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CD Distribution Contract Question

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What is the name of your state?


This question is regarding a distribution contract with a company in Colorado. They are a sub-distributor of a company called A.E.C. (Alliance Entertainment Corporation). For my upcoming CD Release, I want to sign with this company for the purpose of getting my project entered into A.E.C.'s system. By doing this, someone in Seattle can go in a store and buy my CD, even if it isn't stocked, they can special order my product.

My problem is, I don't want an exclusive distribution contract through A.E.C. and the sub-distributor, mainly because I generally don't trust sub-distributors. However, to get my product available in all stores, I need this service. BUT, I want to be able to sell my cd's online and in stores through consignment (stores mainly in my local area).

So here's my logic. I want to print the my CD, but attach a barcode sticker (Barcode B) over my original barcode on the cd package (Barcode A), so that I will be able to sell my product to a distributor with Bacrode B affixed, while I do consignments using barcode A. Essentially, I am selling the same CD but with different barcodes, and I want to know if the different barcode qualifies Barcode A to be a different product from barcode B.

In the distribution contract that this perspective company provides, it states:

"The term Product means any recordings, transactions, duplications, reproductions, encoding, or any other method, now known or later to be utilized, used to duplicate YOUR titles, and distribute those in the physical form to specified wholesale brick-and-mortar and online outlets, including but not limited to phonograph records, audio cassette tapes, digital audio tapes, videos, compact discs, and DVDs. In addition, YOU represent that the product submitted is retail ready including; manufactured product with proper UPC, catalog number and shrink wrap."

Does this mean that Product can be any reproduction of my recording, even if the barcodes are different?

I looked up info on barcodes and found that in the book industry, this is praticed:

"U.P.C. - The Other Bar Code

The book industry uses the Bookland EAN code because it can render the ISBN into a machine readable symbol (bar code). This causes problems, however, when books are sold in retail outlets other than book stores. Supermarkets, drug stores, department stores and other retailers often sell books, but are not properly equipped to scan the Bookland EAN symbols. A publisher selling to a non-book retailer might well be asked to provide books marked with the Universal Product Code (UPC).

The Book Industry Study Group has articulated clear guidelines about how publishers should do this. Only in the case of mass-marketed, rack-sized paperback books should a book have two different bar codes printed on its covers. In that case, the UPC should appear on the back cover (Cover 4) and the Bookland EAN code is printed on the inside front cover (Cover 2). In all other instances, books should be marked with only one bar code, either EAN for the bookstores, or UPC for non-book retailers.

A small number of publishers accomplish this by actually printing two different runs of a book: one printed with an EAN on the back cover, the other with the UPC. This represents too costly a solution for most publications. The proper way to handle the EAN/UPC problem is to print one bar code on the back cover and then label over the printed bar code with its opposite symbol when necessary. For example, a book which is sold mostly in bookstores will have the Bookland EAN code printed on its cover. When that book is sold to non-book retailers, the publisher will need to cover the EAN code with an adhesive label with the UPC printed on it. Printing two different bar codes on the same cover of any book merely invites confusion among those who scan the bar codes and should be avoided in every instance."


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