U.S. District Court judge Richard J. Sullivan has ruled that the used marketplace ReDigi was a “direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement” (PDF link) on Capitol Record’s reproduction and distribution rights.
This could have dramatic implications for the future of a digital used book marketplace, as the judge wrote that “the Court cannot of its own accord condone the wholesale application of the first sale defense to the digital sphere.” The first sale doctrine would pave the way for the reselling of digital books. Here is an excerpt from the landmark decision:
the Court cannot of its own accord condone the wholesale application of the first sale defense to the digital sphere, particularly when Congress itself has declined to take that step. Accordingly, and for the reasons stated above, the Court GRANTS Capitol’s motion for summary judgment on its claims for ReDigi’s direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement of its distribution and reproduction rights. The Court also DENIES ReDigi’s motion in its entirety.
In addition, both parties must submit a joint letter to the court before April 12 to consider the next legal steps in the case, including “Capitol’s performance and display rights, and ReDigi’s secondary infringement of Capitol’s common law copyrights, as well as damages, injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees.”
(Link via Don Linn)