Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

You Still Can’t Resell Your iTunes Songs, Court Rules

cracked discIn the U.S. it’s perfectly legal to buy a CD or DVD and then sell it to someone else — that’s the reason Netflix exists.

But when it comes to digital media, that doesn’t work. That’s the gist of a new Federal court ruling, which says that startup ReDigi can’t do what it says it can do — let users resell songs they bought on iTunes.

In a judgment filed Saturday, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan sided with Universal Music Group’s Capitol Records, which had sued ReDigi for copyright violation.

Sullivan’s argument, in a nutshell: Unless the copyright owner gives you explicit permission to do so, you can’t resell a digital media file. ReDigi used multiple arguments to support its case, including the “first sale doctrine” that supports companies like Netflix when it comes to physical goods; you can see Sullivan shoot them all down in his decision (also embedded below, courtesy Jordan Golson).

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.

Capitol Records v. ReDigi Judgment by MacRumors


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald