EMI Files Lawsuit Against Used MP3 Retailer ReDigi
The only thing surprising about the lawsuit filed by EMI against ReDigi – a site that claimed to be "the world's first online marketplace to legally recycle, buy and sell, used digital music files" – is that it took so long for any of the four major labels so long to file it.
Redigi, which launched in October, claimed to be covered under the "First Sale doctrine which U.S. courts have upheld covers the re-sale CDs, vinyl records and other physical goods.
In the complaint filed in New York federal court, EMI disagrees, according to CNet:
"Rather ReDigi and its users are making and distributing unauthorized copies of that original file. The Copyright Act defines 'copy' and 'phonorecord' as material objects in which a work or sounds are fixed respectively…Neither ReDigi nor its users resell the original material object that resided on the original user's computer. Rather… [ReDigi and users] duplicate digital files both in uploading and downloading discrete copies distinct from the original file that originally resided on a user's computer."
While selling used mp3 sales have seldom, if ever, been tested in the courts, while researching a previous article, I could not find a single attorney that believed that ReDigi would prevail.
"Once you separate music from physical media you no longer have consumer "ownership" of anything," according to Boston entertainment attorney Rob Falk. "A legal music download is generally issued as "personal license to use," and I believe that by its terms, is non-transferable. Copyright law in software cases has taught us that violation of a software license equals copyright infringement (period)."