time, is selling for $160-$200 on Amazon and eBay (prices have fluctuated a bit since last week; it's currently being offered for $250 on Amazon but eBay auctions seem to be topping out at $125). I mention this because I have a copy in like-new condition and I'm trying to figure out the best way to unload it. I picked it up from the free bin at work two years ago and listened to it once. With the exception of a couple of songs it's a pretty crap album, and even those exceptions are just OK, not exceptional.

So here's what I'm thinking. The Brothers are playing Madison Square Garden this weekend. I figure if I stand outside before the show, I can catch fans when they're in that Vegas-like state of suspended reality where concept such as frugality, comparison shopping and common sense don't exist. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to get $200, right?

What I'm not sure of is whether this is completely legal. I can't see why it wouldn't be, but I don't want some cop to confiscate my golden egg. The input of law-knowing types, or anyone with an even better idea for cashing in, or anyone who wants to offer me $200 for it right now, will be appreciated.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Its legal status has nothing on its AWESOME status. I'm in the same situation with my copy (think it was a promo). I think I'll keep it for now, though.

PS - um, if you want Jonas Brothers googlers to offer you money online, you should probably INCLUDE PICTURES OF THEM to get the Google image searchers. Or talk about how much better BUSTED, from whom they swiped a good portion of yer golden egg, are becuz they rite there own songs!

Full quality press release materials here: http://totalassault.com/assets/?team_id=265

The Bros' bowdlerization of Busted's Y3K is a travesty.

wot r u even talking abot busted is soooooo stupid and there ugly. bowlerzation i dont even kno wot u r talking about.

Why not Bil Keane, um, I mean eBay?

Seriously, NYS only restricts the re-sale of tickets. So if you do sell this CD, be certain to charge applicable sales tax and be sure to lie awake tossing and turning knowing that you have profited from someone else's talent (such as it is) and effort. Kind of how you might feel if you saw a book reviewer sell his press copy of Rapture Ready for 10X the cover price. (Aside from extremely surprised.)

PS: And why no honorable mentions on anti-cap #155? (Some of us live for that kind of faint praise, you know.)

I can't even tell if you're joking. In any case, a federal court recently ruled that it is legal to sell promo CDs, regardles of "not for resale" labels. Seems perfectly ethical too. To me as an author, what's the diff between Barnes & Noble making a profit on my work or a street hawker? The creators are entitled to whatever profits are codified in their contract, which always includes a paragraph on the right of the publisher/label to distribute promos.

As for the ridiculous markup in this case, hey, I'm not the one who refuses to re-release the CD. I'm just benefiting from the immutable laws of supply and demand. (And also not benefiting from them in the case of Rapture Ready.)

I don't think I legally need to charge sales tax, though I may be technically required to declare the income to the IRS. Which I of course will.

PS: I could barely choose two finalists.

I can see it now in the Sunday Times Mag:

Dear Ethicist Guy:
If someone gives me something for free with the stipulation that I can not sell it--can I still sell it? (Did I mention I can get a lot of money from it?)

10 minutes of standing plus at least an hour in transit. Is it worth less than $100 to take the time to sell it in person AND have the agita of in-person negotiations?

In the meantime, it's available via BitTorrent. Sometimes the market is very strange.

Jared - Collectors want the physical object because it's rare.

Charles - Heavens, no. MSG is walking distance from my office (and no more than 45 minutes from home). I'm relishing the in-person negotiations. I almost want to video them for the YouTube.

A Play in One Act:

(a middle-aged man in a pink shirt and members only jacket watches the Jonas bros crowd from a shadowy alley, waits for a similarly middle-aged father to leave the group of giggling tween girls he is escorting and slide in line at the will call window. the pink shirted man, named Daniel, leaves the alley and approaches the girls)

Daniel: Hello girls, ive got something special for you...

girls: ewwww, (giggles).

Daniel: its okay, im relishing this "in person negotiation". im also the author of a blog which focuses on tween girls just like you, in fact you can even call me Dan.

girls: like, whats a blog? (giggles)

Daniel: look, that doesn't matter, do you want to see what ive got for you? (reaches into jacket pocket)

(a police officer grabs Daniel from behind, swings him around and slams his face into a police cruiser)

Daniel: I was gonna pay income taxes, i swear, and the federal court ruled...erglerglergl... (as cop squishes Daniel's face into car.)

(cops push Daniel into squad car and set off for precinct)

Daniel: damn, I was sure i had considered all the legal and ethical implications, and I was just about to...

first cop: about to what, you creep?

Daniel: About to offer those girls my grossly inflated... price on an out of print Jonas brothers CD.

second cop: (to first cop) I told you he was a fag.


And thats how its gonna go, so you dont even need to video it.

Are you kidding? That would totally go viral!

Only you forgot my reprise of "Don't tase me, bro."

I'm aware of this phenomenon called "collectors." But I imagine that very few of them are in the Jonas Brothers' demographic, which just makes me wonder what's ultimately driving the demand for this.

I mean, if even YOU don't want it...

Hey, speaking of Huckapoo, is it true that was the original title of the video that was subsequently renamed "Two Girls, One Cup"?

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