Sorry, you can't resell downloaded music

NEW YORK • Sick of listening to that song you bought and want to sell it, like a second-hand CD or album?

Purchasers of digital music files from services such as Apple's iTunes cannot resell them through a virtual marketplace, an appeals court in the United States ruled.

The decision, issued on Wednesday, affirms a district court's ruling that such sales infringe the exclusive rights of copyright holders.

A virtual marketplace designed to resell digital music files - as if they were second-hand albums - runs afoul of copyright law, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided in a victory for the record labels.

ReDigi, a company that created a platform for the resale of legally purchased music files, had argued that its service facilitated the transfer of music from one recipient to another but without duplicating the original file.

The appeals court said the transfers created duplicate copies of the music files.

Any change to develop rules for second-hand sales of digital files would be up to Congress, the court ruled.

It was a victory for Capitol Records, which had won a US$3.5 million (S$4.8 million) judgment in federal court in New York City.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2018, with the headline 'Sorry, you can't resell downloaded music'. Print Edition | Subscribe