A prison jail in Florida sues a switch between contractors removed the prisoners' access to millions of dollars by their own music. As reported by The Florida Times Union William Demler filed a class action suit against the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) – which he mistakenly promised to let prisoners buy music permanently through a digital media provider, then discourages their access to sign a more lucrative agreement with another.
Demler's complaint relates to Florida's digital music player's program, which lets inmates buy a specially designed media player for $ 99 or $ 1
But in 2018, FDOC switched to a new company called JPay, which is not called the previous purchase. The agency demanded inmates to trade in their music players for new multimedia tablets, or to pay $ 25 and get the players sent to someone outside the prison. (They could also pay to send a CD containing the music.)
Demler's complaint claims that FDOC rolled out JPay's tablet system – and demanded inmates to turn in their old media players – "to realize even higher profit margins. " As a result, it is "effectively stealing millions of dollars of digital music and books from prisoners in custody". Times-Union notes that outside the music program, JPay has helped FDOC make millions of dollars commissions for money transfers, video calls, and other services often provided at a massively inflated price. FDOC did not respond promptly to a request for comment.
Access and JPay have both been referred to as the aspiring "iTunes of the Fang World", which offers MP3 files that replace older physical media storage formats. But as with similar services outside the prison, these systems have confused the importance of "owning" songs – while serving a small group of users and getting other music options.
In 2016, Michigan filed a class action case against another prison MP3 company, requiring them to buy another media player if they wanted to listen to songs after leaving the prison. This dress was thrown in 2017. This time the complaint claims that the FDOC effectively confiscates private property without due process in violation of the fifth and fourteenth amendment. If it is certified by a judge, Demler's case could cover any Florida prisoner who spent money on songs they could no longer play.