Monday, April 13, 2009

Re-Selling iPods With Pre-Loaded Licensed Content

Dear Rich: I have a question. If I license audio or video content, can I load an iPod with that licensed content and resell it? I'm so glad you asked. The short answer is that it depends what you mean by "licensed content." When you buy the Iron Man movie from the iTunes store, you're really licensing it, and you can't resell that type of "licensed content" on your iPod. But if you enter into a license agreement with the owners of Iron Man that specifically permits reproduction and resale on the iPod, then, yes, you can resell that type of licensed content. Similarly, if your band wanted to sell iPods pre-loaded with its music and videos, that shouldn't be an issue (assuming your band owns all rights to its content). But beware starting one of the many business that engage in selling pre-loaded iPods. According to the Dear Rich staff, this is one of the cloudier issues of copyright law and there is no case law that directly answers your question. Note that companies that rip user-owned DVDs to pre-loaded iPods have faced the wrath of the MPAA. Also, as we noted in a previous post, when reselling iPods, you should avoid any implication that you are a licensed Apple reseller or in any way affiliated with Apple.