Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MoFi), a prestige reissue label that claimed to produce “all analogue” or “triple analogue” vinyl records from the original master recordings, has agreed to pay a $25 million settlement over a fraud lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which accused the company of using digital technology in its vinyl production, was filed in 2022 by several customers who bought MoFi records at a premium price, expecting them to be purely analogue and of superior quality. However, they discovered that MoFi had been using Direct Stream Digital (DSD) technology, a form of digital audio encoding, since 2011.
The plaintiffs alleged that MoFi’s branding was “deceptive and misleading” and that they were tricked into paying higher prices for ultimately lesser quality vinyl. They sought restitution and damages on behalf of themselves and tens of thousands of other consumers who bought MoFi records marketed as analogue.
The proposed settlement, which was preliminarily approved by a federal judge on 9 May, 2023, offered two options for the affected customers: They could return their eligible purchases for a full refund, or they could keep the records and receive a 5% cash refund or a 10% refund in credit. The settlement also allowed MoFi to continue denying any wrongdoing.
MoFi lead counsel Joseph J. Madonia told Billboard: “We appreciate the court’s ruling, which supports all of our claims that there was no reverse auction or collusion. As always, MoFi continues its commitment to provide the best-sounding records possible.”
A final hearing for the settlement is scheduled for October 2023. MoFi has not commented on the settlement publicly.
MoFi admitted to using DSD technology shortly after the controversy broke.
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