Court Rules Users Can't Resell Songs Bought on iTunes
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that users cannot legally resell songs they have purchased on iTunes, reports All Things D. The case in question is a lawsuit between Capitol Records and music startup ReDigi, which wants to create a marketplace for owners of digital music to sell their libraries.
ReDigi argued that 'first-sale doctrine' should apply to digital purchases in addition to physical ones, but the court did not accept that argument. First-sale doctrine holds that individuals are able to sell their legally purchased books or CDs to other parties.
However, here, 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. Accordingly, and for the reasons stated above, the Court GRANTS Capitol's motion for summary judgment on its claims for ReDigi's direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement of its distribution and reproduction rights. The Court also DENIES ReDigi's motion in its entirety.
The Judge granted partial summary judgement to Capital Records, but has ordered both sides to submit a joint letter to the court by April 12, "concerning the next contemplated steps" in the case. We have uploaded Judge Richard J. Sullivan's full decision to Scribd.
Apple filed for several patents recently that suggest the company is at least considering ways for users to resell, lend or inherit digital content. The company has made no indications that it would make such a service available, however.