Federal Judge: This ReDigi Thing Is a “Fascinating Issue…”

Looks like Capitol Records has to beat ReDigi the old-fashioned way: through a long, expensive, and seemingly-endless court battle.  Late Monday, District Court judge Richard J. Sullivan ruled that Capitol’s case against ReDigi must be heard, based on important principles related to digital resale, cloud-based computing, and other technological and legal questions.

And guess who’s sitting at the 50-yard line for it all?  Sullivan has tossed a request by Capitol for summary judgment, and can’t wait for the technological back-and-forth.  “This is a fascinating issue,” Sullivan opined while denying Capitol’s request for a preliminary injunction. “It raises a lot of technological and statutory issues.”

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Actually, this is exactly the result that Google had been hoping for.  Last week, Sullivan abruptly told the search giant to butt out of the case, but Google felt that Capitol v. ReDigi needed to be heard to clarify important legal guidelines related to cloud-based computing.  Now, that day is happening in court.

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Also check out: Judge Tells Google: ReDigi Can Fight for Itself…

But wait: even if ReDigi wins, can they then win the more important battle for customers?  ReDigi’s used MP3 model assumes that people actually want to sell their old downloads, and only iTunes-purchased tracks will work in ReDigi’s marketplace.  “Our advanced technology can distinguish legally acquired online music files from those ripped from a CD or file shared, but more significantly, our use of cloud computing and other modern computer techniques makes transfer of ownership compatible with copyright regulations,” explained ReDigi CTO Larry Rudolph.  “Technology can now make the virtual goods feel like physical.”

In a response early this morning to Digital Music News, Capitol owner EMI vowed to fight the case.  “We fully expect that ReDigi will ultimately have to answer for its clear acts of infringement,” said Alasdair McMullan, executive vice president of Legal Affairs at EMI Music North America.

9 Responses

  1. mdti

    might become as fun as the VHS case law of the 80’s… first use doctrine applied to digital goods 🙂

  2. Bring it on

    Looking forward to it, actually. I will make a ton of easy money, selling “used” apps, “used” software and “used” search engine/database code.

  3. crazy

    Just wait and see the madness of free or donationware albums released with a Creative Commons license getting “re-sold as used” and mafia sites making nice money from them…

    • Visitor

      yeah, that’ll be nothing like music publishers claiming “arrangment” for traditional songs…

      • yes

        Exactly, it’s nothing like it, moron. Ever tried to pick up a music instrument? Nah, too hard for your brain cells?

  4. Yves Villeneuve

    ReDigi will have to prove that copying is not widespread or EMI will have to prove that copying is widespread therefore a business model such as ReDigi is not a viable industry unless copying and piracy is signicantly controlled to prevent widespread abuses of the ReDigi model.

    In other words, unless there are laws and enforcement to prevent widespread abuses, the ReDigi model should not exist.

  5. dangude

    If distributors of copyrightable works don’t like the court decision consumers will be asked to either read/sign purchase agreement that forbids resale.

    • J.

      Amazon mp3 store user here – the terms of use are very clear and I would be in violation if I tried to do what the scammers at ReDiGi are advertising.

  6. so easy

    == how to make a botnet ==

    1. promise people money for uploading warez to your server

    2. convince them that you need to check the shit on their computers or that they have to use your own “upload tool”

    3. get root access

    4. enjoy your brand new botnet