Judge Tells Google: ReDigi Can Fight for Itself…

So how’s that Google relationship working out, anyway? Warner Music Group ex-chairman Edgar Bronfman just called ‘Google Music’ an ‘oxymoron,’ and trade group IFPI recently broiled the search engine for disproportionate levels of illegal results.  All of that follows a blowup over SOPA, where Google and the majors found themselves violently opposed.

Which brings us to this week’s episode, where the latest drama involves Capitol Records v. ReDigi.  This is a pitched battle over ReDigi’s rights to sell ‘used MP3s’ through cloud-based transfers, and hinges on rights associated with the first-sale doctrine and cloud computing.  On Wednesday, the search giant moved to block an attempt by Capitol to dismiss the entire case (in legalese, through an attempted amicus curiae filing), based on important principles related to cloud computing.


Google wants the case heard, for legal clarity among other reasons.  “A premature decision on incomplete facts could create unintended uncertainties for the  cloud computing industry,” the request stated.  “The continued vitality of the cloud computing industry — which constituted an estimated $41 billion dollar global market in 2010 — depends in large part on a few key legal principles that the preliminary injunction motion implicates.”

It’s a big move against EMI-owned Capitol, and the fellow major labels that it represents.  But Google has a lot riding on cloud computing, which makes a decision over cloud-based digital resale an important matter.  But hearing the case – and potentially losing it – is exactly the opposite of what the major labels want.  Which is why Capitol Records quickly moved to deny Google the ability to insinuate itself into the action.

On Thursday, a judge agreed, and told Google to mind its own business.  The parties can duke it out themselves, thank you very much.  Request, DENIED.



38 Responses

  1. visitor

    Redigi is the most shady service on the planet. A service that plans to make money selling “used” mp3s? Its shocking. All consumers, artists and labels can agree that this is ridiculous as it completely rips off the artists making the music. I can go steal music off of a torrent and sell it as used. Absolutely ludicris.

    • ReDigi does not buy your MP3s
      ReDigi does not buy your MP3s

      Have you even looked at the site or are you just spitting venom because you’re angry and anonymous?
      Here is the FACT (because I actually spent 20 minutes using the site personally) — And ReDigi is good and bad. I’ll start with the bad:
      I just “sold” 15 songs on ReDigi and got ZERO money for them….but then, after further investigation read that you don’t get paid until someone buys your songs ( I did earn some coupons however for song discounts…okay, fine). So, in essence I’m selling the song, ReDigi is not selling it for me. And being that they are perhaps the worst songs on the planet I have a feeling I will never get paid for them..

      But fret not! Here is the good part: If my songs don’t sell I can remove them from the marketplace/cloud and put them back in my library to hate forever more!
      All and all, I get it…it’s clever…it could work…

        • Visitor

          No, I’m spitting venom because its shady.
          Oh and go fuck yourself.
          That venom is because you’re a douche.

          • Oh, you work for RIAA
            Oh, you work for RIAA

            That explains everything. Or, wait, I’ve got it… you’re a repressed 15 year old who spends so much time masturbating in front of the computer that you have yet learn the merits have having a well thought out, well balanced conversation with some amount (ANY amount) of knowledge or information about the subject… sometimes, all you need is one fact to not sound like a total moron.
            So which are you? Don’t say neither. Oh, wait…your a Creed fan! Stop there…I get it now.

          • explanation

            There is no way* to tell if a person ripped a CD ten times, all differently each (different bitrate, e.t.c.) – do you understand now why this is a scam?

            *unless you have a CCTV installed in their room

          • dummy

            you can’t sell mp3s you rip silly, you can only sell the mp3s that came form services like itunes, which have drm

          • George

            ReDiGi has no way to tell whether the file was created in an Apple server or not. Because they are not part of Apple.

          • beg to differ
            beg to differ

            my understanding is that they have some government-grade technology that can tell EXACTLY where it came from… scary? perhaps. But only if they have bad intentions. so far their intentions seem good. so far…

    • jean

      Am I missing something … aside from totally decimating an artist’s ability to make money from his art, if you make a copy of an MP3, “first-sale” doctrine no longer applies since you’re no longer selling the originally purchased MP3 but a copy. Technically speaking, the COPY from the cloud is not the same copy that you try to resell, n’est pas?

  2. Total Greed
    Total Greed

    What the fuck, Google? Aren’t those billions you make from ads enough? I hope your top 5 people get cancer this year. Just to laugh at the press release. Bastards.

  3. Alternative

    Give DuckDuckGo a shot, it’s a nice search engine and your personal information will not be shared with Google:
    It’s about time we give other search engines some of our traffic. Google has become too big and too evil to be trusted with our data.

  4. Dalton Priddy
    Dalton Priddy

    When BIG DATA’s valuation becomes so large as to make the music and film business seem like penny stocks, this entertainment industry model looks helpless in fighting for Copyright protection.
    Meawhile BIG DATA mines creative content with voids of global definitions and interpretations in unregulated cyberville and courts halls of congress and senate with campaign cash.

  5. You people are retarded
    You people are retarded

    I just came accross this article and was shocked by the comments being left so I felt like I had to write something…
    How can you hate on Google over this? They are fighting for something that will help you & I, the standard consumer in the digital age.
    The labels are trying to prevent this so they can keep more cash in their pockets not yours. Why shouldn’t we be able to resell digital goods? Maybe “Used” is the wrong word for it but there should be some way to redeem some monetary value when I am done with that digital good. Especially when I am spending the same if not more for that good then I would for it in physical form? If hard goods can be resold and as we all know just how easy it is to make a copy of all the tracks on a cd before selling it off, then why shouldn’t there be a way to sell back digital goods?
    I’ve tried the ReDigi system and let me tell you from my experience it is much more difficult to copy and sell back a digital good on ReDigi then it to make a copy of tracks from a physical CD and sell that back. To be honest I haven’t been successful in my efforts yet to trick the ReDigi system…
    For the rest of you dum asses that just choose to hate the best & biggest, ie. the Kobe Bryant effect. Why don’t you really think about the matter at hand.

    • Billy

      Why do I get this feeling that you would not actually delete those mp3 files, but rather save them on an external USB hard drive, just so that you would be able to “re-sell” them after a few days?
      And please don’t write any crap about how ReDiGi would be able to tell that you saved them in a different drive, because unless they have root access on your computer, they can’t.
      Which brings us to another question. Why the fuck would you give root access to any third party, especially a company?

      • Matt Knudson
        Matt Knudson

        I’ve tried ripping it onto a thumb drive and selling it back on ReDigi. I was able to make the sale, but when I tried to put the song file back on my computer it was instantly deleted…

          • digital 301
            digital 301

            It don’t accept songs ripped from CDs… try to sell a song you ripped from a CD. it will be rejected.
            It only accepts iTunes music. Again, try selling a song you bought from Amazon. Or somewhere else. Or ripped from a friend all rejected.
            You can’t even store non-iTunes music on their cloud. This is literally an i-Tunes only deal.
            My theory is that ReDigi is a secret Apple project… They’re testing the waters as it’s a bit too bold for Apple to put their name on at this point. Just wait, soon ReDigi will disappear and not long after, Apple will introduce a used marketplace for their music. Genius!

          • N.L.

            What you are describing is a number of serious federal crimes (and equally illegal outside the US). The highly paid lawyers of Apple would never allow this, because the top Apple executives would end up in jail. Jail as in BEHIND BARS.
            If Apple wanted to create a re-sell platform, they would have to also re-negotiate with all the publishers and labels. Their current contracts don’t have any term for this kind of activity.
            If someone is behind ReDiGi, it is more possible to be Google.

      • alex stacey
        alex stacey

        You’re missing the point.
        The fact that someone could take a copy of an mp3 before reselling it is irrelevant. You can do the same with a CD (make a copy then resell it) but that doesn’t mean the first-sale doctrine shouldn’t apply. You could photocopy every page of a book then resell it, photograph a piece of art, etc etc.
        We *should* have the right to re-sell something that we own. Our digital music collections that we have spent a fortune on and collected over years shouldn’t have a value of zero.
        Giving a resale value to “used” digital goods is a good thing imo.

        • I hate to agree
          I hate to agree

          But I do. The “used” digital goods idea seems so abstract but the fact is that digital and physical copies of an album cost the same amount. so the ownership rights that apply to each should be exactly the same, no question.
          It hard for me to understand the frustration of not being able to sell digital purchases in a used market b/c I don’t really buy digital media — but to someone who does spend a lot of money on digial media, this must be a very important issue. Although, when i consider it, the reason I don’t buy digital is because it seems like such a rip off. If I have 12 bucks to spend on music I’m going to buy a CD and then download it to my computer if i want it in digital form. Or I’ll spend the 12 bucks to see a live show, which is better than any of this nonsense.

        • Ron

          Music is owned by the artists. They have the master recordings.
          You own the physical medium, if the album is a CD or vinyl. Even then, you don’t own the music itself. As for the digital files, they are provided by the music stores for personal, non-commercial use. All that changes is that you don’t have a medium in your hands. You still don’t own the music.
          If you want to own it, you are going to pay much more than $0.99 a song. And if you think $0.99 is too much for a personal, non-commercial license, then go ahead and make your own songs for less than that.

  6. PJH

    One of the aspects of the first sale doctrine that works in favor of selling more new music is that if you know you can turn around and sell an album that it turns out you don’t like or don’t ever play much is that you have much more of an incentive to take a chance on new music. Any old fashioned record store could confirm this, though few labels are willing to acknowledge it.
    Remember the original Napster? Research quick showed that the majority of tracks that were downloaded were only played once because people were checking new music out.
    It would be nice if the labels spent less on lawyers trying to make an air-tight market, and more on experimenting with new ways of helping people find new music they like. sigh

  7. Flavio

    -> buy a Pink Floyd CD
    -> rip it to 128 mp3 files
    -> upload to ReDiGi
    -> ReDiGi deletes the 128 mp3 files from your computer’s drive

    -> the next day, you rip it to 320 mp3 files
    -> upload to ReDigi
    -> ReDiGi deletes the 320 mp3 files from your computer’s drive

    Do you want me to go on and on and mention all the different versions you can come up with, from the same CD, using open source software like Audacity?

    • Knows How to Read
      Knows How to Read

      You don’t read very well do you? Let me summarize for you what has been stated in other comments here.
      1. ReDigi won’t accept MP3s you ripped from a CD!
      2. ReDigi only accepts iTunes purchased from the Apple store.
      3. Apple creates a unique digital id for each mp3 download and inserts that id into the mp3 before download. So every mp3 file downloaded from iTunes is unique (meaning that no two mp3 are the same)
      4. The id also contains a hash or checksum of the original mp3 file so the id can’t be used with different mp3. So if one were to digitally manipulate the file as you describe you would either destroy the id or the id would no longer match the file. In either case ReDigi would not accept the file.

      • W!Quz!

        You have no idea what you are talking about.
        The net is *full* of MD5 and sum hacking tools. You don’t even have to search much on the darker places. The tools are free and readily available to everyone who can use Google Search.
        Even my grandmother could force an original hash to give its place to another if I showed her where to point and click. That would take just a few minutes to do. If someone bothers to put out a dedicated program, just for the task of making easy money through ReDiGi and stealing the musicians, the time needed would be a few minutes for a whole library, per user.
        Oh, and claiming that “the file won’t be the same” is nonsense. ReDigi would need super admin access to Apple’s setup in order to compare files from the iTunes/App Store. How can ReDigi know what the “correct” sum is, if they have nothing to compare it to…?

        • Because ReDigi IS Apple
          Because ReDigi IS Apple

          Clearly… Maybe Apple couldn’t get clearance from the labels so they’re doing this under code name “redigi”, just to test out the used marketplace but without their name attached. This could open up a massive new revenue stream for them — it’s a good idea. In any market (music, clothes, cars, etc.) a healthy “used’ market for an item helps stimulate and promote the “new” market. This is business 101. From this perspective asecondary market for music only makes sense and the obviously next step in the evolution of digital.
          Plus Apple has a hand in everything. If this works for music, movies, games, ete etc will be next.

          • !!!

            Yes, right after their whole legal team commided mass suicide in traditional Japanese style, Apple went ahead and set up a fraud operation. Because, you know, they didn’t have enough cash stashed away and they needed to scam the artists instead.
            Boy you must be desperate for excuses!

  8. oh dear
    oh dear

    Someone somewhere didn’t bother to read the music stores’ TOS.
    Not surprised by that. People actually ask for their MegaUpload stash back from the Feds, on Facebook…!

  9. great news
    great news

    Good to see a US judge standing up agaist a vicious corporation like Google. I could name at least ten countries in the western world were Google would just force its way on the court before the process.

  10. Using Users Used
    Using Users Used

    If you want ‘re-sale’ value on your tunes, buy the friggin CD.

    Did i actually hear someone complain that “IF i bought a song and didn’t like it…”
    Are you serious? There are countless LEGAL means of auditioning a song before purchase.. not to mention the 1:30 preview on iTunes alone…
    At the end of the day, we’re talking about something that costs around a dollar… How fuggin cheap are people these days? Do you eat your candy bar and go back to the clerk and say “i want my money back, because i didn’t like the aftertaste of the candybar” And hand in the wrapper, expecting a refill?

  11. GJinSydney

    I’m a little worried – will reDigi buy my iTunes MP3s if they’re slightly scratched? Just superficially, of course.
    Goodness, what a vehement “debate”! Some children just don’t play nicely, do they?

    But seriously – who owns reDigi,and why does Google want to defend them? You know, I’m almost sure there’s a reason that may not necessarily involve the public good.
    I liked this bit: “ReDigi supports artists directly through a unique platform that, for the first time in the secondhand music market, grants generous payments from each track sold (and resold) directly to the artist who created it.”. How? And what about the other copyright owners (songwriters, publishers…)?
    Why do I have this mental image of vultures and hyenas?


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