Perfectly legal?

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If you own a CD it is perfectly legal to sell that CD. It's your property.

It is also perfectly legal for you to make a copy of that CD for your own use on your iPod, a server or computer. You do not have the legal right to copy the CD and sell or give away that copy.

So if it is perfectly legal to copy our physical media libraries and retire the CD's, why do we keep them?

The simple answer is that the record companies didn't actually sell you a copy of the work, they sold you a license that allows you to play and fairly use the work in your own environment. The moment you sell your "license" you don't have the right to even play the copy you made anymore. Which is rather silly to imagine if you sold your collection of CD's because they're collecting dust, you would also delete the tracks from your iPod and music server. But you're supposed to to be perfectly legal.

I kind of understand where they're going with this - it wouldn't be fair to the musicians to purchase a CD, rip it to your library and then resell it for a couple of bucks less for someone else to repeat the process. Yet, the reality is that's not what happens with most of us.

The reality is most of us buy our CD's, rip them to our portable music players, computers and more recently music servers to enjoy the music we purchased anywhere we are or want to play it. The physical media then going into storage to collect dust.

It's all a rather odd system that still isn't working to anyone's favor. Had I the right to sell my CD's I've collected over the years, I would take that money and buy more! The purchaser of my library would be able to learn about new artists, new music and be inclined to do the same.

Even if it were legal, and apparently it's not, there isn't a good high-end oriented marketplace to buy, sell and trade CD's.

That's a shame.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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