Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Selling Used MP3s Found Legal In America

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the old-music dept.

Music 281

bs0d3 writes "After some litigation; ReDigi, a site where people can sell used MP3s has been found legal in America. One of the key decisions the judge had to make was whether MP3's were material objects or not. 'Material objects' are not subject to the distribution right stipulated in "17 USC 106(3)" which protects the sale of intellectual property copies. If MP3's are material objects than the resale of them is guaranteed legal under the first sale' exception in 17 USC 109. Capitol Records tried to argue that they were material objects under one law and not under the other. Today the judge has sided with the first-sale doctrine, which means he is seeing these as material objects."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

If selling is legal.. (1, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973765)

Then why can't I also give them away? As in, transfer them, to friends, on P2P networks.

Re:If selling is legal.. (2, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973829)

For the same reason you cannot go buy The Davinci Code and start mass producing copies for your friends.

For all the insanity there may be in copyright / IP legislation, you have to go way out on a limb to argue for complete removal of copy protections on recently produced works.

Re:If selling is legal.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973991)

Completely wrong response. Following this judge's decision, you can indeed give them away, so long as you are only giving away the copies that you purchased.

Re:If selling is legal.. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974221)

So if I own lots of MP3s, millions of them including multiple copies of popular songs-

Could I sell one to you, then a few minutes later buy it back as I sell you the next MP3 on your playlist?

I can see having any song available on demand from a music service for a small monthly fee becoming a viable business model, where previously only radio-style playlists (you don't get to pick every song) have been available free or cheaply.

Re:If selling is legal.. (2)

reverius (471142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974259)

Umm, Spotify [spotify.com] ?

Re:If selling is legal.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974351)

So, there are 5 links in the summary. One is a previous slashdot story, one is ReDigi's homepage, two are just links to law texts, and the last one is, I guess, TFA. So I followed it, and found a shady ass blog post hosted on some random site on port 82. It had links though, mostly the same links as TFS, but it added what seemed like a source hosted on a Yahoo blog. Better, but still not really reliable, and the facts were starting to change. So I followed that blogs source, and got to Ars. OK, now something vaguely reliable. But the facts were a lot murkier, and it sounded a lot like the same story from two days ago, linked in TFS. Ars has two relevant, recent links. One is to Wired, so now it really starts to sound legit, except the Wired article is from February 2nd, and says "a ruling could come any day now". The other Ars link is to a pdf ruling. Finally, the truth will be revealed. Here is the text of the brief, in it's entirety:

RICHARD J. SULLIVAN, District Judge:
For the reasons stated on the record at today's conference, Plaintiffs motion for a preliminary injunction is HEREBY DENIED.
As directed by the Court at today's conference, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT, by Monday, February 20, 2012 at 4:00 p.m., the parties shall submit a proposed case management plan and scheduling to my chambers at the following email address: sullivannysdchambers@nysd.uscourts.gov. A template for the order is available at http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/cases/show.php?db=judge_info&id=347 [uscourts.gov] . SO ORDERED.
Dated: February 6, 2012 New York, New York

Isn't Internet news great?

Re:If selling is legal.. (5, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973833)

You could. If you deleted all of your copies, and if only one person was able to download them.

The main reason for this ruling was that it obeyed the first law of economic thermodynamics - products were neither created nor destroyed, only transferred.

Re:If selling is legal.. (3, Interesting)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973989)

I makes me wonder how this would apply to other digital media we buy.

* I'd think, say with DLC, the producer of the material wouldn't be obligated to assist in a content transfer so DRM keeps them safe for now. But are we now otherwise allowed to transfer that material to someone else? If so, do anti-circumvention exemptions now apply to the new owner?

* [requisite ianal, etc]

Re:If selling is legal.. (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974249)

<ianal>
You are correct, the producer wouldn't have any obligation to make transfers easy or even possible. And, while this ruling does not in any way rule on other digital products like DLC, it does provide some amount of precedence another judge may wish to use.
Most likely, DLC would be defined as an addition to another physical product - the game proper. So you would probably only be able to transfer DLC if you transferred ownership of the rest of the game as well. At least, that's the ruling I would make.
Anti-circumvention exemptions may or may not apply - depends too much on the judge, and how much he's been bribed by *IAA. My guess is that they'll rule that they still apply.
</ianal>

Re:If selling is legal.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973837)

You can, give it to one person, but you can't keep it. If you follow the logic.

Re:If selling is legal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973843)

Because when you sell something you tend to give the rights over to the person you sell it to, e.g. there is still only 1 copy avalible, wheras distributing means more copies are avalible then sold.

Re:If selling is legal.. (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973849)

You can. You just have to use some sort of atomic transaction scheme like ReDigi does to ensure that no more than one copy is accessible at a time.

Re:If selling is legal.. (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974025)

I agree but if I keep backups of all my music they're not going to be able to delete copies of music on a USB drive not even connected to the computer. I wonder if they'll monitor for people that are selling the same song over and over.

My concern would be as well is that someone decides to sell their low quality torrented music and you still have to worry about it being a quality version. Even if the 30 second preview is from the actual file it doesn't tell me if it cuts off too early.

Re:If selling is legal.. (-1, Troll)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974205)

You can't, remember copyright? I have to give a "right to copy" a permission or a license to distribute my digital goods. Software, recordings, photos etc. are all covered here and copyright makes any second-hand market or distribution illegal by default unless authorized by the copyright holders.

Re:If selling is legal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974397)

... copyright makes any second-hand market or distribution illegal by default unless authorized by the copyright holders.

It does nothing of the sort, except perhaps in your imagination.

Re:If selling is legal.. (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974433)

You can't, remember copyright? I have to give a "right to copy" a permission or a license to distribute my digital goods. Software, recordings, photos etc. are all covered here and copyright makes any second-hand market or distribution illegal by default unless authorized by the copyright holders.

I heard there was a recent court ruling that found otherwise, saying that at least in the case of mp3s that they constitute 'material objects' and are thus subject to the First Sale Doctrine exception to the distribution right.

I can't remember where I heard this though.

Re:If selling is legal.. (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974461)

They're countering stupidity with insanity. Eventually, all words will become noise, and the issue will go away.

Re:If selling is legal.. (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973859)

IANAL of course, but I believe this ruling would permit exactly that, as long as the files were promptly deleted from your system immediately after they're transferred to someone else.

Re:If selling is legal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973987)

ahh, but could one not argue that at one point, however short, existed two copies?

Re:If selling is legal.. (4, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974071)

ahh, but could one not argue that at one point, however short, existed two copies?

So RAID 1 is illegal.

Re:If selling is legal.. (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974429)

ahh, but could one not argue that at one point, however short, existed two copies?

So RAID 1 is illegal.

How about your Web browser's cache? Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Re:If selling is legal.. (4, Informative)

dmomo (256005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973861)

What you're missing here is that to "sell" the MP3, it is necessary that you give the MP3 to the other party. This is a "move" not a "copy", meaning, you must destroy your current copy. Yes, under the "material object" logic, you could "give" it away, as in "sell it for zero", but you give up any rights to it yourself.

With P2P, your copy stays on the machine when another downloads it from you. You now have an illegal copy (assuming you GAVE it to the first downloader).

Re:If selling is legal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974065)

How do I "GIVE" an MP3? How do I "PROVE" I own it. I don't have a receipt.

Re:If selling is legal.. (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974209)

Ownership and proof of ownership are two separate things. You don't need a receipt to own something.

I agree that "giving" an mp3 in a material sense is sort of silly. Digital media is a new thing. So far, we've been arguing over which old metaphor it most closely resembles and basing our rules around that.

Re:If selling is legal.. (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974261)

this is just a case of them trying to have their cake and eat it too, when they'd really much rather HAVE their cake than EAT it, if given the choice. So the judge had to make a call, and it was called EAT it. So now they find themselves in pretty much the worst possible scenario. By their own involvements they've gotten MP3's judged as material objects.

And now have an almost impossible to police or defend position of having to identify and prove that you don't still have a copy after selling it. Serves them right for trying to double-dip. They would have been much better off to have claimed it was exclusively not a physical object - at least then they'd have more applicable laws to erm... abuse.

Re:If selling is legal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973863)

I guess the problem is demonstrating that someone did (or proving they didn't) destroy the "original" copy. Sounds like a potentially confusing legal nightmare that'll have to be sorted out over time.

Re:If selling is legal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973875)

You can. You just have to delete your copy when you do, as ReDigi requires.

Re:If selling is legal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973903)

Because, ostensibly, you are copying the music file and still have the original, thus rendering what you are doing "distribution" and not "re-selling" or "giving away."

Instead, if you send someone a copy of a file, then delete the original on your end, and can prove that you have done so, you are good to go.

(I'm sure all the Slashdot lawyers will correct the fallacies contained herein. Fire away!)

Re:If selling is legal.. (2)

Slotty (562298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973929)

You're not transferring over P2P networks. You're duplicating something and transmitting the duplicate without actually losing the utility of the object yourself.

Re:If selling is legal.. (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973993)

You can give them away, but then you have to give up ownership of them. So you can only give it away once.

Re:If selling is legal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974085)

Files may come and files may go, but that's alright with me. Experience has made me rich and now RIAA's after me. 'Cause we are living in a material world and I am a material girl.

Re:If selling is legal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974157)

This ruling means you can*, as long as you transfer the only copy / destroy all remaining copies. And yes, that means there's room for a wierd legal P2P system where you loan files you're not currently playing -- but of course, it's not clear how you'll pay for lawyers when the MAFIAA sue you anyway.

*If you live in the court's jurisdiction [wikipedia.org] , anyway.

Re:If selling is legal.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974279)

Actually *transferring* them to friends is perfectly legal. Its when you starting giving away unauthorized copies to everyone else which causes legal problems - and rightly so.

Yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973771)

In the days of old,
When knights were bold,
And condoms weren't invented...
The knights wrapped dirty socks
Around their cocks
And babies were prevented!

deh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973777)

If a company can sell them, I don't see why I couldnt sell those I own too.

For crying out loud, think. (0)

torgosan (141603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973823)

than /= then

Re:For crying out loud, think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973891)

than = than/then == a/e

Re:For crying out loud, think. (3, Funny)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974045)

I parsed that last bit as "then == ale", and realized it was time to go home. Then does in face equal ale.

Re:For crying out loud, think. (3, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974161)

I parsed that last bit as "then == ale", and realized it was time to go home. Then does in face equal ale.

Wherever you are, it's well past time to go home. ;)

Re:For crying out loud, think. (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974063)

Did you mean to use both the assignment operator and the conditional test?
"=" != "=="

Re:For crying out loud, think. (1)

ticker47 (954580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973951)

than /= then

The computer didn't underline it red so it must be right!

Re:For crying out loud, think. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974019)

Ya, but I still get an error when I try to compile...

Re:For crying out loud, think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974167)

"than /= then" != "than != then"

Auction time (1)

chuckfirment (197857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973839)

All your base belongs to the highest bidder.

I'm fine with this but... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973879)

I agree with him but I can also see why people would be against it. What's stopping me from selling numerous copies of my MP3s and retaining my original copies?

Re:I'm fine with this but... (1)

stanjo74 (922718) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973999)

counterfeiting laws?

It can be argued that if you retained the "original" MP3, what you sold must have been a "copy", and selling a "copy" of copyrighted work is counterfeiting.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974007)

The same thing that kept you from making copies of all your physical media before reselling it. That little voice in your head.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974013)

At that point you are doing copyright infringement if they can prove that you are keeping a copy for yourself while selling. This company also only buys mp3 from the customer if they are iTunes they will not buy homemade ripped mp3.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (4, Informative)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974035)

Whats stopping you from xeroxing your favorite new book and mailing it to your friends? Nothing. Except the law.

Most of piracy is a problem in how companies treat customers, availability, restrictions (the pirated version has more features, is more usable) and cost.
If books started to cost more money, people would start xeroxing them to each other. Its how it goes. This is all a reaction to the RIAA thinking they can dictate terms to the masses and rake in money. You have to respect your customer and provide value.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974163)

Yes but sharing an inferior copy is different than selling a 100% exact copy numerous times. It says it deletes the song from your drive but given that it has not access to my portable USB drive I could copy that music onto my main drive numerous times and sell it.

I also agree for the most part about convenience but Amazon sells high quality mp3s for $.99 and they're DRM free. You can hardly call that too expensive or inconvenient.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (3, Informative)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974305)

The particular service in question, ReDigi, works with iTunes. Once the song is removed from your iTunes account transactionally, you cannot use it anymore.

You're free to copy a pirated version back into iTunes, but iTunes won't recognize it officially and you won't be able to download the song elsewhere from iTunes servers. So it is, in some ways, an inferior product. And its illegal, and once you make the cost and the penalties fair, people will understand. There will always be a few who pirate, but that isn't the issue here; THOSE PEOPLE ARE ALREADY PIRATING MUSIC, and will continue to do so. Furthermore, those people are not lost sales, but that is an argument for another day.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974389)

The whole "inferior versus perfect" copy thing is a bit of straw man argument. You can only charge extra (read: more than free) if you provide some extra value in your product. Previously, the only added value they provided was a bit of extra quality in the recording. But 99% of the time the inferior copy served the needs of the user, so people copied things whenever they thought price was too high or didn't have the money.

Now that lossless copies are free, the sold products have lost their added value (and with DRM, actually negated it). So the sellers are complaining that they have to find some new way to add value to their products and they don't like it. Big whoop.

And yes I like Amazon, they are very convenient and I love the DRM-free aspect, but if I want to fill up my iPod I'm not going to shell out $1000 in one sitting. I'm going to put down the $50 of disposable income I have for the week (for however many songs it buys me) and download the rest. That's the market at work, such as it is.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974191)

It's easier to pirate than it is to download paid copies.

If it was the other way around piracy would drop off like a brick.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (3, Informative)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974329)

Exactly. The first person in Hollywood to realize it is going to make trillions. All market evidence shows this, but they seem to be too entitled to admit it.

See all of Valve's latest experiments, where for instance everybody told them "you cant' sell in Russia, its full of pirates." When they started doing proper, good localizations to Russian, and started releasing games there at the same time as the States, piracy completely fell off the map. They're still making 3x as much money in Russia as any analyst expects them to.

Or the steam sales, where offering a product at a fair price to market perception caused UNBELIEVABLE number of purchases. Valve's minds are literally blown by how much more games sell when you slash the price in half. I mean, a sale traditionally increases how much people buy, but we're talking over a hundred-fold more. Thats why you've seen sale after sale after sale on Steam; by charging LESS, they actually make MORE.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (2)

phliar (87116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974091)

What's stopping me from selling numerous copies of my MP3s and retaining my original copies?

  • 1. Your conscience.
  • 2. It's illegal.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974225)

1 is pretty easy to get over and 2 is obvious but it would be interesting to see how they actually monitor it. If they do monitor what you sell, what happens if I open two accounts on two computers? I think sharing the music for free with people is a bit more ethical than allowing them to sell it. But if they are vigilant about monitor stuff then fair enough. At least they're trying.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974289)

What's stopping me from selling numerous copies of my MP3s and retaining my original copies?

The increasing odds with each transaction that you will be observed conducting illegal activity.

Re:I'm fine with this but... (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974375)

Copyright law, if your doing that on a large scale it's a criminal offence. The point is were not to assume everybody is a criminal by default.

Right of First Sale (3, Insightful)

The Raven (30575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973881)

This decision is going to be challenged, directly or via changing of law, because it's a huge loss for the RIAA. I suspect it will be an important legal precedent, if it is not overturned.

Article Bogus (5, Informative)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974081)

This story is bogus. It looks like yahoo news misquoted a arstechnica acticle. Then some blog sourced the yahoo new article. There was no ruling on First Sale. The ruling only states there is no need for an injunction. The judge is going to rule on First Sale in a few weeks.

Ha-buh-wha? (4, Funny)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973887)

After some litigation; ReDigi, a site where people can sell used MP3's has been found legal in America.

Punctuation it: can go, pretty; much? Anywhere,

Material object? (3, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973899)

What is the mass of an MP3?

African or European? (5, Funny)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973945)

What is the mass of an MP3?

An African or European MP3?

Re:African or European? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974411)

An African or European MP3?

I approve of this reference :D

Re:Material object? (4, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973975)

A service right before Friday Night MP3 Bingo.

Re:Material object? (0)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973977)

Actually, since electrons have mass, you could make such a calculation. Somebody calculated the mass of some data awhile ago for humorous purposes... Can't remember which story it was...

If you were being serious, "Material" at this point has its own legal definition, and they do not just mean "physical".

Re:Material object? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974037)

If you were being serious, "Material" at this point has its own legal definition, and they do not just mean "physical".

What is that definition? The only one I'm aware of is "Of, relating to, or composed of matter."

Re:Material object? (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974263)

Are you a lawyer? There's probably a whole lot in law you aren't aware of. Lots of words have contextual definitions, especially within an expert craft.

Re:Material object? (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974309)

What if I write down the mp3's bits (maybe in hexadecimal...to save time) on college-ruled notebook using a medium Bic ballpoint pen? Then how much does it weigh? And can I sell that?

Re:Material object? (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974003)

Just like a book, it depends on the medium on which it's written. If it's on a hard drive, I'd say it's the mass of all the sectors containing the bits comprising the MP3. I'm sure you'll object that you could erase it, or write something else there and it would weigh about the same. Very true. Likewise, you could painstakingly pick the ink out of the paper fibers, stick them to different paper fibers, and make an entirely different book that would weigh about the same.

In short, it has a mass even if it's hard to measure, and pointless to bother trying.

Re:Material object? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974027)

Proportional to the number of electrons put into motion to read or write MP3 data to a storage device.

Re:Material object? (1)

Digicrat (973598) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974075)

Simple, it's roughly e*x*s, where e=the mass of an electron, s=the size of the file in bits, and x is the average number of electrons needed to store each bit on the chosen storage medium. In this case, mass may appear to vary based on the density of the chosen storage medium.

Alternatively, mass approaches infinity as the file is moved across fiber optic links at the speed of light. WARNING: Attempting to duplicate a file in this state may create a rift in the profit-time continuum.

Re:Material object? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974347)

Hard to calculate. For a 3 megabyte file being stored in memory for 4 minutes, and approximately 65 watts of power per 96 GB of RAM (from a samsung web page, apparently they make lower-power "green" RAM), I come up with

0.0081625 W min (watt minutes) = 489.75 mJ (millijoules)
Relativistic mass m from E = mc^2:
    5.4 fg (femtograms)
    5.4×10^-18 kg (kilograms)
(thanks to wolfram alpha)

I've read that written data increases the mass of a hard drive by an infinitesmal amount. I can't find a source though.

Re:Material object? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974449)

What is the mass of an MP3?

How do you differentiate between a file with random bits in it and an MP3 file?

This makes no sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973921)

I think I have to side with the record companies on this one. When you sell a second hand album you are giving away a unique physical item. Selling a digital item provides no guarantee that you have "given" the original item, or that you don't have a million copies of it, or that you had an original item in the first place.

I'm sorry, but the only way to make this viable is to use DRM, and we all have pretty strong opinions on that.

Re:This makes no sense (2)

bubkus_jones (561139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974117)

ReDigi apparently uses software that is supposed to transmit the file to the buyer while simultaneously deleting the copy on the seller's system.

No, there's no guarantee that you won't have other copies, but you run into the same problem (effectively) with selling a used CD. I can buy a new CD, rip it (say, in FLAC or other lossless format) and sell the physical copy while keeping the digital copy.

Re:This makes no sense (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974123)

True, but then if I sell my copy of a book there's no guarantee I haven't photocopied it and kept the copy either.

Bear in mind that it's not so much an argument over whether MP3s should be treated as material objects or not. It's that the record companies want them treated as material objects for purposes of one section of copyright law (Section 106 covering distribution of copies) but treated as not being material objects for purposes of a different section (Section 109 covering sale of copies). The counterargument is that the record company can't have it both ways, and the judge agreed that if the record companies want it to be considered a copy then defendants are entitled to treat it as a copy even when the record companies would rather they didn't.

Re:This makes no sense (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974127)

When you sell a second hand album you are giving away a unique physical item. Selling a digital item provides no guarantee that you have "given" the original item, or that you don't have a million copies of it, or that you had an original item in the first place.

Selling a physical item, say a used CD, provides no guarantee that you have "given" the original item, or that you don't have a million copies of it, or that you had a[ legally acquired] original item in the first place.

So... what's your point?

Re:This makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974145)

Of course you couldn't have made copies of your physical item. No Sir.

Not true... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38973925)

The judge simply denied a motion for a preliminary injunction against the defendant which means the case will go to trial.

Actual source of information: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/judge-denies-record-labels-request-to-shutter-used-mp3-store.ars

In short selling of used mp3's hasn't been answered yet (the summary is wrong).

Huzzah! (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973939)

Three cheers! Score one for the right of first sale!

Fake Story (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974129)

Score is still 0 to 0. This article is bogus.

Re:Fake Story (0)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974277)

Oh? HOW is it bogus? How do you know that? Link, please?

Your fellow slashdotters could benefit from your wisdom, instead of just throwing out "nuh-uh"

Not True (4, Informative)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973943)

The title of this article is wrong. Everything I read shows no decision has been made yet. The Judge ruled that there is no need for a prelimenary injunction.

Re:Not True (4, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974149)

The title of this article is wrong. Everything I read shows no decision has been made yet. The Judge ruled that there is no need for a prelimenary injunction.

I followed the link in the meaningless drivel that claims to be a submission. The link points to a blog full of meaningless drivel with another link. That link points to another blog full of meaningless drivel which contains a link to an Ars Technica article. And if you follow that link, you find that a submitter has quoted a clueless twat who copied an article from a clueless twat who read an Ars Technica article and didn't understand a word of it.

Quote from Ars Technica here http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/judge-denies-record-labels-request-to-shutter-used-mp3-store.ars [arstechnica.com] : "Sullivanâ(TM)s decision means that the case is still headed to trial, where Capitol will attempt to prove its allegations that ReDigi facilitates wanton copyright infringement and is not protected by the first-sale doctrine."

And a Dupe (4, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974271)

Yeah, and informed account of that decision by the actual lawyer for ReDigi was
posted on slashdot [slashdot.org] just this morning.

Steam (1)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973957)

I wonder if this would set a precedent for those who wanted to sell games they owned on digital distribution services like Steam?

Wonderful (1)

_0x783czar (2516522) | more than 2 years ago | (#38973961)

This is important, the precedent this creates will be important in the future of digital media. The implications could be ground-breaking. If it is a material object, it becomes subject to the laws which govern the purchase and use of a chair, or hammer. (as far as I can understand). I really wonder what effect it will have in the long run. If it will change things, or be forgotten.

What's really going on? (3, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974055)

Just a few hours ago Slashdot reported that a judge had refused an injunction against ReDigi, and now they are supposed to have won their case? I'd say there are two possibilities: One, that we have a judge who can run at speeds exceeding the speed of light, because that's the only way a case could have finished so quick. Or second, that the submitter is a clueless twat you didn't understand a word of what he is actually submitting. Since there is no link to any real information, I assume the latter.

Follow the links. (2)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974165)

The activepolitic link sources yahoo news. yahoo news sources arstechnica. The arstechnica does not state a decision was made. It state the judge refused the injuction. Yahoo news screwed up and the activepolitic reposted it.

Judge only denied a motion for summary judgement. (5, Informative)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974155)

No, selling used mp3s has not been found legal. If you trace the link's back to the original source you get this article at Ars:

**Judge denies record label's request to shutter "used" MP3 store**

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/judge-denies-record-labels-request-to-shutter-used-mp3-store.ars [arstechnica.com]

The judge still thinks ReDigi's arguments are likely to fail and that Capitol Records will prevail. The only thing that is significant is that ReDigi's case isn't over yet at the motion stage.

Norm Abram is a pirate! (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974181)

So if an MP3 is a material object and can thus be resold, what does this say about copying it?

In The New Yankee Workshop [wikipedia.org] , host Norm Abram buys a piece of furniture and then brings it back to his shop. He then makes a very near exact replica of it and often donates or sells the replica. We have just concluded that an MP3 is a similar material object. What does this say about piracy? Is Norm a furniture pirate?

What does this say about software license agreements? Ignoring software patents, is it still illegal for me to reverse compile a piece of software to see how it works and then implement a piece of it in another project? Or is it not so material?

Re:Norm Abram is a pirate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974471)

Are furniture designs (particular non-functional ornamentation) copyright-eligible works (as sculptures, maybe?)? Was the furniture made after 1964? (I think it's unlikely someone would have renewed the copyright after 28 years, but if so, make that 1923.)

If the answer to both of those is yes, then Norm is indeed a "furniture pirate", or more properly, an infringer of copyright. Books (y'know, those things copyright was first invented to cover) are material objects, and are not legal to copy, so this affects copying in exactly no way at all.

Since neither the furniture, the mp3s, nor books _have_ license agreements requiring any action (such as clicking "Accept") to bypass, it's hard to see how they'd have any relation to software license agreements.

So, if they aren't material objects, what then? (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974185)

Why did the RIAA need them to be material objects under one law and not the other? What are the consequences if they are not considered 'material objects' under either law?

Re:So, if they aren't material objects, what then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38974405)

Stealing this reply, it's the best I could find.

Capitol Records claims it sold a physical copy (whether CD or MP3) to 1 person but then did not license the buyer to resell the item which is contrary to the US First Sale Doctrine.
Google says if they claim they sold a license to the music, then they can't claim the music is protected by copyright and thus replica's can be made. Reselling may be prohibited by contract law but expressing yourself by creating a replica of an artwork licensed to you cannot be prohibited by contract law (constitutionally).
Google also says if they claim they sold an actual copy of the music and want it protected by copyright, then the buyer has the right to resell their copy (first sale doctrine).

Capitol Records either has to choose whether they want their music to be a license (under contract law) or an object (under copyright law). They cannot both limit your constitutional rights and curtail the first sale doctrine.

Supreme Court Will Smack that Down (1)

Kagato (116051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974255)

Mind you, this has to get past the same Supreme Court that said Costco was Violating Rolex's trademark by importing watches from other (cheaper) markets for sale in the US. Right of First Sale is not their forte.

I want my picture of a spider back, please. (0)

theillien (984847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974257)

I'm sending you a new picture of a spider with eight legs. Please return my picture with seven legs.

The "Source" link in the Summary is Bogus (5, Informative)

NotSanguine (1917456) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974285)

There has been no definitive ruling by the courts in this litigation. The judge only denied Capitol Records request for a preliminary injunction against ReDigi to force them to cease operations while the litigation proceeds. That, most likely would have forced ReDigi out of business, which may well have been what the judge was thinking about. We won't have any real answers about this until after a trial and, presumably, the inevitable appeals.

More Info here [digitaltrends.com] and here [law360.com]

Sensationalist Headline (5, Informative)

curunir (98273) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974343)

The linked story is from some fly-by-night news site that cites a Yahoo! news posting that totally misinterprets an ArsTechnica posting that actually analyzes the actual decision (which is hosted on Wired.) Somehow in this online news game of telephone, it went from the actual story, posted accurately earlier in the day by NewYorkCountryLawyer, that the judge denied the plaintiff's motion for an injunction to the sensationalist story that the judge had ruled in favor of the defendant and ruled that their business is legal. Denying the injunction means that ReDigi gets to keep doing business during the trial. That's it, nothing more. They could still lose at trial. The trial hasn't even started, let alone been decided in a way that would mean that reselling mp3s is legal.

In short, this is a misinformed dupe of the story posted by NewYorkCountryLawyer earlier in the day. Read and comment on that one because this is sensationalist garbage. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Physical or Intellectual Property? (2)

InsertCleverUsername (950130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38974453)

I am loving the irony. For decades these jerks made us buy vinyl, then 8-tracks, then cassettes, then DAT, then CDs (maybe even fancy gold ones) of the same songs each time a new format became available --and if the player ate my tape, I had to shell out another $8.50. They told us we were purchasing physical objects. Now they claim music is intellectual property and you can't resell it?

How long before music comes with a EULA?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?