La la Media’s CD Swapping Plan

Reuters has coverage of La la Media Inc’s plan to facilitate swapping of CDs between individuals.

The idea seems to be that you’d register on their site, and then list all the CDs you own as well as ones you want to trade for. You then put the CDs La la Media requests in Netflix-style envelopes and it handles the swap for you for a $1 fee. Reuters even alludes to the Netflix model,

With 1.8 million album titles available, members trade the CDs in prepaid envelopes, much like popular mail-order DVD service Netflix Inc. operates.

There’s just one problem. Like Netflix, this is clearly a rental scheme. Unlike DVDs, it is illegal to offer CDs for rent or lease in the United States thanks to provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act. La la Media Inc. would essentially have to obtain permission of the music companies to move forward with its plan. Good luck.

(This is not, of course, the first such CD swapping attempt. Ongo Bongo announced a swapping scheme back in 2004, but its website still features “coming soon” text).


Reuters Online music service to let users swap CDs.Sue Zeidler, Reuters, March 7, 2006.

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