updated 08:20 pm EST, Sat January 7, 2012
EMI accuses ReDigi of music piracy
Music label EMI is now known to have sued fledgling service ReDigi for its strategy of reselling downloadable songs. New details obtained by CNET showed that EMI unusually didn't object to the doctrine of first sale, which only lets a seller collect income with the initial purchase, but rather the origins of the MP3s and other music. ReDigi isn't selling the music from paid sources like iTunes, EMI said, and by extension isn't selling legal copies.
Niether side has commented so far.
Although not fully tested in court, reselling digital music brings up numerous clear problems. Even if a one-for-one copy, there's no guarantee that the original buyer has deleted the track, letting them profit from the resale without the handover that would be needed for a CD. Likewise, the new owner isn't under any obligation to resell to friends and could pirate as much as they like.
Music sharing has a number of legal, if considerably more restricted, workarounds. Apple's iTunes Match and Home Sharing let users grant a handful of people access to a shared account provided that person is comfortable with handing over login details. Google Music has a feature that lets buyers give friends one free, complete listen of a song or album they've bought if they're inside the other's Google+ circle.