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October 8, 2012

EMI sues ReDigi for resale of digital songs

EMI had charged ReDigi for copyright violations in January 2012

By CBR Staff Writer

A US court is to to hear a case filed by EMI against a year-old start-up ReDigi, over reselling of digital MP3 songs after they have been legally purchased.

EMI had charged ReDigi for copyright violations in January 2012 and demanded closure of the site instantly, but in February 2012, a judge ruled that ReDigi could continue its trade until the trial and judgment.

ReDigi claims that its software has been developed to meet the requirements of the current US copyright laws and argued that the system is securer than reselling CDs, as it restricts sellers from reinstalling a sold song, and allows users to verify their libraries for prohibited music.

According to ReDigi, its operation is legal as it meets the first sale doctrine, which is the principle that a copyright holder only has the right to control the original sale of a product.

While EMI disagrees a legal principle that enables users to resell procured material goods does not apply.

ReDigi’s chief executive John Ossenmacher said most lawful users of music and books have hundreds of dollars of lawfully obtained things on their computers and right now the value of that is zero dollars.

"ReDigi takes zero dollars and we create billions of dollars in wealth overnight," Ossenmacher said.

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EMI is demanding ReDigi to pay a penalty of about $150,000 for each song in EMI’s list that was sold through the service since its launch in October 2011.

Vivendi’s Capitol Records has on the other hand pleaded to the Manhattan federal court ReDigi service has violated copyrights by allowing unauthorised copying of digital music files and the site be shut down.

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