November 17, 2011, 12:49 PM —
Since a 1908 Supreme Court decision, Americans have been allowed to sell copyrighted works they obtained legally, ie; buy a book, sell the book later. But the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) says you can't resell your iTunes files.
This comes up with the RIAA's suit against a small company named ReDigi that appeared last month. ReDigi claims they have a patent-pending method of reading digital file signatures to verify a legit iTunes file. Through their service, users can sell the file, and ReDigi also deletes it from their hard drive. Just as you can buy a CD then resell that CD, you can buy a virtual CD and resell that virtual CD.
Enter the lawyers from the RIAA and a cease-and-desist order claiming ReDigi makes a copy of a copyrighted work without permission. That may be true, since ReDigi stores and verifies the file on their servers before deleting it from the seller. While ReDigi seems on the up and up, and can tell the difference between tracks purchased through iTunes and those ripped and downloaded elsewhere, the details may get them. Of course, ReDigi could outright buy our used iTunes files, take ownership, then transfer them. Would that satisfy the recording industry lawyers?
Note: I have nothing but disdain for the RIAA and the companies that it represents but the sense of entitlement that many web users have that they have a right to download whatever they want only lends credibility and support to the RIAA/
nonseq on pcworld.com
It is not possible for this service to work. The only way is for the original seller (iTunes, Amazon, etc) to have complete control over the file by keeping it on their servers and stream it to any device the buyer has their account linked to.
Tony Watson on extremetech.com
the RIAA's ownership vs licence vs access debate is BS, and they never even stick to it.
The RIAA needs to change course soon, because unlike the book and movie industries, I can easily imagine a future without a music industry at all.
larrik on news.ycombinator.com
used game sales -- to specifically take on the parent's example -- are legal, much to the consternation of the game industry. The fact that they're legal is what prompted the development of online activation systems: to make an end-run around the resellers.
reissbaker on news.ycombinator.com