Veterans of the music industry also know them as ‘Kall Tags.’ It’s not an anti-theft device; it’s a seal used to determine whether or not a CD has ever been opened. Way back in the day, around the time when most Dopers still had all their teeth and hair and the Replacements were number one on the college charts, the magic of the optical disc was first revealed to a wide-eyed and previously vinyl-consuming public. About the same time, companies such as TDK started heavily marketing high-end tape media which was substantially more expensive than standard grade recording tape and capable of superior recording fidelity. Folks soon discovered that they could buy CDs, record them onto magnetic tape, and then return them to the store, claiming that the CD was defective. (If you need to know what magnetic tape is, try Wikipedia, or just find a Doper who looks like Yoda and is gumming applesauce and ask him.) This frustrated retailers, distributors, labels, and artists to no end. Retailers would return the “defective” discs to their distributor, who would in turn return them to the labels who produced them, and all manner of chaos ensued. The major labels just laughed it off, but smaller independent labels were taking it in the pants. Overpressing can easily drive a small label into Chapter 7/11—it’s happened many times. To put a stop to this madness, the industry laid down the law, and all distributors unanimously said “no more returns of opened product.” But therein hangs the tale. Independent record stores usually do not purchase directly from distributors; they’re not big enough. They purchase from mid-level secondary distributors called “one-stops,” who purchase from all distributors (there were about 85 of them in the late 1990s), mark the units up a dollar or so, and then sell them to your friendly neighborhood mom & pops. So the one-stops were in turn also forced to stop accepting returns of opened product. However, the top-tier distributors also knew full well that most one-stops also had their own shrink-wrapping machines. There was one particular industry bad boy located in Chatsworth, California who was notorious for freely accepting returns of opened product from his customers for a ‘nominal’ handling fee, resealing them, and then returning them to his distributors for full credit. To put the brakes on this entrepreneurial little ne’er-do-well, that little bone-shaped reflective thing was invented, which came to be affectionately known in the industry as the “Kall Tag” (I was told it was somebody at Sony who coined the term). This later morphed into that annoying strip that seals the entire top of the jewel case.