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Music The Courts

ReDigi Defends Used Digital Music Market 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the owner-only-listened-to-it-on-sundays dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "ReDigi has fired back, opposing Capitol Records's motion for a preliminary injunction. In his opposition declaration, ReDigi's CTO Larry Rudolph explains in detail (PDF) how the technology employed by ReDigi's used digital music marketplace effects transfer of a music file without copying, but by modifying the record locator in an 'atomic transaction,' and how it verifies that only a single instance of a unique file can enter the ReDigi cloud system. ReDigi's opposition papers also point out plaintiff's own admissions that mp3 files are not 'material objects' or 'phonorecords' under the Copyright Act, and therefore not subject to the Copyright Act's distribution right, and defend ReDigi's used digital music marketplace and cloud storage system (PDF) on a number of grounds, including the First Sale exception to the distribution right applicable to a 'particular' copy, the Essential Step exception to the distribution right applicable to a copy essential to the running of a computer program, and Fair Use space shifting."
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ReDigi Defends Used Digital Music Market

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  • it might be best to couple the modifications currently being done with a recompression of the mp3 itself.

    It's like real life! No one's going to want an mp3 that's changed 20 hands at that point.
    • by Rosy At Random (820255) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:11PM (#38843281) Homepage

      Every time products get deliberately borked in order to sell non-borked versions at a higher price, a part of me gets very angry. I can see the commercial sense in it, but it does not stop the anger.

      • Aah, planned obsolescence; she is a bitch, no?
        • Not only that, but chips with features deliberately disabled in order to have budget and premium versions :O

          I know that some of that partly comes down to the manufacturing processes naturally making sub-standard chips, but still, /angry face/

          • Yea, I hate that too.

            The silver lining, however, is that with enough perseverance and knowhow, one can get the "premium" features at the budget price.
            • Yes, sometimes I feel that just being smart and informed enough to cheat gives me a right to :D (Especially when it feels we've been cheated out of the stuff we're clawing back in the first place)

              • by Bradmont (513167)
                The real problem is that trying to work around such artificial restrictions is even considered cheating...
      • by Synerg1y (2169962)

        The owner had a good idea and the RIAA got jealous.

        • The owner had a good idea and the RIAA got jealous.

          Yeah, one of the funniest things in the record company's papers is the statement that

          ReDigi promises that its âoeVerification Engineâ analyzes each file to ensure that it was âoelegally downloadedâ by the user in the first instance and thus âoeeligible for sale.â Given the widespread piracy of sound recordings on the Internet â" an issue with which we have been struggling for more than a decade â" it is questionable whether ReDigi can effectively determine whether files were lawfully obtained in the first instance.

          To this I responded:

          I.e., because plaintiff is inept and has been wasting its money on frivolous litigation instead of the development of useful technology which protects copyright, therefore it is âoequestionableâ whether ReDigi can have accomplished what plaintiff never could. Well it may be âoequestionableâ to Mr. McMullan, but it is the fact. And he offers not a shred of evidence to the contrary.

    • Add an inaudible (to the human ear) digital watermark?
      • Such things tend to be pretty useless because they're exactly the sort of thing that lossy compression algorithms strip out to save space -- and if every anyone invented a way to insert one that existing compression algorithms didn't remove, the algorithms people would be very interested in it so that they could improve the algorithm (which would then go back to stripping it out).

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Friday January 27, 2012 @02:45PM (#38842881)

    For some bullshit I doubt anyone wants, seriously you can buy the best the world has to offer for 99 cents a track, what kind of horseshit DRM system to I have to infect windows with and dance around just to save what? 25 fucking cents in the end?

    • Just a couple of years ago lots of people were happy to infect their windows with all kinds of horseshit DRM systems in order to buy music for 99 cents.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:17PM (#38843383) Homepage

      The issue is the first sale right, the idea that something downloaded is still your property and you can do with it as you wish. It is very important that these guys win.

      Besides, clearly there is a market for used MP3s and for that matter used CDs, even if they only fetch pennies. Particularly for teenagers without real jobs or people who are simply poor that kind of money actually matters to them.

    • by MrKevvy (85565) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:31PM (#38843623)

      You answered your own question: 99 cents a track. For what they're paying the artists, plus distribution costs, 10 cents a track would be fair. But they're still charging the same for a bunch of bits from a server that costs a fraction of a cent to deliver as they did when that music was pressed onto a big vinyl disc by a multi-ton press, packaged with a printed cardboard sleeve and trucked to the store.

      And the artist still gets 5% of it if they're lucky.

    • by tgd (2822)

      For some bullshit I doubt anyone wants, seriously you can buy the best the world has to offer for 99 cents a track, what kind of horseshit DRM system to I have to infect windows with and dance around just to save what? 25 fucking cents in the end?

      Or go to a used CD store and buy the CD. You might pay 25 cents a song.

  • Or people will just download their music, legally or illegally, from the most convenient source available to them.
    • by cdrguru (88047)

      Really, I was under the impression that legal music sales on the Internet accounted for maybe 3% of total music downloads. Now I don't know where that figure comes from and I would think it would be a very slippery number to come by - after all, there is no real tracking and nobody is volunteering that they downloaded 1000 songs last month. However, it does sort of put iTunes propaganda in perspective. iTunes is irrelevent for music sales, is pretty much what it means even if the numbers are pretty far o

  • Since 2005 people have been asking me all kinds of questions about what you can do with your digital music after purchasing it. Now along comes a case where I'm actually litigating, and the court will be deciding, those types of issues, and the comments seem to be all off topic. Oh well.
    • Welcome back! (Sorta).

      I for one had wondered what you had been up to on these matters. With the explosion of wins for the Copyright enforcement brigade, I had entertained the thought that you were threatened into submission!

      Onward.

      How are you handling the "Almost-Unique" file situation? Besides simple physical file mods, I'll include stuff like "chopping off the dumb trailing gratuitous horn finale" etc. I suppose it would be a Derivative work, except my question centers around it being a trivial change for

    • by JustNilt (984644)

      Thanks for posting regarding this story, Mr. Beckerman. I've followed such stories with great interest since a friend of mine had a ridiculous situation where he licensed a movie for showing in his venue then received a C&D the date of the showing. Please be aware that some of us truly appreciate the work you do and your communication with us here.

      • Thanks for posting regarding this story, Mr. Beckerman. I've followed such stories with great interest since a friend of mine had a ridiculous situation where he licensed a movie for showing in his venue then received a C&D the date of the showing. Please be aware that some of us truly appreciate the work you do and your communication with us here.

        Thank you. The support of the Slashdot community means a great deal to me. We are living in an interesting time, where 10 large, politically connected corporations -- 4 record companies and 6 motion picture companies -- are on a rampage to save their dying business models and to deflect blame from their management for allowing their businesses to die. Instead of investing in the future, and building better technology, they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on nonsensical litigation. Very sad. I look forward to the day when they have been beaten back.

        • by vakuona (788200)

          They are only on a "rampage to save their business models" because people think it is kosher to download music without paying for it. Why do you want to distribute _their_ music or _their_ movies? Why not make your own and defeat their business model that way?

          • Why do you want to distribute _their_ music or _their_ movies? Why not make your own and defeat their business model that way?

            Or more precisely... why not just boycott the big record label/big film studio business altogether, and feast upon the fabulous, creative, much better stuff coming out every day from indie musicians and indie filmmakers?

    • by cdrguru (88047) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:29PM (#38843597) Homepage

      I would offer that the answer in well over 90% of the cases is that your digital music is worth exactly what you paid for it. Nothing.

      Now, in the small fraction of cases where someone has spent $10,000 filling up their iPod and is wondering how to (a) insure this against loss and (b) if this can be considered a valuable asset which is appreciating in value I think the answers to most of the world are pretty clear: no and heck no.

      Apple built a very successful business out of selling digital music players that could potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars to use if people were paying for digital music downloads. The number of people that could afford to do this is very small - but instead of being a rich person's toy the iPod has become a major facet of popular culture.

      If people were really spending $1 per song (and they aren't), these would be important questions. However, what we have created is an environment where a huge percentage of the population is (a) using digital music and (b) downloading it for free in spite of laws and successful lawsuits. It isn't right, it isn't good but it is currently a fact of life. The legal sales of digital music occupies such a small piece of the pie of digital music downloads that it is nearly irrelevant. And so we have someone that believes they can build a business on the back of this. Unlikely. And sounds like it is going to require considerable litigation to even see light of day.

      I think the question of reselling digital music is absurd in the face of reality. It would take someone deeply convinced that people are buying digital music and spending tens of thousands of dollars on it in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Quite an ability to delude themselves it what it would take. It probably says something about a lawyer willing to take on such a client as well.

      • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:43PM (#38843805)

        think the question of reselling digital music is absurd in the face of reality. It would take someone deeply convinced that people are buying digital music and spending tens of thousands of dollars on it in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Quite an ability to delude themselves it what it would take. It probably says something about a lawyer willing to take on such a client as well.

        It's not the government's job to prop up a dying business model. Aluminum used to be very expensive, even more so than silver. The top of the Washington monument is aluminum, at the time a precious metal. Should government have stepped in to guard the value of someone's aluminum store, when the Hall–Héroult process made it almost worthless?

        The cost and value of creative works is being adjusted due to the Internet and cheap storage. Some businesses will thrive, and others die off.

        • It's not the government's job to prop up a dying business model. Aluminum used to be very expensive, even more so than silver. The top of the Washington monument is aluminum, at the time a precious metal. Should government have stepped in to guard the value of someone's aluminum store, when the Hallâ"Héroult process made it almost worthless? The cost and value of creative works is being adjusted due to the Internet and cheap storage. Some businesses will thrive, and others die off.

          And I can think of a record company that is dying off, but not before it wastes even more of its money on frivolous litigation.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Apple built a very successful business out of selling digital music players that could potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars to use if people were paying for digital music downloads.

        So did Sony, Panasonic, and every other successful audio electronics manufacturer since the mid-1980s.

        The number of people that could afford to do this is very small - but instead of being a rich person's toy the iPod has become a major facet of popular culture.

        So in other words, it's just like the CD player that came 15

      • by evilviper (135110)

        Apple built a very successful business out of selling digital music players that could potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars to use if people were paying for digital music downloads. The number of people that could afford to do this is very small

        Your statement is utterly idiotic, seeemingly an attempt to justify your own copyright infringment by insisting that everyone else MUST be doing it.

        Your numbers seem intentional bullshit, using the completely wrong metric for everything. You can't say how

    • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:30PM (#38843605)
      Here's some questions the court or legislators should decide:

      My parent/sibling/spouse has died and left me $20,000 worth of music I don't listen to. Can I sell it? (or should digital music evaporate when the "owner" dies)

      I had a large collection of physical CDs stolen. Can I listen to my backups? Can I sell the backups when I'm done with the music? (or will the record companies help me get my collection back?)

      I want to buy an digital copy of a song from a new website. How do I know it's legit?

      I'm not really interested in what the answers might be today, as much as I'd like to know what the answers should be. Is it even possible to have strong protections for artists without the occasional incidence of stormtroopers kicking down grandma's door?
      • by rpresser (610529)

        I had a large collection of physical CDs stolen. Can I listen to my backups? Can I sell the backups when I'm done with the music? (or will the record companies help me get my collection back?)

        More interesting than the possibility of theft, is the fact that physical CDs have a finite lifespan. But backups are immortal, as long you copy them to fresh digital storage periodically.

        • You could still sell someone the now-dead CD and liner notes, along with a backup. Should that be legal? If so, what guarantees that the seller didn't retain a copy?
          I buy used CDs at yardsales, what guarantees that the seller didn't retain a copy? Do I care? Should I?

          If I shouldn't care, why should ReDigi be on the hook for determining if a seller kept a copy?
          • by vakuona (788200)

            But that is how Redigi will be defeated, because like it or not, retailers are responsible for what they sell. So the courts and the rightsholders could ask Redigi to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the resold tracks are now unavailable to the original buyer.

            • if that is the case, then the secondary market should have to do that with everything else that can be copied.
              also, the ease of replication should always be irrelevant.
            • by Bradmont (513167)
              But in this case, is it not the original buyer who is responsible, not redigi? After all, they are the one that sold their right to a recording and held on to a copy. So they should be taken to task, not the company. By following this standard of proof, all used music stores will be forced out of business. For that matter, used book stores will be too -- how can they prove the original owner didn't photocopy or scan the book before selling it?
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Is it even possible to have strong protections for artists without the occasional incidence of stormtroopers kicking down grandma's door?

        No, this is impossible. You can have copyright or you can have general purpose computers, but you can't have both.

      • by AK Marc (707885)

        I had a large collection of physical CDs stolen. Can I listen to my backups? Can I sell the backups when I'm done with the music? (or will the record companies help me get my collection back?)

        Theft ends possession, but not ownership. As such, you have all the same rights as if you owned it and put it in off-site storage.

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      Welcome to Slashdot :) The story doesn't matter, it's just an excuse to spout your opinion. Everyone here is an expert on everything.

      Fortunately, the people who aren't posting inane gibberish are reading and learning. The silent majority appreciates the effort, be assured of that.

      And yes, I know you've been here before, but if you hadn't gotten a sense of the place before, sounds like you have now.

      • Welcome to Slashdot :) The story doesn't matter, it's just an excuse to spout your opinion. Everyone here is an expert on everything. Fortunately, the people who aren't posting inane gibberish are reading and learning. The silent majority appreciates the effort, be assured of that. And yes, I know you've been here before, but if you hadn't gotten a sense of the place before, sounds like you have now.

        I've been here a lot, since 2005, so I know how it goes. I just wanted to call folks' attention to the fact that some of the questions Slashdotters have been asking me since 2005 -- which I was either unable to answer or not at liberty to answer -- are now being played out in court, finally :)

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Does ReDigi bear any responsibility to ensure that the copies they sell are legally made? It would be trivial for me to make as many copies as I want and sell them on ReDigi. Even if the ReDigi transaction is atomic, that doesn't stop me from reproducing my own MP3s. Does ReDigi attempt to prevent this, or are they claiming they're not responsible if I violate copyright?

      • by vakuona (788200)

        Lest move the questions to the physical realm. Do HMV or Amazon have a responsibility to ensure that the physical CDs they sell are legal. Of course they do! A retailer cannot avoid liability for products they sell.

    • i am keenly interested in this. a year or so ago, amazon offered like 10 albums from a certain artist for free. if they are no longer free from amazon, i SHOULD be able to undercut them (i would obviously delete the originals), much like you could if they had given out free cds. i was gonna put them on a flash drive and ebay it, but with all these bullshit laws, many of them untested, i'd rather not risk it.
    • by rizole (666389)

      ...and the comments seem to be all off topic. Oh well.

      You must be new here.

  • When an mp3 is sold, it is not being transferred from the provider's server to the buyer's computer...it is being copied.

    • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:17PM (#38843395)

      So? If I started a bookstore with a single copy of each book and printed a new copy for each customer on demand I'd still be bound by first sale wouldn't I? Who cares when the copy is made.

    • by Xtifr (1323) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:22PM (#38843469) Homepage

      Doesn't matter--they have the rights to copy and they're selling that copy. Therefore, under first sale doctrine, you should have the right to resell that copy. The fact that your copy was made on-demand should be completely irrelevant. If it were an on-demand printing press or CD burner, you'd have the right to resell the book or (physical) CD, even though it was generated on-the-spot. Why would it be different for a file?

      In fact, a DVD or BluRay is simply a set of files that have been copied to an intermediate storage medium. What possible reason can you offer for suggesting that the rules are different simply because the storage mechanism is different?

      • by AcidPenguin9873 (911493) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:34PM (#38843677)

        What possible reason can you offer for suggesting that the rules are different simply because the storage mechanism is different?

        It's the same reason that pro-piracy advocates use: IP goods are not the same as physical goods. If IP can't be stolen (it's merely being copied), then there's no way to enforce sale of a "used" IP either. There's absolutely no way to enforce that when you sell your copy of the IP, that you are selling the your original copy and not merely a copy of your copy.

        All the pro-piracy advocates say that IP shouldn't try to operate using an artificial-scarcity business model to make it seem like a physical good. Well, without (artificial) scarcity, there is also no logically-consistent argument for sale of "used" IP either.

        Pick one: artifical, government-enforced/DRM-managed scarcity + first-sale doctrine, or IP-should-be-free + no used sales. Those are your logically consistent options.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          There's no way to enforce it for a physical good, either, which is why there are so many pirated DVDs out there for sale on used DVD sites.

          Further, even if you have someone examining the DVD looking for special seals of authenticity and other such silliness, there is absolutely nothing stopping someone from making a copy, then selling the original.

          In other words, digital sales are digital sales, and in terms of the potential for abuse, there is no significant difference between reselling a purchased MP3 or

          • by rpresser (610529)

            There absolutely is a way to enforce it for a physical good. However, a DVD is not a physical good. Its value is not the few ounces of plastic, but the bytes stored on them. And since bytes stored and readable can be re-stored, etc., etc. and now it's your argument, and I agree with you.

            My point was just that your initial statement is false. Your conclusion is true nonetheless.

            • by dgatwood (11270)

              Other than patent lawsuits, there's no way to prevent duplication and counterfeiting of physical goods, either. Don't believe me? Check out the Chinese microphone manufacturers that slavishly copied the patented Royer offset ribbon design just a few years back. Check out all the fake iPod look-alikes. All the fake Prada bags. And so on.

              Sure, most of the fakes aren't remotely exact, but that's not because they can't be made exact. Many cases of counterfeit products actually involve manufacturing plants

              • by rpresser (610529)

                Interesting; thanks for the food for thought. I have always held a bright line division between counterfeiting and digital "piracy" in my mind, and thus did not really understand why they were frequently linked in legislation. Now I understand a bit better.

        • by StikyPad (445176)

          All the pro-piracy advocates say that IP shouldn't try to operate using an artificial-scarcity business model to make it seem like a physical good. Well, without (artificial) scarcity, there is also no logically-consistent argument for sale of "used" IP either.

          Yes, but it's the proper fallback position when your primary argument against artificial scarcity falls on deaf ears. You made the case yourself. IF artificial, government-enforced, DRM-managed scarcity exists (and it does), THEN I assert my right of

          • Yes, but it's the proper fallback position when your primary argument against artificial scarcity falls on deaf ears. You made the case yourself. IF artificial, government-enforced, DRM-managed scarcity exists (and it does), THEN I assert my right of first sale. Whether or not I agree that the initial condition *should* be true doesn't negate the consequence of it being true.

            Alright, I agree. Try getting a pro-piracy advocate to admit to this though, and I'll give you a cookie. They want to be able to freely copy IP to their local drive, and then sell the original used and keep their copy. That's obviously the best of both worlds for them (IP-is-free for copying, IP-is-property for selling), but it's terribly inconsistent in terms of philosophy.

            • Alright, I agree. Try getting a pro-piracy advocate to admit to this though, and I'll give you a cookie. They want to be able to freely copy IP to their local drive, and then sell the original used and keep their copy. That's obviously the best of both worlds for them (IP-is-free for copying, IP-is-property for selling), but it's terribly inconsistent in terms of philosophy.

              Such scenario is a non-issue. Before the internet it was practical to copy an album to a tape and then resell the original, but now it's just wasted work. If I can infringe copyright now easily and for free by visiting The PirateBay, why would I go through the trouble of buying something, then copying and then reselling for part of my money back? It's much more work for the exact same result: copyright infringement. If you are concerned that someone would buy the original digital file and then sell a pletho

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            IP does fine, as long as you clarify - Imaginary Property.
        • Pick one: artifical, government-enforced/DRM-managed scarcity + first-sale doctrine, or IP-should-be-free + no used sales. Those are your logically consistent options.

          Ignoring the fact that copyright is a wholly artificial construct anyway, and be written to behave however the hell people like, regardless of logical consistency, if we abandoned copyright, why would anyone care about selling used copies of creative works with regard to the works contained within?

          For example, suppose that it was legal to make copies of the Mona Lisa. (Which it is, but we'll set that aside for now) Why would anyone pay for a copy?

          Well, they might pay for the convenience of getting an alread

      • Doesn't matter--they have the rights to copy and they're selling that copy. Therefore, under first sale doctrine, you should have the right to resell that copy. The fact that your copy was made on-demand should be completely irrelevant. If it were an on-demand printing press or CD burner, you'd have the right to resell the book or (physical) CD, even though it was generated on-the-spot. Why would it be different for a file?

        Well, be careful with your definitions. In the Copyright Act, a copy (or in this case, a phonorecord) is basically defined as a material object in which a work is fixed long and well enough to be perceptible by some means. So a mere file can't be a copy, and copies can't be uploaded or downloaded via the Internet. A copy of an mp3 is really an entire hard drive, optical disc, flash drive, etc. containing the file. (And probably other files too) To engage in first sale, you'd have to sell the material object

    • When an mp3 is sold, it is not being transferred from the provider's server to the buyer's computer...it is being copied.

      It goes both way... it isn't stealing either then, as the media corps would like to make us believe.

    • by ka-klick (160833)

      Actually have mod points for once, but I'd rather expand on this point than mod it up (though I think it deserves a bump).

      I'm kind of surprised that Ray's representing them. This really seems like it has lots of problems from the get go. The precedents don't look good to me. It seems like another "brilliant" idea in the vein of Psystar (and we all saw where that lead).

      Here's a similar process, see if passes the smell test:

      1. Buy used book
      2. Scan used Book
      3. Destroy book, sell DRM loaded PDF

      After reading thr

  • I find it hilarious that the people arguing for allowing resale are probably the same people that bitch about DRM.

    You can't resell something that cannot be adequately protected through DRM, period. If you sell someone something that can be easily obtained for free then what value are you selling back? Selling back a non-DRM protected song sounds more like a Con rather then a legitimate business practice.

    But, if digital content is protected by DRM that allows only one user to access it, then I would agree

    • You can't resell something that cannot be adequately protected through DRM

      The problem is that Physics and Computer Science show that there can be no cheap and effective DRM.

    • by wierd_w (1375923) on Friday January 27, 2012 @03:52PM (#38843933)

      This is not explicitly true. Many products are routinely sold that can be obtained for free, given the labor of obtaining is a sufficiently arduous task. The person is really buying the convenience of a harvested product.

      Take for instance, oxygen, or nitrogen gas. (Especially nitrogen). You gan collect copious quantities of it for free. However, the task of harvesting and refining it is nontrivial, and possibly expensive in both time and invested infrastructure. As such, somebody that basically just pumps and superchills ordinary air, and in so doing fractionally distills out the nitrogen and bottles it (the nitrogen itself is still free), they can sell it as long as there is a demand.

      Another example is dirt. You can scoop up dirt for free too, but people still buy it routinely.

      See also: manure, compost, etc.

      The value of the files, which can be easily sourced, is in the increased convenience of the service, and any implied goods accompanying that service, such as legal indemnification for posession. (Eg, you won't get sued by the riaa for downloading it.)

      This value is set by what peope are willing to pay for it. Profitability can only occur if the price people are willing to pay is greater than the costs of offering it for sale.

      You could argue that it could never be profitable... that's a reasonable argument. But you can't argue that it can't be sold. (One can sell at a loss.)

      The real problem here is that this operation sets real limits on what the ACTUAL market value for the recording industry's digital products really are, instead of the artifically insisted upon values presented in court during infringement cases, and also the cumulative effects that such a service would produce.

      Specifically, the recording industry relies on continually reselling copy from its back catalog. (60s and 70s classic rock, 80s music, 90s music, etc...) there is a demand for this because the old storage mediums break down with age, and require replacement. A digital resale locker like redigi permits the new sales of theroetically unaging copies (mp3s don't wear out....) to change hands potentially unlimited numbers of times. Coupled with continued first hand sales, an increasing supply of second hand files can theoretically end up in redigi's possession, saturating the market.

      This will greatly impact the ability of the riaa and member labels to continue to snack on replacement/redundant copy sales, which accounts for the vast majority of their revinue stream.

      That's why they hate redigi, and also why we should embrace redigi.

    • by yotto (590067)

      I think I fall into the realm you find so laughable. Here are my two feelings. They do not conflict in my mind.

      1) You should, legally, be able to do it.
      2) It's not technically feasible without DRM so I'd never do it.

      Just because something is legal doesn't mean it's smart. It's legal to dance the Macarena. I feel fairly strongly that it should remain legal. However, I have no plans to ever do it.

    • by dgatwood (11270) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:08PM (#38844107) Journal

      You can't resell something that cannot be adequately protected through DRM, period.

      Sure you can. It's actually quite easy. You're missing a fairly fundamental concept, which is this: what is necessary to prevent playback of copies is not required to merely prevent sale of those copies. To do the former, it must be impossible to get a decryption key without proving that you are the current owner. This is fundamentally impossible to do in an unbreakable way, and the harder you try, the worse the customer experience is. By contrast, to do the latter, you need only the ability to uniquely identify each sold copy of a file. This requires nothing more than a guarantee from the companies that sell the original tracks that there will never be two identical copies of the track, plus a verifiable, ideally signed marker of some sort to determine authenticity.

      In other words, to support resale of commercially-sold tracks, you need only take advantage of the watermarks that most or all of those services put in the tracks to begin with. Tracks are usually sold with additional info in the track's metadata that ties it to a particular user's account so that if it gets pirated, it can be traced back to the person who illegally distributed it.

      This means that every digital download is unique and trivially verifiable as authentic or inauthentic without the need for actual DRM that would limit your ability to play the file. Thus, all that is necessary is a central database that every reseller talks to, in which the current ownership of every track that gets sold is tracked based on which account purchased it originally.

      At least I'm assuming this is how they're doing it. It's certainly the most straightforward and obvious way to do it.

      What this does not do, of course, is prevent you from making a copy before you sell the track. However, resale of physical CDs and DVDs has exactly the same problem, making this argument largely irrelevant as far as drawing a legal distinction between the two types of resale.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        This addresses a problem with media-free content in general. How do you establish that you have the right to the files you have? What's to keep the government or Apple coming in and claiming all of a sudden that all of your stuff is pirated?

        The "ownership" problem exists regardless of whether or not anyone wants to transfer that ownership.

        Physical media is a nice token of exchange and proof of ownership in that regard.

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      You can't resell something that cannot be adequately protected through DRM, period

      Uh oh, a lot of antique shops and used car dealers are in for a big surprise. ;-)

      (Let's assume you meant your comment specifically within the context of copyrighted content.) Are you saying used bookstores and used CDs stores don't work?

      Beyond that, I wonder what "adequately protected through DRM" means. Has anything ever been adequately protected through DRM, or is this a purely hypothetical discussion?

    • If you support the concept of reselling digital content, they you are embracing DRM.

      No. I'm saying that I think that DRM is awful and that I think the fact that some people may be dishonest in some people's eyes shouldn't prevent someone from reselling a digital good.

  • To see this won and applied to e-books as well. In many cases books for kindle are more expensive than paper books yet you can turn around and sell a physical book after you've read it and you (currently) can't do the same with an e-book.
  • I know we all want to retain the right to resell what we have purchased, even at a loss, but this system seems to have a DRM that isn't terribly effective. It looks like an obvious flaw, and no one's pointing it out, so I guess we're supposed to pretend we don't see it?

    It appears I can make a back up of my iTunes music, install the files on a secondary computer which is running the ReDigi DRM software, and sell them from there. This would not impact my files on my iOS devices, nor would it affect the files

    • by ka-klick (160833)

      Yup, I brought that up a while back, under the "First Sale doesn't Apply" thread. So far it seems ignored. Some other holes:

      It appears this relies on the file being iTunes PLUS (not DRMed, but stamped). This is likely to bring back DRM.

      It's also unlikely to work on anything that already had DRM not replaced by "upgrading" since that has ties into iTunes for authorization. (Free Songs, Old purchases you never upgraded).

      Also they seem to rely on the hashed version Apple is now using to stamp these files, but

    • by Xacid (560407)
      I think it'd be interesting to have something like a digital broker who doesnt deal directly with consumers but holds all the licensing for itunes, amazon, and other digital services. Would it be my ideal solution? Not a chance. But it could be more effective than litigating ourselves to death. However, the only way I think it could be worth a damn is if the consumer could rely on that service lasting "forever" (a lifetime at a minimum) and would thus have to become attached to a government somehow and tha
    • so that no copy of the song would ever reside on your computer

      So basically, you couldn't even listen to it...

      They have to send you the data at some point.

Byte your tongue.

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