George Hotelling, the digital fair-use campaigner who placed a track he had purchased from Apple’s iTunes Music Store on eBay, has successfully resold the song, ending a weeklong exercise he had hoped would “highlight the legal and technical nuances of emerging digital music services,” according to a Cnet report.
Hostelling told Cnet he had given the song to Keith Elder, a friend he had met on the Internet. In order to close the deal, Hotelling has transferred control of his entire iTunes Music Store account to Elder. Hotelling intends to demand 50 cents for the account that included just one song, the Devin Vasquez remake of Frankie Smith’s Double Dutch Bus.
Apple’s comments earlier this week, that it is impractical – though perhaps permissible – to sell music tracks that have been acquired digitally, are echoed by Hotelling’s experience. He told Cnet: “For the average user, I’d definitely say this was extremely difficult.”
Hotelling put the song he had purchased from Apple’s iTunes Music Store on eBay last week as a way to highlight resale rights for digital music services. eBay subsequently pulled the auction, claiming it violated its policies.
Recent legal interpretations in the US suggest the right to resell legally acquired material does not extend to digital goods because such transfers imply making a copy of the work.