updated 06:05 pm EST, Mon February 6, 2006
Pre-loaded iPods illegal?
Experts in digital copyright law are questioning the legality of loading copyrighted content onto iPods, even if users actually purchase that content. A new breed of online sales have emerged along with the miniature media players from Apple and other companies, where individuals load up the gadgets with copyrighted music and videos before selling them at marked-up prices online. A 60-gigabyte video iPod loaded with 11,800 songs was recently put up for auction on eBay with a starting bid of $799, but was removed by site staff members after it was discovered. "That is a copyright violation, one that we don't even need to hear from the rights owner about before removing," eBay spokesman Hani Durzy told USA Today. "Some of those sales may be legal, and some not," said Andrew Bridges, digital music lawyer at Winston-and-Strawn. Services like TVMyPod already pre-load iPods with content, but purchase the content for each individual iPod and ship the disks to customers along with the iPod itself. "The question that needs to be asked is, if you buy a DVD, are you allowed to put it onto an iPod?" TVMyPod co-founder David Onigman said.