US court deals blow to digital music resales

Apr 01, 2013
A US federal court has dealt a blow to a music website offering sales of "pre-owned" digital music, ruling that it violates copyright law by making illegal reproductions.

A US federal court has dealt a blow to a music website offering sales of "pre-owned" digital music, ruling that it violates copyright law by making illegal reproductions.

The ruling released over the weekend by Judge Richard Sullivan came in a closely watched case in which Capitol Records sued the website ReDigi, which calls itself "the world's first pre-owned digital marketplace."

The ruling, which could have broad implications for resale of digital music, said ReDigi was not reselling products previously owned but was making unauthorized copies.

"It is simply impossible that the same 'material object' can be transferred over the Internet," the judge wrote in an 18-page decision.

"Because the reproduction right is necessarily implicated when a copyrighted work is embodied in a new material object, and because digital music files must be embodied in a new material object following their transfer over the Internet, the court determines that the embodiment of a file on a new is a reproduction within the meaning of the Copyright Act."

Because of this, the judge said the so-called "first sale" doctrine which can be applied to books "does not protect ReDigi's distribution of Capitol's copyrighted works."

Capitol Records, a unit of , owns the rights to songs including Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" and The ' "Yellow Submarine."

There was no immediate comment on the decision Monday from ReDigi.

The judge asked the parties to submit statements on an injunction and damages in the case.

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User comments : 8

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verkle
2 / 5 (4) Apr 01, 2013
Good for Judge Sullivan.
Some people try to stretch their "rights" way beyond what is fair and common sense.
VENDItardE
1 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2013
you are an idiot, this WILL be overturned.
BenBen Gold
5 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2013
This is diffenatly in favor of the corporations that sell digital media. So I will continue not to purchase any product I cannot resale. I will unfortuanly also have to continue to avoid e-readers, as I get some of the value back on the books I buy. I also would probably stay away from some of the content on Gaming consoles for the same reason. I do not understand why I would be unable to resell my liscence for a given item that I have purchased. There have been very few copywritable products that I want to hold onto the rest of my life(or accounts life).
VendicarE
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2013
If the seller (sony) transmits a copy of the music to me then they have cheated me by not sending me the music requested, but simply a copy.

The judge has decided that if it is a copy made by a corporation then it is excused from being a copy, but not if the owner sells his copy and transmits it digitally.

Conservative American Judges have once again created one rule of law for the American people that Corporations need not follow.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2013
Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. -- watch this Supreme Court case.

And understand that corporations run this place.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Apr 02, 2013
I also would probably stay away from some of the content on Gaming consoles for the same reason.

Well, for gaming and gaming content the matter isn't quite as severe (as by the time you're done playing and wish to resell the platform the stuff runs on is probably so much out of date that no one really wants to buy it)

For music...I just stopped buying any a long time ago (there isn't much worth listening to out there, anyways).

The newer E-readers allow for displaying free formats as well (e.g. pdf). So I find that quite handy for scientific papers on the go. But I agree: I wouldn't pay for downloadable, DRM-protected content. Those books I'd rather buy as hardcover.

If the seller (sony) transmits a copy of the music to me then they have cheated me by not sending me the music requested, but simply a copy.

That's iffy, because if you buy a (paper) book they also only sell you a copy and not the original.
nowhere
5 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2013
the court determines that the embodiment of a digital music file on a new hard disk is a reproduction within the meaning of the Copyright Act."

So anyone who has transfered their music collection to another device needs new licences? That seems a bit excessive.
krundoloss
5 / 5 (2) Apr 02, 2013
I agree with you all, why is it that the corporation can sell a copy, but an individual cannot? Why cant I sell music that I have bought and listened to? If this data is no longer accessible to me, and only accessible by the new owner, how is it any different than selling a used car? I will tell you why. Because corporations want to sell you something that you cannot sell to someone else. They don't want you to sell your old games and movies anymore. They want you to own them forever and store them in the cloud that they control. Take their money, give them nothing in return. Welcome to the 21st century economy!

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