ReDigi Details How They’ll Sell Used MP3’s Legally

image from www.thecmuwebsite.com

Our recent post that startup ReDigi would be launching what they say is the first service to offer used MP3's legally set off quite a debate. As we pointed out then, rightsholders have viewed MP3 re-sale as an illegal additional use and most Hypebot readers, including at least one lawyer, agreed. Late yesterday, ReDigi responded that, in their opinion, the United States’ First Sale Doctrine, and their own technology, which they say, "verifies ownership" guaranteed that the re-sale process was legal. Here, according to ReDigi, is how their technology works:

  1. Music files for sale are verified for eligibility. The ReDigi Music Agent "uses a sophisticated method of analyzing many aspects of the music file", including identifying the song’s digital thumbprint ("a proprietary, patent pending, forensic analysis") and confirming that the file has been properly acquired. Any music file determined to be “unverifiable” was not necessarily illegally obtained. So the user can keep them, but they won't be offered for sale.
  2. Verified files go through a second verification process that includes "acoustic parameters matching the files audio to a predefined audio set from a known master of the same song".
  3. Acceptable files are then added to the ReDigi music marketplace for re-sale and deleted from the original owner’s computer. The files are also removed from any synced devices. ReDigi says that they manage this process for users, "so even devices synced over time will be updated with tracks that have posted for sale, and sold tracks will be removed".
  4. Lastly, ReDigi "ensures that there are never two owners of the same instance of a copyrighted work". ReDigi’s says that their technology "allows for this transfer with no file copying involved in the transaction."

By doing all this, ReDigi claims to provide "even stronger copyright protection to labels and artists as it proactively removes these files to protect the owner and the appropriate parties".

“The technological development of the ReDigi Music Agent passes copyright and first-sale doctrine tests that have stopped other companies from legally being able to do this previously,” declared Larry Rudolph, CTO of ReDigi. “If you have bought it, you are allowed to sell it. Also, you are allowed to buy something that someone else legally can sell."

It's far from guaranteed that labels and other rightsholders will come to the same conclusion.

More: ReDigi Says They'll Sell Your Used MP3's Legally

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  1. “Acceptable files are then added to the ReDigi music marketplace for re-sale and deleted from the original owner’s computer. The files are also removed from any synced devices.”
    So it installs a malicious virus on your computer?
    Seriously though, this is a poor model. A monolithic program that pretends to lord over your entire media collection, everywhere, forever? No thanks.

  2. This company is just trying to stick another label on something and call it their own for the sake of not being targeted for lawsuits. I’ve thought a LOT about this company and talked to a few people about it and we STILL can’t wrap our brains around how they can fool people into what they want to do!
    Free album download at http://www.facebook.com/chancius

  3. Explain to me how this works?
    1) I buy an album from iTunes.
    2) I burn said album onto an Audio CD.
    3) I take said Audio CD out of my computer and put it in the CD player in my kitchen.
    4) I go to Redigi and offer up that album I just bought for re-sale.
    Does burning the files to an Audio CD make my files ineligible for re-sale?
    This is never gonna work. People who are interested in a ROI on their music purchases don’t pay for music to start with. If someone is so price sensitive that they are looking for second-hand music for $0.59 -$0.79 per track rather than “new-music” for $0.99 – $1.29 per track they will just go download the music for free.
    Don’t believe me. Here try this one on.
    You need to get gas for your car. You come to an intersection where there are 4 gas stations.
    Station #1 has gas for $3.58/gallon.
    Station #2 has gas for $1.98/gallon.
    Station #3 has gas for $0.73/gallon.
    Station #4 has gas for $0.00/gallon.
    At which station are you going to fill up your tank?

  4. I don’t STEAL so I would always go for the lowest cost item I can get my hands on. Free music IS illegal, if ReDigi proves out to be legal then why would you not go there to get the cheapest legal music on the market? Your argument makes no sense, just saying…

  5. As someone posted, there isn’t really a different between $0.99 and $0.79 from a music buyer’s perspective, so I’m not sure who will bother if its too much trouble. But with that said, if I could go sell my used CDs legally, why can’t I resell a song I paid for?
    Companies can’t think they can control something you bought and paid for and own, just b/c it is in the digital realm. I can put my computer on Ebay right now and HP won’t have a problem with it, why should Universal or Warner or whoever for an MP3 that I own?
    Yes there will be lawsuits, but this company could shock the world (not that that should be the case) after the case reaches the Supreme Court and they win.

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