“Read the track listing” will have new meaning.

Why do legislators hate the environment?

Independent merchants selling and buying used CDs across the United States say they are alarmed by stepped-up pawn-broker-related laws recently enacted in Florida and Utah and pending in Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

In Florida, the new legislation requires all stores buying second-hand merchandise for resale to apply for a permit and file security in the form of a $10,000 bond with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In addition, stores would be required to thumb-print customers selling used CDs, and acquire a copy of state-issued identity documents such as a driver’s license. Furthermore, stores could issue only store credit — not cash — in exchange for traded CDs, and would be required to hold discs for 30 days before reselling them.

I think it’s reasonable to assume that some CDs that would’ve ended up in a used record store will now end up in landfills. I can assure you I wouldn’t go through the bother, not to mention the Big Brother statism, involved just to earn a few dollars of store credit. I’d find someone I know who wants the CD, or I’d toss it in the garbage. If the goal is to force incentivize people to discard their unwanted property in a sub-optimal manner, mission accomplished.

This perverse incentive to discard used CDs wouldn’t involve rent-seeking, I’m sure.

Meanwhile, [National Association of Recording Merchandisers] says it will try to help shape the pending legislation. In Florida, retailers selling previously owned videos and videogames managed to carve out a partial exemption from the law so that they do not need a permit and have to wait only 15 days before reselling the merchandise.

The article doesn’t state any more than that, but the mere existence of an exemption indicates what’s inevitably going on behind the scenes. It’s shameful.

Link via Hit & Run.