Judge Denies Initial Effort To Shut Down 'Used' Digital Music Seller ReDigi

The recording industry's lawsuit over what it believes to be a "clearinghouse for copyright infringement" continues after the defendant wins the first round.

ReDigi, an upstart digital company that sells "used" digital music, has announced that it has successfully fended off the recording industry's motion for a preliminary injunciton.

Capitol Records sued the company last month, arguing that a service that let users buy and sell previously purchased tracks on iTunes amounted to a "clearinghouse for copyright infringement."

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The plaintiff waived away ReDigi's arguments that the "first sale doctrine" entitled digital music resales, saying that the only way to move music around was to create copies upon copies without having the assurance that originals were being deleted.

Soon after the case was filed, Google stepped up and intended to offer all sorts of arguments why the recording industry's lawsuit against ReDigi could pose a threat to the burgeoning $41 billion cloud computing industry. 

U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan rejected Google's attempts to butt into the case, but seems to have now accepted the underlying notion that there is a lot at stake.

According to a ReDigi press release, at the hearing today, Judge Sullivan stated, "This is a fascinating issue," adding that the case "raises a lot of technological and statutory issues."

Among the issues that could be touched upon in the forthcoming case is the meaning of a "copy" for copyright purposes, whether the first sale doctrine applies in the digitial context, whether there's "public" performance in transmission of copies, and the ongoing liability for service providers who allow users to do things like move files around in digital clouds and re-sell them to others.

Here is a copy of the winning brief on the opposition to the preliminary injunction motion, filed by ReDigi's attorney, Ray Beckerman, two weeks ago.

E-mail: eriqgardner@yahoo.com

Twitter: @eriqgardner