Will ReDigi Ask the Supreme Court to Weigh in on the Resale of “Used” Digital Music Files?

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided one of the most highly anticipated copyright cases of the year—Capitol Records v. ReDigi—finding ReDigi liable for direct, contributory, and vicarious copyright infringement. The dispute centered around whether ReDigi Inc.’s online marketplace, which allowed users to buy and sell “used” mp3 music files for a fraction of the price set by iTunes, ran afoul of copyright law. ReDigi’s aim was to create a secondary market for digital music files where people (and of course ReDigi, which took 60% of the profits) could make money for music they no longer wanted.

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Fortnite and the Exploitation of Creative Capital

Over the last several weeks, a number of creatives—including 2 Milly, Alfonso Ribeiro, and Backpack Kid—have filed lawsuits alleging misappropriation of their signature dance moves by Epic Games, the company behind the video game Fortnite. It’s worth highlighting that these lawsuits aren’t about artists going after fans incorporating these dances socially at parties or in nightclubs (which would almost certainly qualify as fair use under copyright law anyway). Instead, the complaints allege that Epic Games is profiting directly from the use and popularity of these dances by allowing players to customize their avatar and gaming experience by accessing the moves (called emotes in the game) through in-game purchases.

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