The patent, filed in May 5, 2009, allows Amazon users to resell e-books from their personal libraries, while a new copy is downloaded into the library of the new user, thereby deleting the original copy from the seller’s database.
According to Amazon, considering that digital content does not “wear and tear”, reselling, commonly known as secondary market, is the future of the digital space.
The development has raised controversy, however, as ReDigi, a company that already offers a similar service, states that Amazon is breaking copyright law.
ReDigi is the world’s first online marketplace for the resale of pre-owned digital media and a one-stop-shop that allows users to store, stream, buy and sell legally acquired digital media.
“To our knowledge Amazon has NEVER compensated artists, authors or copyright holders for the secondary sale of their goods, and they have sold billions of dollars worth of them. There is nothing in the Amazon patent that addresses this issue,” ReDigi said in a statement.
Whereas Amazon will ensure the original copy of an e-book is deleted from the initial user before a new copy is downloaded into the secondary buyer’s database, ReDigi moves the initial user’s copy to the secondary buyer’s database, thereby removing it from the first user’s database.
Amazon maintains its users will enjoy the new service, which is expected to launch soon.