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ReDigi and UsedSoft: approaches to the re-sale of second hand downloads

Emily Parris
18/04/2013
In a decision earlier this month, a US district court in New York has ruled that ReDigi, the operator of an online marketplace for pre-owned music downloads, is liable for copyright infringement.  The


In a decision earlier this month, a US district court in New York has ruled that ReDigi, the operator of an online marketplace for pre-owned music downloads, is liable for copyright infringement.  The decision is enormously important not just for the music industry where, according to the latest IFPI Digital Music Report, 35% of industry trade revenues came from digital channels in 2012, but for other digital distribution channels, including ebooks, games and movies.  The ruling will certainly have a chilling effect in the US on the creation and development of marketplaces for second hand digital assets.

The outcome of the US ruling has been keenly awaited in Europe, where the legal position on the re-sale of downloaded digital content is not certain.  Many argue that a ruling last year from Europe's top court in a case involving Oracle and software reseller UsedSoft paves the way for the development of marketplaces for used digital items in Europe, at least in respect of software, and, potentially, more widely.

In an article published today on www.ffw.com, David Naylor and I consider the ReDigi and UsedSoft decisions and what appear to be increasingly divergent approaches in the EU and the US. 

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