Tag Archives: first sale doctine

Fair Use: Do you “own” the media on storage mediums?

If you buy a CD or book do you “own” it and should you be free to use it as you wish?

First, can you even copy your own media from one form to another? With CDs you now can copy them to in a cloud storage site / music player (through companies like amazon with the roll out of Amazon AutoRip). But with DVD making backups on your computer  is illegal (because you have to break DRM).

Do you have to buy the same media in difference formats for every device you own which seems “wrong” to having to repurchase VHS then DVD then Blue ray then digital download of the same material when there is nothing (other then legally) stopping you  from copying it over from one format to the next.

Second, can you resale or lend CD you own with others (first sale doctrine). Physical lending a CD to a friend doesn’t seem to be wrong morally (legally is another matter) since you can’t have it at the same time. It would be like a lending/selling a microwave. Digital lending a song is another matter because it would be like cloning a microwave and both people can use it. Assuming you do not delete your the file when the friend has it. 

If you buy a microwave you can do anything you want with it from reselling, taking it apart. or putting tin foil in it. So when you buy music should it be any different? Are you buying a licence to listen to a song, a piece of plastic, or the song itself?