Is buying or selling used CDs or DVDs violating copyright laws? If so, how are thousands of used CD and DVD stores worldwide doing this legally? 7 Answers as of December 28, 2012

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Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Yes, anyone can purchase a used digital recording as long as the owner bought it legally in the first place. Copyright only impacts the creation and sale of copies of an original work.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 12/28/2012
ARC Law Group
ARC Law Group | Mark Pearson
It is legal to sell original CDs and DVDs under what is referred to as the First Sale Doctrine. This is the case whether you are an individual or a "used record store". You can also sell other copyright protected works such as books, video games and artwork. However, in some cases certain artwork or other copyright protected works may be subject to the seller having to pay a percentage of the sale price to the author (or copyright owner) of the original work. You also must be selling an original CD or DVD. Making and selling copies or counterfeits (even if you didn't know they were counterfeit when you sold them) would likely constitute an act of copyright infringement on the the part of the seller.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/27/2012
Lawyer for Indie Media
Lawyer for Indie Media | Sue Basko
It is legal to sell used CDs and DVDs if they were sold legally to you in the first place.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/27/2012
Lawyer for Independent Media
Lawyer for Independent Media | Sue Basko
It is legal to sell used CDs and DVDs, if you owned them legally to begin with and if they were sold to you publicly. I give those caveats because if you were given CDs as promo materials or came upon bootleg material or something, it is not legal to turn around and sell those. It is also illegal to create counterfeit CDs or DVDs and sell those.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/27/2012
Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton | Michael Novak
Look up the "first sale doctrine"; resales are okay as long as they are not bootlegs (unauthorized copies).
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/27/2012
    Law Offices of Neil Sussman
    Law Offices of Neil Sussman | Neil Sussman
    Buying and selling used CD's and DVD's is not a violation of copyright law. It is legal as long as you have the proper business licenses from the city and state where you live and you pay any applicable sales taxes or other taxes that may apply.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/27/2012
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