HMV Canada says it's changing its return policy for customers because too many people are buying compact discs, copying them onto blank CDs and returning the originals.

"It's a guess...but I'd say three-quarters of (returns) were from people doing that," Andrew Pollock told CBC News Online. Pollock is HMV's vice-president of marketing for North America.

Starting Jan. 18, HMV will only accept returns or exchanges on unopened products. Opened products will be exchanged for the same product.

All refunds and exchanges will require the original receipt within 21 days of purchase.

HMV, which opened its doors in 1988, used to have a no-hassle return policy.

"The spirit of that policy was to give people the thrill of discovering new music and that's why it took us so long to change the policy, it was a tough decision," says Pollock.

CD burners have become prevalent, making it easier for music lovers to compile their own collections using new techology.

Pollack says the company studied returns from every store, noting that the percentage of returns correlated with the number of blank CDs being sold at the same store.

HMV employees also alerted company officials. They say the same people were buying CDs and returning them on a regular basis.

Some customers were as bold as to admit they bought the CD in order to 'burn' it and now wanted their money back.

"HMV will not become a library service for music. The costs to the system are just too high," said Peter Luckhurst, President of HMV North America.

Luckhurst says people will now have to listen to new music using the listening posts available in all HMV stores.