The latest frontier in the digital copyright piracy fight involves a company that purports to be a reseller of “used digital music”. What is used digital music, you ask? Music that has been previously played and listened to, of course!
EMI Music‘s flagship label Capitol Records has filed a copyright infringement suit against digital music resale company ReDigi. The ReDigi tag line? “Sell songs you don’t listen to. Buy previously listened to songs at used prices.” A student in my Entertainment Law class presented this case during hot topics last week and I couldn’t resist looking into it. This case makes me laugh and applaud the ingenious use of the law to test the parameters of copyright law. In this case, it appears Redigi is remixing traditional approaches to the first sale doctrine to argue that the owner of a legitimate “copy” is entitled to lend, resell or dispose of the item and so forth. But that doctrine does not permit reproducing the material, publicly displaying or performing it, or otherwise engaging in any of the acts reserved for the copyright holder.
Who is Redigi?