ReDigi selling ‘used’ mp3 files

Redigi a new startup will be opening “the world’s first online marketplace to legally recycle, buy and sell, used digital music files”. On the ReDigi Marketplace, music “owners” can sell those files of digital music they don’t want to listen to any more. The model how exactly ReDigi will identify ownership or navigate the legal objections that labels have thrown at previous attempts (like Bopaboo) to resell digtal music is unclear. There is no way to confirm that e.g. the prior owner (seller) really deleted the respective file.

Being a group of computer geeks when someone tells us something can’t be done, we immediately set a course to figure out how to do it, says the company’s Larry Rudolph, a former member of the  MIT faculty. There are many layers that go into ReDigi that make it work, legal and technical being just a few. Our team figured out what could be done to legally ensure that consumers regain the freedom to manage their own personal music collections.

I can’t imagine how, wrote Boston based music attorney Rob Falk. A legal music download is generally issued as ‘personal license to use,’ and I believe that by its terms, is non-transferable.

But ReDigi replied:

To answer … questions about the legality, the distinction is that ReDigi is the marketplace that makes it possible for buyers and sellers to interact with each other directly. Sellers exercise their legal rights under US copyright law and first sale doctrine in the legal transfer of music.  This has never been done, because their hasn’t been the technology to do this and to do it legally.

Labels and artist will receive a share from every single sale. This is a new source of revenue for them that has never previously been available, as private sales of physical media never paid for them.


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