Monday, February 9, 2009

Let Us Now Praise Randy Piper

I am an inveterate collector of records and other things. So, I am always fascinated by stories of other collectors and their misadventures. I was horrified to learn the story of Randy Piper, whose rare collection of Jack Daniels whiskey and memorabilia was confiscated a year or so ago by Tennessee Alcohol Commission Agents who claimed that Piper was selling liquor without a license because he bought sold and traded Jack Daniels memorabilia with other collectors. This absurd abuse and waste of state power was apparently settled out of court by Piper agreeing to forfeit some of his collection to the state and paying a fine. An article in the January 21 issue of the Tennessean also mentioned that Piper had incurred attorney’s fees of $40,000.00

I can’t really think of an analogy for record collectors; other than in England where it is apparently illegal to buy and sell transcriptions discs form the BBC. I know that years ago there used to be a rumor that records companies could have someone arrested for possessing promo copies of an album (this always begged the question- where do you think promo copies come from?).

At the end of the day, this seems like too narrow a topic to suggest changing state law to protect collectors like Piper and other fans of 100 year old whiskey bottles; on the other hand, we are talking about Jack Daniels.

1 comment:

Ron Kane said...

I have seen a 'promo guy' from a record company get the cuffs slapped on in a record store in Los Angeles, back in the late 70's - for selling promos! I always wondered who filed the complaint; the store is now gone, the guy disappeared - the great big record company in Burbank is still there. Hmmm...