What do you do when you no longer want an MP3 you paid to download from iTunes? Do you simply delete it? That may be a huge missed opportunity — a federal judge in New York ruled today that it is legal to resell MP3s that you bought.
The case involved ReDigi, a new website that allows iTunes account holders to buy and sell used MP3 files. Sellers download an app from ReDigi which will verify that the song is deleted from their account once sold. Capitol Records filed suit to try and stop ReDigi selling songs from their label, seeking $150,000 in damages per track.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Sullivan ruled that reselling MP3s was a protected right by way of the first-sale doctrine, which states that a person who buys a copyrighted work has the right to sell it. Under the ReDigi model, a person who sells their iTunes file no longer has access to it — a fact that torpedoed Capitol Records' claims that the service contributed to copyright infringement.
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