A Legal Blog by Aaron | Sanders, PLLC


Copyright Holders Eat ReDigi’s Cake and Have it, Too

But is the Cake a Lie?

As many of you know, the trial court in Capitol Records v. ReDigi ruled over the weekend that ReDigi’s business model of re-selling digital music files infringed the copyright. Here’s the opinion. I’ve written about ReDigi quite a lot because (1) ReDigi’s business model poses lots of unresolved legal problems and (2) I had to create a new set of posts once I (along with the rights holders) learned how ReDigi really worked. My previous ReDigi posts are collected here. I only have time for a quick post before I have to go somewhere*, so here’s my quick analysis.

* I’ll be moderating a panel on gTLDs at the ABA Intellectual Property Meeting in Crystal City. You should totally come, if you can, because my panelists are awesome and the topic is timely, important and fascinating, which will more than make up for my bumbling attempts to ask incisive questions.

I couldn’t find a free image of a Portal Cake, but this cake looks pretty good.

Background: Is ReDigi’s Cake Just Mostly Frosting?

Here’s how ReDigi works, in a very tiny nutshell. You sign up. You upload songs…

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Music Industry v. ReDigi: Cute or Clever?

Is ReDigi a Marketplace or a Music Locker?

I am compelled to blog about ReDigi one more time because, at long last, we actually know how ReDigi operates. And it’s not *quite* how ReDigi says it works on its FAQ. It’s actually far more clever and elegant–at least, legally speaking. This means, among other things, that parts of my previous posts about ReDigi are no longer completely accurate* (because they were based on the ReDigi FAQ and some other public statements by ReDigi). At a minimum, I need to clear that up. But also, ReDigi’s legal theory is worth an additional blog post.

*Among other things, the whole “Do Star Trek replicators infringe copyright” thing was unnecessary, as it turns out. As you’ll see, ReDigi does not destroy the original at the same time it creates the copy–a technological feat that would be remarkable but not impossible. Still, it’s an interesting thought experiment into the nature of the reproduction right, no?

ReDigi ReCap

To recap a bit about ReDigi: it provides an online marketplace for the re-sale of used audio files. It has one very important limitation: only songs you purchased online were eligible–thus, you can’t sell songs you ripped off…

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Music-Locker Services: Is in the Cloud in the Cards? (Part 8 of Our Online Music Services Series)

What the MP3Tunes Decision Tells Us About Music-Locker Services

(I know I said that our next posts in our Online Music Service Series would be about Pandora and Turntable.fm, but the recent decision in the MP3Tunes case has inspired me to look at the Amazon, Google and Apple music-locker services, instead.  We’ll use the MP3Tunes decision as a spring-board for discussing music-locker services.  We’ll get to Pandora and Turntable.fm next week.)

You might have heard about the decision handed down earlier this week in Capitol Records, Inc. v. MP3Tunes, LLC.  You might especially have heard that the decision is “good news” for “music-locker” services like Amazon’s and Google’s–and, by extension, that Apple was foolish to obtain licenses.  You might even have heard that “music-locker” services are now definitely 100% legal.

The decision certainly wasn’t bad news for Amazon and Google.  We have additional confirmation that providers of music-locker services are not ineligible for DMCA safe-harbor protection.  Which we all figured was the case.  The most we can say is that Amazon has gone from about 90% certain, to about 92% certain, that the mere fact that its music lockers are likely to be host to infringing content won’t, by itself, deprive Amazon…

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