ReDigi Opens A Marketplace For Buying And Selling Used MP3s!

by Khaleef Crumbley on April 3, 2011

in Economics

ReDigi

According to a story on AfterDawn.com, a new company has opened its doors looking to take the music industry by storm. ReDigi is a company that proposes to open a marketplace for individuals to buy and sell previously purchased MP3s.

ReDigi Opens A Marketplace For Buying And Selling Used MP3s!

Here is a little information on ReDigi:

Short for “Recycled Digital Media,” the company says it is fully legal and allows users to purchase digital music files from owners who already purchased them in the past.

I’m sure the first thing that comes to your mind (well, at least my mind) is, “is this legal?”! Here is what the company had to say about that:

The company says it has done “extensive research and have spent many hours with well respected law firms in Boston, NYC and LA” and believes the “marketplace will provide and protect the rights of consumers as they were provided for under US copyright act and the first sale doctrine.”

What I was hoping to read, is that they spent many hours with the lawyers from various companies in the music industry, and they have come to an understanding about how the service will function. The music industry has been know to protect its dying business model no matter the cost (even when the economics don’t make sense), so I’m sure that they wouldn’t allow this.

The next thought that comes to my mind is if we as consumers actually have the right to re-sell a digital file. I mean, people buy and sell used CDs all the time, right? But this just seems different. Here is how ReDigi addresses that concern:

ReDigi says it believes that just because a file has been digitized does not mean users should lose the right to re-sell their goods as if it were a physical object.

I’m not sure how far this idea will go, since the RIAA will probably file multiple lawsuits. They will probably try to either legally freeze Redigi’s business transactions while awaiting trial, or cause them to go broke trying to defend themselves in court!

I can understand how they can get proof of purchase for some files (record retention is one of the credit card benefits that we discuss here often), but how will they get this for the majority of songs in their network? Also, I’m not sure how they can possibly verify that you don’t have other copies of the MP3 file stored on a player, or another computer. This is all I was able to find on their website about that concern:

ReDigi keeps you safe by managing the copyright obligations for songs you’ve sold, and removed identified copies. Be legal without worry.

I’m really not sure what measures they are able to take, but I did sign up for an invitation (it’s still in Beta at the moment). Hopefully, they will allow me to give the service a test drive. If they do, I’ll be sure to do a full review of their service and post it here!

If this service is allowed to stand, it may revolutionize the music industry!

Reader Questions

  1. Do you think having a secondary marketplace for MP3s is legal and/or possible?

  2. Do you think the music industry will allow it?

  3. Do you believe that this will have a significant financial impact on the music industry?

© 2011, Khaleef Crumbley. All rights reserved.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claudia

Wow. I am thankful I have read this post today. This is very interesting. Imagine, I can sell my old MP3 gadget online and can earn out of it to buy a new one?! That is amazing. I will surely be participating into this.

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2 Robert @ The College Investor

It sounds like a cool idea, but I feel like it will be sued and shut down pretty quick. What is to stop someone from selling and MP3, but still keeping a copy as well.

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3 Wiseguy

That’s really no different than someone ripping a CD to MP3s then selling the CD. In either case, if you don’t delete your copy, it’s dishonest and illegal. That’s your responsibility. Since when are we to be assumed guilty unless we can prove our innocence?

I also reckon that they’ll quickly be sued into oblivion, but not because it’s an indefensible position. The RIAA keeps fishing for anything out of desperation, suing grandmothers and making outrageous claims. If I recall correctly, they claim that streaming a song from your computer to your stereo or another computer over your home network is illegal use.

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