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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has a new target in its crosshairs: ReDigi, a newcomer to the digital music world. ReDigi offers users the ability to sell their "used" digital music.
Think about it this way, it's just like selling a CD that you bought. Except you don't physically have the CD, just whatever files you purchased from iTunes.
ReDigi will verify that you purchased your music legitimately, then make a copy and upload it onto its servers for re-sale. Your file is permanently deleted.
Is it any wonder that the RIAA has sent off a cease and desist letter to the burgeoning company - which only just released its beta version this past October?
The RIAA has seemed to have a love-hate relationship with digital music ever since MP3s hit the market.
While in its heyday, services like Napster and Kazaa allowed users to illegally download pirated music. However, many Americans have shifted to legitimate purchasing. Providers like iTunes and Amazon has enabled millions of Americans to easily buy their own digital copy.
But perhaps ReDigi is walking a fine line back into copyright infringement.
At the crux of the RIAA's allegations is the fact that owners, under the Copyright Act Section 109(a), are given permission to sell or otherwise dispose of their copy. If you analyze what ReDigi does, according to Ars Technica, it's selling a copy of the owner's copy.
This may be against the rules.
The RIAA is asking that the used digital music company shutter its doors and open up their financial records to the RIAA attorneys. They claim that ReDigi could be liable for up to $150,000 in damages per work. ReDigi's response thus far has been to reiterate that they are on the RIAA's side. And that their mechanism destroys the music file on the owner's computer. It seems that if the RIAA takes them to court, it's possible this new company may be embroiled in a tough legal battle.