RIAA: Wipe your iPods of music before selling on eBay - Macenstein

RIAA: Wipe your iPods of music before selling on eBay

Posted by Lab Rat

A recent MTV online article says the sellers of all those iPods we’ve seen popping up on eBay and Craiglist, pre-loaded with the user’s complete music libraries in many cases, are opening themselves up to a slew of potential lawsuits by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The RIAA has issued a statement on the trend, saying, “Selling an iPod preloaded with music is no different than selling a DVD onto which you have burned your entire music collection… Either act is a clear violation of U.S. copyright law. The RIAA is monitoring this means of infringement… Unlawful reproduction or distribution is infringement. There is no fair use when someone is getting a complete copy of a work, especially a creative work and especially when it could have an adverse impact on the marketplace for selling or licensing that work… In short: seller beware.”

Strong words from the RIAA. At this point it is not known whether the recording industry will be going after young people selling iPods pre-loaded with music, or just continue to target the elderly, as has been its M.O. in the past.

[NOTE: for a (slightly) more humorous take on the RIAA, see our article: RIAA: Buying and listening to music violates “fair use�]

11 Responses to “RIAA: Wipe your iPods of music before selling on eBay”
  1. 911 is a joke says:

    I actually agree withthe RIAA on this one.
    I am all for using the media you buy for your own personal use in any way you want, but distributing it like that, as a selling feature to get people to bid on your ipod is wrong.

  2. charlie says:

    Yeah – I agree with the RIAA as well. It’s my music to do with as I want – as long as it’s still in my possession. I just sold an iPod on eBay and one of the bidders asked me to leave my music loaded even after I stated in two places it would be reformatted and empty.

  3. pierre says:

    Same thing with those who load their laptop with gigabytes of pirated software before selling it…

  4. whynot says:

    If I can sell my CDs on half.com, why can’t I sell my music collection on my iPod? Assuming, of course, that the seller is really getting rid of the music on their machine. Of course, the RIAA assumes that this is not the case, without even allowing it as a possibility. I just know that “do not break this seal without agreeing to the license” stickers are coming on music CDs. They want everyone to buy new.

  5. macike says:

    For once I agree with the RIAA. Wonders shall never cease.


  6. Anonymous says:

    tough to argue with the riaa on this one…..

  7. Anonymous says:

    riaa not good this one. i have rites to play my musik how i like it. if i sell my ipod than i can sell my msic too. i hate the riaa and hope they can go suck it. come try to find me. i just made $300 dollars selling my pod with a tun of songs on it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    That’s completely ubsurd and disgusting!!! Ipods are for enjoyment, not scams and rip-offs. What an inhumane thing to do. People have rights and therefore should not be mutilated like cows just for our consuming enjoyment. While that leads to a whole other argument on animal rights, which should be seriously looked at due to the healthy diets vegatarians lead and the unnecassary deaths that cows must endure, it’s not what should be done. Americans are so selfish and self-involved. Anything that can give them a boost in thier financial evolution will certainly be enough for them no matter what the consequences! Think before action is taken. By the way, it’s spelled MUSIC you moron, not MSIC or MUSIK!!!

  9. J. Tyler says:

    I’m confused — if you can sell your used CDs or DVDs to private parties on eBay or otherwise, then why can you not sell an iPod preloaded with music that you have also previously purchased (pirated music does not apply here)? I buy used CDs all the time from places and people. What’s the difference? Perhaps the price of the iPod actually includes the resale cost of the music, and the buyer is just getting the iPod at a really good price. There’s no way to differentiate what the cost-relationship is. Perhaps that’s the problem….

  10. Aaron says:

    Hey RIAA! Do you even know how an iPod works? Every time you sync it up with a new computer, it erases the existing music and syncs it up with the music library in iTunes.

    People who know enough to pull songs off an iPod purchased off eBay will know enough to undelete the files on the iPod and STILL pull the songs off, even after the iPod has been “erased”.


  11. iPod user says:

    Hey “Aaron”! Do you realize that iTunes doesn’t HAVE to “erase[s] the existing music and sync[s] it up with the music library in iTunes.”?? It’s called “Manual” synchronization mode, and for many people, is the best method of connecting their iPod.

    Even undeleting files from what is, at this point, a hard drive is *NOT* the issue here. Distributing COPIES of the music which you still have the original distribution media for, is.

    The iPod wasn’t the original method of obtaining that music – and as such, the user obviously has a copy of that content elsewhere. As such, it’s blatantly, obviously, logically illegal to include songs on an iPod which you sell to someone else. The RIAA is completely in the right here, and I cannot believe so many people are even questioning it.

    Note that when Apple first introduced the iPod, they gave away units to the reporters covering the annoucement. And, these iPods were pre-loaded with music – so as to allow the reporters to quickly and easily try out the new device. But, Apple also provided every single one of those reporters with all the physical CDs which were the source of the music on their iPods.

    Oh, and “J.Tyler”: Selling CDs to someone else is something the RIAA doesn’t like, but it isn’t illegal. This is because this ORIGINAL copy of the content is being transferred to a new owner. Obviously, the seller is expected to erase any and all copies of that same content which they may have – if they do not do so, they are breaking the law. But, selling a COPY of content which you own (e.g. if you were to burn a new copy of your Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger DVD and sell it to someone) is – and always has been – illegal.

    Simple concepts, folks…

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