Friday, January 18, 2013

Redigi to Land in Europe and Sell Music and Books!

Are we about to see the demise of the lack of a first sale doctrine on digital files? Although ReDigi is still locked in a US court case with Capitol records accused of copyright infringement they now plan to bring  their service to Europe. Amazon is releasing its AutoRip service which gives buyers of the physical they can resell and a digital copy for life in the cloud. Others a queued up watching as many start to push the boundaries on digital media, the right to resell and the whole question of the licence you get when you buy digital media.

ReDigi move to Europe is within the next quarter and is not just about music files but also ebooks and potentially video, games and software. This means that publishers who may have been watching the music industry from the sidelines are now potential in the arena alongside them on this one in Europe.

Last year in a EU court ruling the door was opened for the resale o media file to be fully tested. In a case between UsedSoft and Oracle, the EU court stated that the UsedSoft service could enable the resell of Oracle software and that the copyright owner’s rights could not prohibit the resale by its customers. Many ignored the ruling thinking it only was about software, but it wasn’t and its now threatening to come home in the shape of Redigi. If the services takes hold in Europe it could itself impact the US and there would appear to be no reason why consumers would not embrace the service.

Redigi in effect broker the resale of digital files for a reduced price and so create a second hand, or used media market. ReDigi only allows people to sell music files they have legally purchased and scans users’ computers and devices for illicit files and requests them to be deleted. Redigi recognise that a digital file can be copied and have built their service on moving the digital file to their servers and removing it from the seller’s system. The buyer retrieves the file from Redigi.

ReDigi also has enabled artists to register with its site and receive 20% royalty on sales through its platform.

The objections from the industry are based around the lack of ‘first sale doctrine’ on digital product and that the file is always ‘mint’. The fear of piracy drives copyright owners to the barricades whilst the service itself drives consumers to challenge them. This Mexican stand-off often overrules the need to find a solution that works for all. Some would suggest that the visibility of the dual standards being adopted between physical and digital rights themselves will generate more piracy than the service itself!

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