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September 04, 2003

Right of First Sale in the Digital Age

George Hotelling is purposely testing whether the right of first sale applies to a digital tune as it does with physical CD’s. He’s selling an iTunes song (a legitimately purchased iTunes AAC file) The ebay auction has been removed, but at one point legitimate bidding, with all proceeds to go to EFF - eBay costs, rose to $15,099. EBay has pulled the auction, contending in email to George that it violated the Downloadable Media Policy, although he stated in the auction that delivery method was contingent on not violating any of eBay’s policies. Luckily, as with most web sites that get pulled, there is an archive.

So whats the fuss? Well it’s an important thing to push forward, especially with new media and DRM. What are we, as consumers, giving up with new marketing schemes and mediums. Ideally we should be able to resell the original purchase if at some time we no longer desire to keep it. I regularly re-sell my books both online and to used book stores. The same goes for CD’s, video tapes, DVDs etc. Does the same right of first sale apply to a digial file such as an e-book, iTunes music, or video file?

Posted by Eric at September 4, 2003 10:35 PM | TrackBack
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