An American Federal Court has ruled that in the USA it is not legal to resell digital media. This is because the judge believes there is an explicit distinction between physical and digital media that needs to be recognised. While NetFlix’s entire existence is based on the fact you can buy a CD or DVD and resell it, it appears no one else will get the opportunity to do the same for digital media.
The ruling means the company ReDigi is now in serious jeopardy at its startup. This is because the company was founded on the principle of being able to resell digital content, like songs bought on iTunes.
Unsurprisingly, the Judge, Richard Sullivan, sided with the music company. Universal Music Group’s Capitol records sued ReDigi for copyright violations and they won. The judge stated that unless the copyright owner gives you explicit permission to resell, then you cannot. So put simply you cannot resell digital media files. ReDigi used multiple arguments to support its case for why resells should be allowed including the first sale doctrine, which supports NetFlix in the resale of physical goods, but the Judge brushed these aside.
Sullivan granted a partial summary judgment in Universal’s favor, and told both sides to report back to him by April 12 for next steps. You can see the full case below.
What do you think of this ruling? Is it fair? Or is it the legal system caving in to the power (and money) of the music industry? View Capitol Records v. ReDigi Judgment on Scribd