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Posts tagged resale

ReDigi awarded patent on digital resale ‘without making a copy’
January 29, 2014 | 7:00 am

Yesterday I received a press release from ReDigi, the company trying to allow (and monetize) the resale of “used” digital goods such as music or e-books, with an embargo time of, well, right now. The release claims the award of a patent on the technology ReDigi wants to use to enable the resale of digital media. It says the patent covers the transfer of digital media files without making a copy. ReDigi has been in the news a great deal in the last couple of years. The RIAA complained, and record label EMI sued, over ReDigi’s plan to allow...

German advocacy group sues for consumers’ right to resell Steam games
July 20, 2013 | 10:50 am

Here’s yet another attempt to retrofit first sale rights onto digital media. I’m not sure what the German term for “first sale” is, but Cinema Blend reports that the German organization VZBV has been working hard in the German courts to force Valve to support it for the computer games it sells via Steam, allowing resale or trading of previously purchased digital titles. The VZBV (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V., or Federation of German Consumer Organizations) is a non-governmental body that acts as an umbrella organization for 41 German consumer advocacy groups. It filed a cease-and-desist against Valve’s subscriber agreement last...

Supreme Court rules importation of textbooks legal under First Sale doctrine
March 19, 2013 | 7:35 pm

Remember the Supreme Court case about the Thai exchange student who bulk imported cheap overseas copies of textbooks and resold them in the U.S. (making over $1 million in sales) to finance his doctorate? The judges handed down a decision today. By a six to three majority, they found that the student’s importation and resale was legal under the Fair Use Doctrine. Just because the books were printed overseas did not exempt them from the right of First Sale, which means that people who buy them can resell them as they please. Ars Technica has more details on the decision. Essentially,...

Library advocates, used merchandise vendors lobby for digital ownership rights
November 13, 2012 | 8:54 pm

In his Copyright and Technology Blog, Bill Rosenblatt has an interesting column looking at the Owners’ Rights Initiative, a lobbying coalition of interested parties who have united under the slogan “you bought it, you own it,” seeking to promote the right to resell digital property. The group includes used book vendors such as Powell’s, movie rental firm Redbook, and used merchandise outlets like eBay, Overstock, and others. But it also includes a number of public library advocacy organizations, because if you “own” something like an e-book, you also have the right to lend it. The group seems particularly interested...

Supreme Court First Sale Doctrine case could give boost to resale-proof digital media sales
October 30, 2012 | 12:00 pm

Ars Technica has a couple of great, in-depth pieces laying out in detail the facts of the matter surrounding the upcoming Supreme Court case concerning a Thai exchange student who imported and resold cheap foreign editions of English-language textbooks to finance his doctorate. Publishers contend he earned $1.2 million in revenues, and essentially set himself up as an unlicensed importer/distributor, damaging the publishers’ market for the books within the United States. The publisher plaintiff is John Wiley & Sons, which has also garnered attention for its recent lawsuits against unauthorized BitTorrent distributors of its books. The article discusses the Costco vs. Omega case, which I covered...

European court rules used software sales legal—even for downloaded titles
July 3, 2012 | 7:20 pm

Here’s an interesting software ruling out of European courts that might have implications for digital music and e-book resale. The Wall Street Journal reports that Oracle sued a German software company, UsedSoft, that buys up and resells used software licenses from American companies. In that case, the European Court of Justice has decided in favor of UsedSoft, stating that "The exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a computer program covered by such a [used] license is exhausted on its first sale.” Thus, it’s perfectly all right, at least in Europe, to sell your licensed software, regardless...

Used games killing game industry, game developer claims; what about used books?
March 28, 2012 | 11:39 pm

Here’s another story of a developer railing against used video games. Although it may not seem to have relevance to e-books at first, I think this story demonstrates the way the gaming industry and the publishing industry are struggling with some similar issues in the digital age. In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Silicon Knights head Denis Dyack states that used games are clobbering the game industry, cutting off the “tail” of sales that used to support game studios well after games’ original release. Without that “tail”, Dyack says, game companies can expect to receive almost all their sales...

ReDigi begins buying ‘used’ digital music
October 15, 2011 | 4:34 pm

redigilogoTechCrunch reports that digital music resale firm ReDigi, who I mentioned back in February, is actually launching its eMarketplace to allow people to buy and sell “pre-owned” digital music. ReDigi claims that it has consulted with lawyers and determined what it’s doing is legal, but I’m not so sure. ReDigi hopes to succeed where others have failed by designing a marketplace that is not about file sharing, but is instead a method of “facilitating the legal transfer of music between two parties”. Really, the key here is that the startup’s technology is able to actually verify...

Digital déjà vu: ReDigi pledges to allow resale of ‘used’ MP3s
February 27, 2011 | 6:29 pm

Here we go again. ReadWriteWeb reports on ReDigi, a new startup that plans to allow people to resell their pre-owned digital music. This is an idea whose time has come…and gone, and come and gone again, without ever getting any farther than being an idea. Of course, digital media can’t really be “resold” the way that physical media can. Since the act of transferring a digital file creates a copy, a copy of the “sold” music will still reside on the original purchaser’s hard drive unless some form of DRM enforces it being deleted (as is the...

Where Mike Shatzkin misses the point on e-book sales vs licensing
February 14, 2011 | 9:15 am

Mike Shatzkin’s latest blog piece is on the license vs. sale conundrum of e-books. He points out that e-book sales are actually not sales but licenses—which most TeleReaders know already, but a lot of average e-book consumers don’t. Most people think when they buy an e-book, they are buying the e-book. But this runs up against the problems with first-sale rights that digital media present. (I have a bit of a problem with this, but we’ll get to that later.) Then Shatzkin points out that the misperception is actually being promulgated by publishers, because they have a vested interest...

Trading e-books for p-books: Why don’t publishers start doing it?
September 12, 2010 | 3:50 pm

usedbooks[1] Aaron Miller has a brief post on the FrontMatters blog about Google’s book digitizing service. You can send in whole boxes of books and get them digitized, OCR'ed, and converted to “a multitude of digital formats.” The only problem, Miller notes, is that the service isn’t available to consumers, but is for publishers only. And it’s not likely that Google will offer it to us, ever. The likely outcome will be that eventually every mouldering tome in our decrepit paper collections will already have been scanned and available — and we’ll have to pay for...

Lexink wants to allow resale of ‘used’ digital media
June 11, 2010 | 10:15 am

unloderUpdate: Welcome, Ebooknewser readers! A couple of days ago I mentioned the IEEE working group that is working on a standard to use DRM to treat digital property more like “real” property. It turns out they aren’t the only ones working on that sort of solution. A few days ago, Mediabistro’s “Ebooknewser” blog reported on a company called Lexink, which was gearing up to let customers resell “used” digital property like MP3s, videos, or e-books. (This is not the first time a startup has tried to do this. In 2008, a startup called “Bopaboo” wanted to work with record labels to allow...