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Judge Ignores Request From Music Labels To Shut Down Website That Allows Users To Re-Sell Digital Music

Sean W. Feb 8, 2012 2

Court Gavel

A while back we reported that the RIAA had got into a dispute over a website that allowed user to sell their old MP3s songs to other users. Well it looks like a judge has defended ReDigi, the accused, and will not force ReDigi to remove files before the official trial.

This trial will greatly affect the first sale doctrine and could possible set what rights users have when buying digital data.  All the files in question were downloaded legally from iTunes, not any other service, so their history can be clearly tracked.  When using this service, the original file is deleted from the user who’s selling it and stored on a server.  When another user purchases it, then the file is deleted from the server to the new purchasers computer allowing them to enjoy the file.   Capitol Records, the primary accuser, is sighting the time the files are being transfered from one server to another as the copyright violation and demanded a judge to order the remove of the files immediately.   They also wanted the startup to pay $150,000 per track.

Judge Richard Sullivan from New York ruled ReDigi does not have to remove the songs immediately as demanded by Capitol.  Even though there was a small setback, Capitols attorney stated, “We are confident we will prevail at trial.”  They state their case has merits.  ReDigi founder, John Ossenmacher, said in a statement, “We hope Capitol can get back to their business and find a way to catch up to the times instead of trying to stop the innovation process, denying rights to their paying customers along the way.”

The outcome here will probably effect more than just music files as other content being sold digitally like movies and games could legally be re-sold and protected under the first sale doctrine.  What do you think, should users be able to re-sell their digital goods?

Ars Technica

 

  • Shane Miller

    Certainly, people should be able to sell their digital tracks.  As long as there's some regulation in place (verification of ownership, etc), which clearly this technology provides that, the record companies should NOT have this kind of power or control over paying customers, as J Ossenmacher states here. 

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