Digital resale company ReDigi is preparing to properly launch in Europe, according to the Financial Times. As previously reported, ReDigi is an MP3 resale service which allows users to sell on digital music they no longer want.
The digital firm claims that its system checks that MP3s users are selling are legit, and ensures that the user’s copy of the track is deleted after sale. However, the labels reckon that the service nevertheless constitutes copyright infringement, and litigation in the US is going through the motions. In America a lot of the legal debate depends on whether the courts will extend the so called First Sale Doctrine, a principle of copyright law that legitimises the resale of CDs, to the digital domain.
In Europe the copyright implications of a ReDigi type service will necessitate a whole new debate. ReDigi will rely on a software resale case in the European courts last summer, though content companies are still likely to cry infringement. The firm’s founder, John Ossenmacher, says he plans to launch a specific service in Europe (rather than European users just being able to access the US platform) in the first quarter of this year, initially with a focus on MP3s and eBooks.
Commenting on the ongoing legal complications associated with his service, Ossenmacher told the FT: “Property laws the world over have always been that if you buy something, you have the right to resell it. Companies like EMI [which has led the US litigation against ReDigi to date] are trying to change the status quo by trying to take away people’s property rights and their rights to resell their goods just because they happen to be digital”.
Some have questioned whether a start-up like ReDigi has the funds to fight a complicated legal battle of this kind, and by launching in Europe the firm would likely have to start battling on two fronts, though Ossenmacher certainly remains bullish regards both his legal arguments and his company’s long-term future.