Apple: Reselling iTunes songs 'impractical'

An Apple Computer executive on Monday downplayed recent questions over the download resale policy of the company's iTunes Music Store, saying technical if not legal barriers would largely prevent such transfers from taking place.

"Apple's position is that it is impractical, though perhaps within someone's rights, to sell music purchased online," Peter Lowe, Apple's director of marketing for applications and services, told CNET News.com in an interview. Lowe's comments came after eBay last week pulled an auction seeking to sell an iTunes download, saying the attempted sale violated the site's listings policies. Web developer George Hotelling had put the song up for auction Tuesday evening, hoping to highlight the question of whether Internet customers can resell songs they've purchased in digital form.

Under the "First Sale" doctrine, the owner of a lawful copy of a work is allowed to sell it without the permission of the copyright owner. But legal interpretations of the doctrine, most recently from the U.S. Copyright Office, have found that the doctrine does not apply to digital goods, according to online copyright experts. Apple's store has been a hit with consumers, who have snapped up 10 million iTunes songs since the store launched on April 28, according to the company.

News source: C|Net News.com

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