I just posted an eBay auction for a song I bought from the iTunes music store. It should be interesting to see how this works out. I only spent $0.99 on it but I bought the song just as legally as I would a CD, so I should be able to sell it used just as legally right?
[Update 09-04-2003 3:02 PM]:
My GPG signed response:
I do not believe that my auction violates the downloadable media policy, I posted in my auction that I would not be violating it. I specifically ammended [forgot to run ispell] the auction to state that the buyer would not receive the item in question over the Internet.
Please reinstate my auction ASAP.
[Update 09-04-2003 2:52 PM]:
Dear George Hotelling (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT EMAIL REGARDING YOUR LISTING(S)
We would like to let you know that we removed your listing(s):
2555673237 Double Dutch Bus by Devin Vasquez
for violating our Downloadable Media Policy. Please read our Downloadable Media Policy here:
We have credited any associated fees to your account. We have also notified the bidders that the listing(s) was removed, and that they are not obligated to complete the transaction.
If you relist this item, or any other item that violates eBay policy, your account could be suspended.
If you believe your listing was removed in error, please let us know by replying
to this email with supporting information.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Customer Support (Trust and Safety Department)
[Update 09-04-2003 12:08 PM] I’d like to apologize to eBay user shopatbanks for erroneously canceling his bid. While trying to weed out the fake bidders, I removed him as well. He says he was committed to his bid and I thank him for trying to put his money where my mouth is. Now if I can just find the guy who bid $99 million to see if he’s legit…
[Update 09-03-2003 7:44 PM] Please don’t bid unless you are willing to pay the money. While this is an interesting auction, it is certainly not a joke – that’s the whole point. I’m fine with the winner donating directly to
eBay [typo or freudian slip?], but may request some money to cover the cost of the eBay auction if it gets too out of hand and I can’t afford it. [The cost of the auction is a function of the ending price, which is why I want to see legitimate buyers only. eBay will get its cut, unless they waive auction fees when the profits go to non-profits.]
[Update 09-03-2003 4:21 PM] I have about one good idea a year. I hope this was it.
[Update 09-03-2003 11:25 AM] A very excellent comment below by Piggly Wiggly asks if I will convert the format for delivery. My answer right now is “no” because I don’t want to cloud the issue of the sale by changing the format. Also, I’d like to thank all the people posting supportive comments who realize that this is about more than a $0.99 song being over-valued on eBay.
[Update 09-03-2003 11:25 AM] I’d like to respond to a few points made by people:
1. It’s true that I’m seeking attention, but not for me personally. This is an experiment in property rights in the digital age, something that’s gotten surprisingly little attention.
2. I’ve read the iTunes agreements and found nothing denying transferability. This isn’t any more a commercial venture than selling CDs at the local music store, I’m not incorporated or even DBA. Furthermore, in case anyone thinks this is a cheap way to make a buck I will be donating all profits to the EFF.
3. When the song is successfully transferred, I will not be keeping a copy of the song. If I don’t own it I shouldn’t have a copy.
[Update 09-03-2003 10:08 AM] Right now I’ve come up with a couple ways that the transfer of ownership could take place. One is to call up Apple and ask them to do it for me, which would be an interesting call. The other way would be to give my account to the winning bidder, which doesn’t seem like a bid deal considering that I’ve only purchased one song. Still, I’d have to make sure that my credit card info was completely disassociated with the account. Or I could just create a new account and repurchase the song on that account.