iTunes auction treads murky legal ground | 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.

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. ”

I commented on a secondary market for digital assets/IP some time ago (but of course have no convenient way to find it…), and now someone is finally pushing hard on the issue. I assume (but don’t know) that Apple’s Terms of Service indicate that users are buying a perpetual, non-transferable license to the songs they purchase. But even if they do, that’s in place to help Apple and the RIAA, not the consumer.

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