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Communications of the ACM

Legally speaking

A Copyright Challenge to Resales of Digital Music


A Copyright Challenge to Resales of Digital Music, illustration

Credit: Matthew Hollister

A currently pending case will have significant implications for secondary markets in digital goods.

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Comments


Ronald Peterson

Restaurants can also be subject to lawsuits if they don't pay licensing fees for playing music even though they may have bought CDs.

There is music that is available for playing without paying a fee.


Alexander Kopilovich

Then, if courts take the side of ReDigi in this case, the owners (like Capitol) may decide not to sell music files in future, but to lease them instead. For example, instead of selling MP3 file for $9.95 they may lease it for 1 year for $9.90, for the subsequent years from 2nd to 4th for 1 additional cent for each year, and yet another 2 cents for the next 96 years - with the option to make payment for all 100 years ($9.95) at once. As it will be a lease, not a sale, the owner probably will retain full control on transfers.


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