US court decides whether to sell used MP3s

    The federal court in New York has completed the preliminary process for the Capitol Records studio’s lawsuit against ReDigi , which has been operating since October 2011 and allows users to sell “used” MP3 files on the site. Capitol Records requires a ban on reselling their songs and damages of $ 150,000 for each song.

    The catch is whether MP3 files can be considered tangible objects.

    Under Act 17 of USC 106 (3) on exclusive rights to intangible copyright objects, no one has the right to make copies of such objects and sell them without the consent of the copyright holder.

    On the other hand, if you consider MP3 files as tangible objects, then they fall within the scope ofdoctrines of the “first sale,” exceptions to exclusive copyright rights set forth in 17 USC 109 . ReDigi emphasizes that it does not make copies of MP3 files, but transfers them directly from the seller to the buyer, erasing the copy from its servers.

    After a preliminary review of the case, the judge still refused Capitol Records to close the website ( court decision, PDF ). True, he clearly did not motivate his decision and, judging by the transcript of the meeting , the judge considers the position of Capitol Records “stronger” in the upcoming trial.

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