11:13 AM
Connect Directly

Universal Sues Online Collectible Music Seller Over Promo CDs

Universal claims that music labeled "promotional use only" is the company's property and can never be resold.

Universal Music Group is suing a CD seller claiming that his online sales of music labeled "promotional use only" infringes on their copyrights. And the CD seller filed a countersuit this week.

The eBay seller, Troy Augusto, offers rare and collectible music, including promotional CDs. His lawyers argue that "first sale" guidelines allow him to resell the material without permission from the copyright holder.

Universal, however, claims that music labeled "promotional use only" is the company's property and can never be resold. Universal demanded that eBay take down Augusto's auctions, which are listed under the name Roast Beast Music.

In May, Universal filed a copyright infringement lawsuit. Now, Augusto is countersuing. Universal maintains in both lawsuits that Augusto does not have a right to sell promotional CDs.

The company this week told Digital Music News that the music was intended for personal use and never intended to be sold, "as is clear from the plain language on the CDs."

Augusto's lawyers said that a decision in Universal's favor could threaten library book sales, used bookstores, and stores that rent movies and video games.

Lawsuits dealing with music ownership issues are becoming common across the country. Universal and other companies in the music business increasingly pursue consumers and sellers who they claim infringe on their copyrights. The increase in litigation comes as the music business struggles to regain footing after being rocked by changes, largely because of music being downloaded over the Internet.

Last month, Universal was targeted in a lawsuit over forcing the takedown of a YouTube video that showed a child dancing to a portion of a Prince song.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.