Remember the days when EMI’s lawsuit against cloud locker MP3tunes was being watched closely by Amazon, Google and Apple as they mulled their own cloud-music strategies?
We’re wondering if history could be repeating itself with EMI’s lawsuit against secondhand MP3 store ReDigi. Why? Because Amazon has been awarded a patent for reselling digital content.
The patent covers “digital objects including e-books, audio, video, computer applications, etc” stored in a user’s personalised data store.
“When the user no longer desires to retain the right to access the now-used digital content, the user may move the used digital content to another user’s personalized data store when permissible and the used digital content is deleted from the originating user’s personalized data store,” explains the patent summary, which notes that there may be “a threshold number of moves or downloads” for a particular piece of content.
The patent was filed back in 2009, but was granted this January. How such a system would work with Amazon’s MP3 Store and Cloud Player service is pretty clear, but it would certainly raise music rightsholders’ hackles if they weren’t getting a cut of this secondhand distribution.
No wonder ReDigi got involved last week, issuing a statement on the patent aiming to show how its own service is more rightsholder-friendly than Amazon’s proposed copy-based system.
“ReDigi takes no position on the legality of this technique under copyright law, but simply notes that it has been central to the music and publishing industries’ skepticism and opposition to a ‘used’ digital marketplace, and that the ReDigi Marketplace does not use this technique,” claims the company’s statement.
Even so, ReDigi’s legal battle now carries even more importance, as Amazon and its rivals look on.