Judge Rules eBay Trader Can Sell Promo Copies
June 12, 2008 at 5:31 AM (PT)
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP has lost a court battle to stop an EBAY trader from reselling promotional CDs he had bought from second hand stores. THE BBC reports TROY AUGUSTO was accused of copyright infringement, with UMG saying some of the items he offered were promotional copies and not authorised for sale to the public.
But a judge ruled AUGUSTO had the right to sell the CDs. Dismissing the case, U.S. District Court JUDGE S JAMES OTERO said that AUGUSTO was protected by the "first sale" doctrine in copyright law. This says that once a copyright owner gives away a copy of a CD, DVD or book, the recipient is entitled to sell it on.
Record companies have long maintained that they continue to own these items and can ask for them back at any time. They can be recognized by markings such as "For promotional use only" or "Not for resale", visible on the record or CD artwork and sometimes on the disc label itself.
But the judge said that such labeling did not alter the legal position.