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Music Lovers Could Be Due Money, If Only They Knew

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RALEIGH, N.C. — As Ian Knight browsed for new music CDs at SchoolKids Records on Monday, he didn't know that he might end up getting money back from a record company.

Click here to make a claim

Knight's not alone. Music lovers all over the country are in line to get cash from big record companies. All they have to do is sign up.

Individuals can get up to $20 back. But very few people have signed up to do so.

That's because word of a settlement by the companies has not made the rounds.

"I definitely spend my fair share on CDs," Knight said. "I wouldn't expect them to give me any money back.

"But, yeah, any opportunity . . . Definitely exploit it."

Five major record labels and three major retailers agreed in September to end allegations of cheating consumers by fixing CD, cassette and record prices. All consumers have to do is sign up online, answer three questions and get their claim in by March 3.

"I'm really surprised," said shopper Alan Gray. "I've heard nothing about it."

That's the problem - Very few people know about the deal.

"Thirty thousand have signed up in the country," Gray asked. "Yeah, that's minute.

"I can see why they're keeping it hush, hush. They don't want to give away money."

But the companies have agreed to pay $143 million in cash and CDs to settle.

The settlement on the part of major record labels and major retalers levels the playing field so that small operations can sell cds at reasonable prices.

"When they pay for a disc that's less than what we have to buy it for costwise," said Rick Culross of Schoolkids Records. "There seems to be an unfair ground out there."

Anyone who bought CDs between 1995 and 2000 may be eligible. But only one claim per person will be allowed.

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