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Major Labels Issue Rebates

Say you bought a CD, tape or vinyl LP released on a major label from 1995-2000. You probably paid too much for it. In the 1990s the major record labels brainstormed and followed through on a price-hiking initiative made possible by implementing illegal minimum-advertised-price policies. When Uncle Sam got wind of this he ruled that music consumers had indeed been paying out the nose for albums by major label artists. So, say you bought a CD, tape or vinyl LP released on a major label from 1995-2000. You’re entitled to a rebate. It’s a modest rebate ranging from $5 to $20, but a rebate still the same.

Don’t think this applies to jazz discs? Think again. Even though they hide behind label names which had independent beginnings like Verve and Blue Note, many jazz labels are in fact part of the “big five” major record labels that control the industry today. If Herbie Hancock’s Gershwin’s World, Diana Krall’s When I Look In Your Eyes or scads of reissued and re-mastered Coltrane and Mingus sit on your shelf, you may be entitled to a five-to-20-dollar piece of justice pie. To lay claim to it, visit and fill out the online form before March 3.

Another part of the court settlement is a non-cash consideration demanding that the labels provide free compact discs to non-profit, charitable, governmental or public entities that can be used in some way to further benefit those who paid too much for music in the late 1990s. I have no clue what the nation’s senior centers will do with the copies of Will Smith’s Big Willie Style they are each likely to receive as part of the settlement. Get jiggy with it, I suppose.

Originally Published