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Sell your rights to iTunes content with Apple’s new patent

If Apple’s patent application, “Managing Access to Digital Content Items” comes through, buyers on iTunes could soon sell their digital media to other iTunes users. Apple has devised this new legal method of selling digital content while still protecting content from piracy so artistes do not lose out on royalty from their creations.

itunes2How it works is that a buyer of digital media like music, movies or eBooks can transfer digital rights to a customer. Once the transfer is complete, the original owner would lose access to the material while the new owner enjoys a right over the content. Apple tracks who has the rights to content on iTunes and the company gains a cut from the transaction.

This new system allows multiple owning of digital content subject to the type of media. A user who has rights to a particular content could still access and co-own the content by copying this content so other users can access it. In such cases, Apple puts a cap on the number of times the media can be copied. A book may be copied twice, for instance, but a music video could only be copied once. Other restrictions include the selling price of the content and the number of times it can be sold. Stringent rules are required to cut piracy and allow legitimate content download and distribution so that artistes’ creative genius is not misused and wrongly distributed.

The new patent, if materialized, provides relief for iTunes users who have purchased content and no longer want to own it. Books, music or movies and videos, digital content can be bought and sold in a legit transaction with Apple’s new patent.


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