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Music The Courts

RIAA Doesn't Like the "Used Digital Music" Business 300

An anonymous reader writes "Ars Technica reports on the developing story between the RIAA and music reseller ReDigi, 'the world's first online marketplace for used digital music,' who first came online with a beta offering on October 11th, 'allowing users to sell "legally acquired digital music files" and buy them from others "at a fraction of the price currently available on iTunes.'' If the notion of selling 'used' digital content is challenged in court, we may finally receive a judicial ruling on the legality of EULAs that will overturn the previous Vernor v. Autodesk decision."
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RIAA Doesn't Like the "Used Digital Music" Business

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  • Re:Honor system (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheCouchPotatoFamine ( 628797 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:13PM (#38064446)

    Not the honor system, but it relies on the idea that a CD is a license to listen to the music. The RIAA should put their whole inventory online, assign them uuid's hashed with the users uuid, and provide a clearing house so that it's the NUMBER on the cd case that entitles you to the music, not the CD itself. it's a thought... closer to reality then stomping out the practice of selling used music is.

    Not that I want to help those asshole culture pimps along or anything.

  • by Maximum Prophet ( 716608 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:31PM (#38064740)

    It can mean more sales. If used book stores burned every book they bought, the sales of new copies of those books would increase at least a tiny bit...and that sliver is what they're after.

    That's what I'm assuming anyways. If they think that 1 used book sale = 1 lost new book sale, as with piracy they'll be sorely disappointed.

    If they thought that, they'd just buy the used books at 30% and destroy them.

    The problem with digital content, is that when properly cared for it doesn't degrade. Vinyl disks wear out with use. Cars rust. Even books get cruddy. Unless a digital recording is released in a higher fidelity, a 20 yo used copy doesn't sound any worse than a new one.

    I'm waiting for a sub-culture, a digital Amish, as it were, of people who only consume media that's at least N years old. People who band together with the latest hardware, but only content that's old and used. Device drivers will have to be open source and blessed by a software shaman. Maybe I'll start it for tax purposes....

  • Re:Honor system (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ILongForDarkness ( 1134931 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:10PM (#38065450)
    I think the RIAA will argue that iTunes, CDs etc are the distribution mechanisms for licensed products. Just because a licensed product exists in physical form doesn't mean that you don't need a license to use it. So sure sell the CD/iTune file but the caveat is that the buyer doesn't have a right to use it since they haven't purchased a license.
  • Re:Honor system (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nabsltd ( 1313397 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:29PM (#38065794)

    I think the RIAA will argue that iTunes, CDs etc are the distribution mechanisms for licensed products.

    They can argue that all they want, but a CD, a downloaded MP3, and a book are all identical as far as copyright law is concerned. All are copies of copyrighted content whose ownership has been transferred to the purchaser. The only part of copyright law that concerns licensing is granting rights to material you have copyrighted to another entity (person, business, etc.). For that, I agree that an iTunes sale can also include licenses for things like making limited multiple copies, transcoding to a different format, etc., and those licenses can be explicitly declared as not transferable in the event of a resale of the actual original copy.

    Just because a licensed product exists in physical form doesn't mean that you don't need a license to use it.

    You have been tricked by the big media companies into believing a lie. Again, there is no license mentioned in copyright law other than the licensing of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder. Once you have a copy of copyrighted material in your possession, you are free to do with it as you wish, as long as you do not violate any of the exclusive rights listed in copyright law, and none of those rights concern simply your personal "using" (reading, listening to, watching, etc.) of the material.

  • Re:Honor system (Score:5, Interesting)

    by metacell ( 523607 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:23AM (#38071434)

    Not quite... copyright grants the creator of a work the exclusive right to manufacture copies of it and to perform it in public. Copyright doesn't say anything about using a work. For example, if you buy a book, you don't need permission (license) from the copyright holder to read it, cut up the pages and remix it, lend it to your friends, etc, as long as you don't make any extra copies. The same thing applies to, for example, a music record - the copyright holder has no say over when, how or how often you play the music, or whatever else you wish to do with it, and long as you don't manufacture extra copies or perform it in public.

    A shrink-wrap agreement can restrict what you can do with a product, but that has nothing to do with copyright. The shrink-wrap agreement is considered a part of the purchase agreement. It only applies to the purchaser, not to anyone he gifts or lends the product to. Even if the purchaser is required to apply the same terms to anyone she sells or gifts the product to, there's not much the producer can do if she forgets or ignores it. The producer can sue the first user, but the second and subsequent users are still not bound by the purchase agreement.

    In the case of software, it's generally assumed that you need a license to use it. It's my understanding that this is because using software creates temporary copies of it in the computer's memory, and you need the copyright holders permission to create these temporary copies. To obtain this permission, you need to agree to a license agreement.
    The courts don't seem to agree entirely that the temporary copies in the computer's memory should be considered copies in the context of copyright law, though, so I'm not sure how solid these license agreements are.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10