Judge Bans Resale of ‘Used’ Digital Music

NEW YORK (Slate) —

When you purchase a music CD, you are entitled under U.S. copyright law “to sell or otherwise dispose” of it without seeking permission from the copyright holders.

A March 30 ruling from a federal judge in New York said that this protection does not extend to music purchased digitally.

Back in October 2011, a startup company called ReDigi launched an online digital marketplace enabling users to buy and sell “their legally acquired digital music files … at a fraction of the price currently available on iTunes.” Capitol Records filed a suit accusing them of piracy.

Judge Richard J. Sullivan agreed, writing that ReDigi’s service “infringes on Capitol’s exclusive right of reproduction.”

“The court cannot of its own accord condone the wholesale application of the first-sale defense to the digital sphere, particularly when Congress itself has declined to take that step.”

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