back to article Amazon patents digital resale market

If Apple ever wants loan-or-onsell capabilities in iTunes, it will probably find itself discussing patents with Jeff Bezos. That chat is one possible outcome that may flow from this newly-minted Amazon patent: “A secondary market which allows users to effectively and permissibly transfer “used” digital objects to others while …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    The fact anyone is considering to rationalize the concept of "resell" into digital media is just a sign that people will accept less options for more money. Although this will go over well with the more money than sense types, a sucker is born every tweet.

  2. JaitcH

    Not a problem ...

    my record / media store is The PirateBay.

    Good to see Apple fight this one from Amazon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a problem ...

      Why would you care either way if you pirate (steal?) music rather than pay for it?

      1. CmdrX3

        Re: Not a problem ...


        No, illegally copy or infringing copyrights maybe, but if they were "stealing" then they would be getting charged with theft. As they are not then they are not stealing.

    2. Mme.Mynkoff

      Re: Not a problem ...

      So you're an anti-social parasite ripping off artists.

      We get it. We really do.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just more proof that the copyright/patent/trademark system is broke and corrupt.

    Apple patented the layout of their stores the other week...

    Then again, Apple are greedy fucks.

    1. Richard Jones 1

      Jumble Sales Patented

      I saw that stupid (Cr)apple patent, I guess every jumble sale in this country will now have to think about the layout of its stalls! Still perhaps Crapple are earning points for recycling even if it just old ideas.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Jumble Sales Patented

        As soon as someone says things like Cr(apple) or similar in their posts they lose all credibility outside of the school yard.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's right and Amazon, Samsung and ?? are charities. Welcome to the world.

    3. craigj

      They're all greedy fucks... they're businesses.

      Their duty is to maximise profits for their shareholders. If you honestly think that Google / Samsung / Microsoft / Apple are out with your best interests in heart, you're very much mistaken.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There's a difference between being a business maximizing profits and being just plain greedy.

        Apple are the latter.

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Oliver Twist

    I am so pleased that the human race invented printing before it invented intellectual property rights...

    While I have every hope that writers (and other IP producers, of course) will continue to be paid for their work, their income from me will continue to be in the form of payments for physical media: books, CDs, and so on; such will be scanned or ripped if I need/want them in digital form.

    I am certainly shooting myself in the foot in terms of ease of use - while the supplier exists to authorise my use - but I believe that having bought something, it is mine to do with as I will. If I wish to transfer it to someone else, either as a loan, a gift, or a sale, I simply pick it up and give it to them; there is no need for a third party to become involved.

    1. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

      Re: Oliver Twist

      Same. Though replace the scan part with getting it through alternate channels.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Oliver Twist

        Indeed. Though, in the case of books, my main requirement, most of what is on alternative channels requires so much proof-reading and correction it's sometimes faster to start with the original scan.

        If I own the physical media, I don't see the use of alternative channels to provide digital forms immoral. And significantly, neither do a number of authors with whom I have communicated on this subject.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >"what’s more natural than to patent the business process?"

    What's more natural that to attempt to patent the unoriginal and obvious idea of second-hand sales of your own property? How about *not* attempting to pervert the course of justice in order to steal our own personal property rights from us, isn't that more "natural"?

  6. Stumpy

    I wonder what sort of knock-on effect granting this patent would have for the likes of Steam for example - especially in light of the current German court case pending regarding the resale of digital copies of games on the Steam platform...?

    1. Tom 260

      Indeed, and GreenManGaming already lets you trade in a limited number of titles for credit (ones not bound to Steam or Origin among others), so... prior art?

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Welcome to the comments section of the Daily Mail, knee jerk reactions without actually readin past the 1st paragraph.

    The concept is the ability to sell to another person (everyone is saying this is Amazon selling the items, but it will actually be end users via Amazon) and make to sure the original is destroyed.

    So for a REAL world analogy, you have a CD (yes physical). and you sell it in on eBay. eBay takes a cut, you sell the original and the original is "deleted" i.e. you no longer own it.

    If you rip it / copy it, that's not the same and not what they are trying to do, this is merely to pass an original copy to another person.

    Should it be patented, well thats another arguement, but please before the rants, understand the concept.

    I'm off to Wired, t's getting more like the Daily Star each day around here.

    1. Steven Roper

      Ok, goodbye.

      Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

  8. Bad Beaver
    Paris Hilton

    Brings the LULZ

    a) Can we patent it? Yeah, let's patent it.

    b) How do you price used digital goods? If I buy a 2nd hand item, I expect and accept a possible degree of degradation. This is why a used item usually sells for less than a new one, unless the market forces imply that demand exeeds supply. But why would I re-sell my digital propert… my license to use a digital content at a price that is any lower than the current new-price? (And "scarcity management" or not, I doubt there will ever be something like a "rare download".)

    Because otherwise, AMAZON won't let you sell it.

    The whole thing is interesting in terms of being able to sell-off unwanted licenses. Yet it is clear that seller will make a loss, the used-buyer will only save very little and AMAZON's register will CA-CHING every time. CA-CHING CA-CHING CA-CHING…

    The ridiculousness of it all tells me that my policy of "only buy phsyical" will not be replaced any time soon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brings the LULZ

      "my policy of "only buy physical" will not be replaced any time soon."

      Eh? I've not bought various types of "physical" entertainment for a long time now.

      I'm not going backwards. Hideous collections of CDs/DVDs/VHS/Cassettes/Books on shelves all over the house? No thanks.

      (Tho I ain’t getting rid of my vinyl for anyone)

  9. Simon Ward

    "they’ll quit storing stuff on local devices"

    Dear Jeff,

    No we bloody well won't.

    Love, hugs and strawberry jam etc.

    I don't think it's any coincidence that Jeff Bezos bears more than a passing resemblance to Dr. Evil if you squint hard enough.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Maintain Scarcity"

    Shows you everything wrong with the world, really.

    Got the ability to make an infinite amount of something for next to nothing? Not good enough. Scarcity must be preserved!


  11. Alan Denman

    Chicken or the egg?

    "As soon as someone says things like Cr(apple) or similar in their posts they lose all credibility outside of the school yard."

    Always hard to trace the origins but there's plenty of reviewer referring to plasticy things and ignoring the cracked glass and low quality or dropped calls caused by metal cladness.

  12. MrXavia

    Relies on Cloud storage, so fail there...

    I don't trust the cloud with my data...

    plus with the cloud I have to be connected all the time, meaning any foreign travel will cost me an arm & a leg in data fees... Just using the maps on my phone cost me a fortune the last time I was abroad!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Just using the maps on my phone cost me a fortune the last time I was abroad!"

      Might I suggest that you could do worse than snagging a copy of "Citymaps 2Go". It's available for both iOS and Android, and while it's slower and less pretty than Google Maps, it makes carrying a bunch of offline maps cheap and easy.

      Using data roaming for such stuff is just madness.

  13. ContentsMayVary

    While I fully understand many of the comments here, I still do feel a bit for the artists who create the stuff that everyone thinks they should get for free (or at least, be able to buy once and then sell for the same amount).

    I suppose the market is just changing - artists should make their money from touring, right? Although, I'm not totally clear how authors will make much money doing that, but the likes of the Arctic Monkeys should be ok!

    (Yes, yes, I know that the big companies get by far the biggest slice of the pie, but I assume the writers get something - but that will be much reduced if people don't pay for as much stuff. Artists/Writers = Good, Big Companies = Bad, but stealing from the Big Companies = stealing from the artists and writers too. :( )

  14. Oldfogey

    Artists never have had any rights over second sale (except, recently, for paintings sold in France) - whether sold for less, the same, or more, or many times more. This is the deal in copyright - the creator is given a limited monopoly to enable them to earn a return on their creation. In this context, the recent extensions to the copyright period are immoral, as they apply to existing copyrights, thus fundamentally changing the deal in retrospect.

    One new way media creators will be able to generate new profits for a while is from all the people who copied their CD's to MP3, then sold the CD on eBay. When their hard disk crashes, and they haven't backed up, they will have to go and buy a fresh copy. Same will apply if they have stored it in the cloud, and the company goes bust overnight.

  15. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

    How To Make It Go (Away)

    This sort of tech is of concern not just to the Greedy Bastards™ of the world. It is also of interest to various governments and companies that do not want their sensitive information to grow legs. One of the many issues around this, which the article alludes to, is that it requires control of the method by which the media is accessed. If the data can only be read by certain software, it can go onto any device because the security controls are (presumably) built into the software. If it can only stored on media controlled by the owner and cannot be copied without permissions - and the permissions are portable - control of the software is less critical.

    You might notice the abundance of "ifs" and "ands." This is only one part of the puzzle and not one which has been solved very effectively, to the best of my knowledge. While Amazon has strong financial incentive to gain the ability to control media they sell lease, they are likely to benefit from more than that alone if they are successful.

  16. MrRtd


    The very idea of business processes being patentable is ridiculous. But then so are software patents.

    Here again this goes to show how business is trying to force the new digital era into the the former conceptof physical ownership of information sources.

    I do support limited copyright restrictions to some extent for currently living content producers such as writers and artists, that people should respect. But for everything else should be the public domain

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