First iTunes digital song goes up for eBay auction; is it legal?

“In a move that could spark a novel legal test of Internet music resale rights, a Web developer puts a digital song he purchased on Apple’s iTunes [Music Store] up for auction on eBay,” reports Alorie Gilbert for CNET “Consumers can resell CDs purchased in a record shop, but what about digital music files downloaded from an online store?”

“George Hotelling wants to know. In a move that could spark a novel legal test of Internet music resale rights, the Web developer in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Tuesday night put a digital song he purchased online at Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store up for auction on eBay,” Gilbert REPORTS.

“Hotelling said he isn’t all that concerned about getting his money back for the Devin Vasquez remake of Frankie Smith’s song, “Double Dutch Bus,” which cost him 99 cents. Instead, he said he’s using the attempted sale to probe some thorny consumer issues stemming from commercial online music services, in particular, technology known as digital rights management that’s used to prevent unauthorized copying. In that spirit, he’s promised to donate anything above his purchase price to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an activist Internet legal group,” Gilbert reports.

Full article here.


  1. Well, it is a piece of history.

    It’d be extremely cool for the next version of iTunes to handle the downloaded music to eBay and delete it from the users hard drive until they legally download again.

    Rather than fighting the inevitable, Apple could embrace it to show the world it is possible… like iTMS did.

    This same technology (installed into iPhoto and AppleWorks) could be used by all artists, musicians and writers to sell and transfer their digital creations. It could also add encrypted signatures to insure authenticity and ownership.

    Keep pushing forward, Apple!

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