Skip to navigation

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Secondhand iTune For Sale (But Not For Long)

c | net reports that George Hotelling is selling a legally purchased iTunes song on eBay (current bid, with proceeds to be donated to the EFF = $860). Better click quickly, because eBay listing policies prohibit the sale of "products delivered electronically through the Internet," and according to the c |net article the auction is likely to be removed for that reason:

Here are examples of items that may not be listed on eBay because of the downloadable media policy:

  • A copy of a software program which the successful high bidder can download from your Web site
  • Music or video files that you will deliver through a peer to peer file-sharing community or network
  • A copy of a downloadable eBook
  • A secret URL address where the high bidder can download "freeware" or "shareware" software programs

(From the eBay Prohibited, Questionable & Infringing Item Policy.) At least until Congress can act on H.R. 1066, Hotelling might also want to consider allocating some of the proceeds to a legal defense fund in light of the following portion of his listing:

Because this is a legally purchased song, it has some weird licensing stuff (called Digital Restriction Management, or DRM). This means it may be tough to get it to work on your system. Still, I'm a geek and will do my best to make sure you can listen this fine song. If we cannot get the song to play on your system, I will refund your purchase price.

(Emphasis Hotelling's.) What Hotelling has in mind is one of the things the proposed Lofgren legislation seeks to address. (More from BNA and Tech Law Journal.) Though the DMCA is conspicuously absent from the c | net article, it's unlikely to remain in the shadows for long if the auction closes and Hotelling proves true to his word. (All this for a song from a Dana Carvey movie soundtrack?)

[Update]: George Hotelling's blog; related Technorati link cosmos. I should add I assumed from George's listing he intends to use his technical know-how to circumvent Apple's DRM.

Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Denise M. Howell and included in the Bag and Baggage weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons License.