Friday, February 10, 2012
Re-digi vs Capitol Recs
This is a fascinating story - what value do you place on your MP3s? Are they worth reselling, like your CDs? Or are they priced so low that they're disposable? Check out ReDigi....
ReDigi's used MP3 model assumes that people actually want to sell their old downloads, and only iTunes-purchased tracks will work in ReDigi's marketplace....
Federal Judge: This ReDigi Thing Is a "Fascinating Issue..." via Digital News
Looks like Capitol Records has to beat ReDigi the old-fashioned way: through a long, expensive, and seemingly-endless court battle. Late Monday, District Court judge Richard J. Sullivan ruled that Capitol's case against ReDigi must be heard, based on important principles related to digital resale, cloud-based computing, and other technological and legal questions.
And guess who's sitting at the 50-yard line for it all? Sullivan has tossed a request by Capitol for summary judgment, and can't wait for the technological back-and-forth. "This is a fascinating issue," Sullivan opined while denying Capitol's request for a preliminary injunction. "It raises a lot of technological and statutory issues."
Actually, this is exactly the result that Google had been hoping for. Last week, Sullivan abruptly told the search giant to mind its own business, but Google felt that Capitol v. ReDigi needed to be heard to clarify important legal guidelines related to cloud-based computing. Now, that day is happening in court.
But wait: even if ReDigi wins, can they then win the more important battle for customers? ReDigi's used MP3 model assumes that people actually want to sell their old downloads, and only iTunes-purchased tracks will work in ReDigi's marketplace. "Our advanced technology can distinguish legally acquired online music files from those ripped from a CD or file shared, but more significantly, our use of cloud computing and other modern computer techniques makes transfer of ownership compatible with copyright regulations," explained ReDigi CTO Larry Rudolph. "Technology can now make the virtual goods feel like physical."
In a response early this morning to Digital Music News, Capitol owner EMI vowed to fight the case. "We fully expect that ReDigi will ultimately have to answer for its clear acts of infringement," said Alasdair McMullan, executive vice president of Legal Affairs at EMI Music North America.
ADDED: For those following the now-approved Capitol v. ReDigi, here's a transcript of opening arguments.