ReDigi lives to see another day. The digital music reseller site has been facing a copyright lawsuit from Capitol Records, which alleged that ReDigi was copying music it held the rights to and reselling it. ReDigi denied those claims, saying it made no copies and even built its software to identify and reject any pirated music that users tried to sell.
The litigation revolved around the unending argument over digital content ownership: do consumers really own their digitally acquired music, or is it really just permission to access these files that we’re buying? While the answer to the question has yet to be answered, ReDigi did score a major victory in court. Capitol Records’ request to shut down the site without due process was denied, and the service will be able to continue while the case proceeds.
“This is a fascinating issue,” presiding District Judge Richard J. Sullivan said when turning down Capitol Records’ preliminary injunction request. “It raises a lot of technological and statutory issues.”
ReDigi CTO Professor Larry Rudolph agrees, noting that ReDigi is breaking new, untouched territory for consumers. “ReDigi is the pioneer of the ‘cloud as the digital marketplace’ – the bazaar of the future – where people go to buy and sell, and where sophisticated technology ensures safety, legality, and convenience.”
But the fight is far from over. The trial will resume in two weeks, and the decision is likely to eliminate much of the gray area concerning digital music consumption. According to founder and CEO John Ossenmacher, ReDigi is putting the power in the peoples’ hands, giving them the ability to “unlock billions of dollars of previously unrealized wealth in their digital media collections.”
And the industry is taking notice, waiting for whatever precedent is about to be established before they proceed with their own platforms. Google stood up for ReDigi last week, taking an unbiased approach and basically explaining it thinks the site should be able to remain up and running while the court decides whether or not this type of thing is allowed to exist. While Google was told to let ReDigi fight its own battles, it’s getting exactly what it wants: waiting in the wings to see how the battle over music reuse and reselling rights goes down.
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