American judge torpedoes digital second-hand stores

American judge torpedoes digital second-hand stores

Can you resell a song you downloaded legally and have paid for? According to an American judge, you can't: the verdict calls the entire system of digital second-hand stores into question. The verdict's consequences for Europe areuncertain at the moment.

Product or license?

It all comes down to a matter of principle: is a downloaded song just a digital version of something already released on cd? In other words: can you re-sell it like you would an old cd? Or do you only buy a license, which gives you the right to listen to the music - but not to resell it.

 

An American judge has decided that buying digital content is the same as getting a license, meaning it can not be sold again. The judged reached his verdict in a case against ReDiGi, an online platform focussed on the sale of second-hand downloads.

 

According to the company, the products were handed from one person to the next, without making a copy, but the judge saw it different. The ruling torpedoes the plans of several companies that wanted to start a similar business.

 

The consequences of the ruling in Europe are uncertain at the time. Analysts expect that a similar case has to be held here to come to a definitive conclusion.

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