EMI Set To Sue Used MP3 Seller ReDigi

EMI is set to sue MP3 marketplace ReDigi over copyright infringment.

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EMI is set to sue MP3 marketplace ReDigi over copyright infringment.

ReDigi, which is based in Massachusetts, describes itself as "the world's first used marketplace for digital music" and claims to operate in the same way a second hand record store does, buying the unwanted MP3s of users and selling them on for a slight profit. MP3s on the site generally cost around 50p, which is around 30p cheaper than on iTunes.

EMI's lawsuit alleges that in the act of transferring files from a seller's computer to ReDigi's servers, multiple copies of an MP3 are made, which violates copyright law.

A spokesperson for ReDigi has described the lawsuit as "meritless" and told Billboard.biz that there is no copying involved in any of their transactions.

The company's CEO John Ossenmacher described how they received MP3s as "an instantaneous, simultaneous transaction" and added: "When our transaction goes from one person to another, there's no copying involved in that transaction". ReDigi have said that they will fight the lawsuit "vigorously".

ReDigi had previously received a cease and desist letter from the Recording Industry Association of America, which questioned the legality of how they received MP3s.

Thanks for the report to NME.com.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    thebluechihua
    Step 1. Import CD Step 2. Sell Songs Step 3. Repeat Step 4.? Step 5.Profit!
    Amuro Jay
    My brain is full of ****. Maybe it's just too early in the morning, but I can't wrap my head around how this is legal.
    169290
    Pippers wrote: Depending how the software works, they could actually not be "copying" anything. You can move bit for bit from one PC to another over a stream. Original owners song, first bit is moved into data stream, then removed and securely wiped from the original owners machine, then the second bit on through the entire song, while its recreated on the ReDigi site. It's kind of brilliant really, it'll make selling our music pretty easy.
    surely if I just make a copy on my computer then give them the first copy then they cant stop that?
    Minivirus2
    This doesn't make sense in my mind... People sell their unwanted MP3s? How? Does this site literally invade your computer and erase all traces of said MP3 from your computer or what? In my mind people would sell a copy of the MP3 from their computer to this company and still retain their own copy. Hell, they could put it on an MP# player and upload it back to their computer afterwards. Also, I'm all for buying ALL OF YOUR MUSIC PHYSICALLY , but the idea of 'new/used' MP3s sounds ludicrous when you can get it for free anyways.
    GrungeHippie26
    Wow thats acutally really cool. It was starting to look like mp3s were going to be a total rip off compared to cds, but i like how there are people trying to improve the way they work in order to profit the consumer rather than the record label.
    doive
    So they buy "used" mp3's? I'm totally selling them dozens of copies of the same song!
    Jesse Clarkson
    It's unfortunate to say that this is probably illegal. When you 'buy' music online you are, in fact, obtaining a lease. This is from Amazon's terms of use (other stores likely share similar terms): Upon your payment of our fees for Digital Content, we grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable right to use the Digital Content" ...and this is why I consider digital music to be vastly overpriced. It's no more expensive to buy a CD, and you obtain a physical object and the right to resell (first-sale doctrine).
    L2112Lif
    169290 wrote: Pippers wrote: Depending how the software works, they could actually not be "copying" anything. You can move bit for bit from one PC to another over a stream. Original owners song, first bit is moved into data stream, then removed and securely wiped from the original owners machine, then the second bit on through the entire song, while its recreated on the ReDigi site. It's kind of brilliant really, it'll make selling our music pretty easy. surely if I just make a copy on my computer then give them the first copy then they cant stop that?
    Well, I can import a CD and then sell the original CD too, same concept. The problem is that because ReDigi is totally digital, there's literally no precedent to either condemn or absolve the company besides piracy cases...
    Eirien
    Selling a "used" mp3 is no more ridiculous than expecting people to pay for a... er... "new" mp3. It's not surprising that this pisses the big labels off though.
    Pippers
    Depending how the software works, they could actually not be "copying" anything. You can move bit for bit from one PC to another over a stream. Original owners song, first bit is moved into data stream, then removed and securely wiped from the original owners machine, then the second bit on through the entire song, while its recreated on the ReDigi site. It's kind of brilliant really, it'll make selling our music pretty easy.
    HeavyMetalSonic
    Why would anyone care about crappy MP3 files so much? Buy the damn CD. Oh, wait. Most people these days don't care about quality. Clip and crackle on, idiots.
    taytay8b
    I understand this is copyright infringement, but these labels and companies need to start ACCEPTING digital music instead of trying to kill it. New ways to work around digital music is what they need, not ways to destroy it, because ultimately it cannot be destroyed. Thats just my opinion.
    bustapr
    Addzam wrote: Never thought i'd utter this sentence... But here it comes: "I agree with EMI's lawsuit."
    never thought Id agree with such a statement lol. still trying to wrap my mind around the term, "used mp3s"...
    GibsonMan321
    Yeah, this ReDigi company is a total scam. They could just pirate everything and resell it for money? I don't know how they are even a company. What they're doing is blatantly illegal...
    RPloesser
    if the record companies were smart then they would just hire a group of people to sell these guys tons of their own music and make a shit load of money off of it. another user said it perfectly. what is to stop me from copying my entire music collection (150+gigs) to a backup drive. sell them everything i have. then just copy all my music back over to my computer afterwards. in addition to that. what is to stop them from buying one "copy" of a song and then selling that one copy to a hundred different people. are they really gonna keep 1000 "copys" of the same mp3 on their servers?
    blakeT
    Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Don't these dudes have anything better to do than take everyone who has some mp3s to court? The industry changed. Get over it. Jesus.
    169290
    what a load of rubbish you cant resell mp3's at a used rate! they don't loss quality or anything! good idea for money but greedy and useless and I completely agree with EMI!
    Addzam
    Never thought i'd utter this sentence... But here it comes: "I agree with EMI's lawsuit."
    EpiExplorer
    ReDegi's idea is noble (in a way, for working music artists at least), but impossible to carry out given the nature of computers and networking. EMI dont really need to sue though.. its like someone reselling nails (ReDigi) made for contractually made for cupboards but then the cupboard seller (EMI) sues the nail reseller for giving the nails (Music files) away for free, while the nailmaker (Artists) is in a better position of publicity because of it. Sure, the nailmaker will need to work harder, but then he'll be able to put his nails in other areas, like.. broken bones. I forgot what nails are used for...
    Zeppelin Addict
    I can see how this ReDigi company is legal because pretty much everything is legal right now when it comes to digital music.. What I don't get is who the hell would buy a used mp3 in the first place.. Can't say I'm at all surprised that EMI would come after them though. You would think it would've been way more efficient for all of the major labels to pressure change on copyright laws that are way outdated rather than try to pick apart each individual case that comes up. They are more focused on winning battles than winning the war. It is painfully obvious that the 'copyright act of 1976' allows for anyone and everyone to get away with basically whatever they want in the digital age. Record labels are stuck in the past. It's almost hilarious. You'd think an industry that was built on finding the 'next big thing' would've tried to find a way to harness digital media years ago, decades even. How we listen to music will always evolve: Cylinders, vinyl records, cassette tapes, CD's, digital audio files. Within those, many evolutions respectively. Aside from the fact that there is no physical aspect, I don't understand why acceptance is so hard to come by. Way to be reactive in a situation that calls for proactivity.
    shamedog
    From Redigi's site: "Once you sell a song, you no longer have access to it. ReDigi removes the song from your hard drive and all synced devices as soon as your legally obtained digital song is confirmed for sale." I still don't like the idea though, just seems a bit dodgy, I get the impression that the main benefactors in this are Redigi, not the artists. I also get the impression that you get paid for your "used mp3" in Redigi store credits, as opposed to actual money.