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Supreme Court Ruling Paves Way for MP3 Re-Sales

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Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in favor of a student who had friends buy textbooks in Thailand for re-sale in the U.S. is likely to have wide ranging impact on the re-sale of MP3's and other digital goods. Startup ReDigi is already testing the waters, and both Amazon and Apple have filed patents that show strong interest in mp3 re-sales.  But until yesterday, the courts have either remained silent or appeared to lean towards banning them.

Tuesday's high court ruling, however, confirmed the first sale doctrine, which allows that a person who  bought copy written material has the right to  “sell or otherwise dispose" of it without permission from the copyright owners.

The judge reviewing the ongoing Capital Records copyright infringement claim against ReDigi is likely to be influenced by the Supreme Court decision.  “I think it will push him to find a way for ReDigi to work, to find a way forward for them that copyright allows," Jason Schultz, a UC Berkeley law professor who filed a brief in the Supreme Court case on behalf of the student told NPR.


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