I love the thrill of a good used record store run. Flipping through crates of CDs and old vinyl to find hidden gems is like going on a musical archaeological dig. Although I tend to buy more music online these days for convenience, I will always love the surprise finds that come from visiting a used record store. From coveted albums to hilarious oddities, used record stores hold a special place in my heart. But when I heard on NPR that a company called ReDigi can help you buy and sell used MP3s online, I had to learn more.
ReDigi’s business model is currently the subject of copyright law debate. The company buys old MP3s, which shoppers can search through and purchase. They claim that their service does not violate any copyright law because their technology ensures that users who sell MP3s are not harboring any more copies of the file on any Internet-connected devices. ReDigi states that their service does not violate copyright law due to something called “first sale” doctrine. Basically, any copyrighted material that you buy can be resold or given away after you’ve purchased it, without the permission of the copyright holder.