Do consumers have the right to resell Music?

Intellectual Property
Home / IP Insights / Do consumers have the right to resell Music? is a website where you can buy pre-owned music from other users or sell your own pre-owned music straight from the users’ Cloud space. The system is set up in a way that allows users to buy and sell pre-owned digital music direct from one user to another, then it scans and deletes all traces of the music file from the seller’s computer after it is transferred to the Cloud system.

Now Capitol Records are suing the website for allowing users to re-sell digital music files arguing that is making a new copy of each file rather than re-selling the original copy, and that individuals have the ability to maintain copies of the files on other devices. In the US, according to the first-sale doctrine if you own an object, you have the right to sell it. That raises the question of whether a file on a computer is an object.

Much of the Capitol Records vs. preliminary hearing was focused on the aspect of the selling process. Capitol Records claimed that it is perfectly acceptable to sell an iPod containing copyrighted music, but with the transfer of the physical medium as well. claim that their technology allows them to avoid any unauthorized copies of files being created in the sale process.

In 2012 the European Court of Justice ruled that it is indeed permissible to resell software licenses even if the digital good has been downloaded directly from the Internet, and that the first-sale doctrine applied whenever software was originally sold to a customer for an unlimited amount of time, as such sale involves a transfer of ownership.