What do you do with your digital music once you are “finished” with it?
Digital music resellers, ReDigi thought they had found the solution. This website is dedicated to the “recycling” of digital music. Not only does Redigi let users store music on their cloud server, users could also sell and buy the abandoned, “second hand” music left over from other members of the site.
Now that you have some background, let’s get to the nitty gritty.
ReDigi dubbed itself the first legal way to to resell digital music when the company launched. In January, they were sued by Capitol Records, and on Monday got a mouthful from a New York judge who said that the company was making unauthorized copies of music.
Here’s Billboard’s definition of the First Sale Doctrine:
If you purchase a lawfully produced music CD or movie DVD in the United States, you are free to later sell it at a garage sale, donate it to a library or loan it to a friend.
The Judge, who also goes by the name Richard Sullivan said that this law does not apply with regards to digital music as a result of “duplication being much easier.”
It is simply impossible that the same ‘material object’ can be transferred over the internet
ReDigi facilitates and profits from the sale of copyrighted commercial recordings, transferred in their entirety, with a likely detrimental impact on the primary market for these goods.
Point taken, but surely ReDigi would have thought of this prior to launching their service?
ReDigi has argued that “their system means the original download is removed from the seller’s computer.” Apparently the ReDigi software is prone to block the people who are uploading pirated files, and also automatically erases the file from the member’s computer permanently when a file is uploaded. That sounds like a whole lot of computer permissions I would not like to give to an internet application.
Although this might be the first time you’ve heard of second hand digital music, the digital sound thrift shop concept is not as fresh as that Woolworths meal you ate for lunch. Companies have already started to dip their toes into the digital reselling game.
Experts believe both Amazon and Apple have been working on patents, which are insurance policies for both of them.
They have been sitting on the sidelines watching the ReDigi case (as one does).
Capitol Records, who have some great names under their listing “sought $150,000 for each infringement.” Quite the sum to pay to make sure no one gets their hands on an old copy of “Yellow Submarine.” Sullivan (the judge) has not yet set an amount for the “infringement”.
While second hand digital sales may be forestalled, sales of real-world vintage music are on the upswing. If you’re looking for second hand classics, the place you should be going to is Mabu Vinyl. This shop and its owner feature in the Academy Award winning documentary, “Searching For Sugarman”.
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