Apple patent would let you sell your iTunes content to others

By on March 7, 2013, 5:00 PM

Earlier today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that would allow customers to legally sell or loan used iTunes content to another person. The patent is titled “Managing access to digital content items” and is outlined in three separate applications dating back to September 2011.

The system would allow a user to loan or sell content they purchased through iTunes to friends, family or complete strangers. For example, let’s say you purchased a movie through iTunes but now you no longer have a desire to own or watch the film again. The system would allow you to sell your digital rights to the movie to another user. Once the transaction has taken place, you’ll no longer be able to access the film but the new owner will.

Amazon was recently awarded a similar patent although their system is based on a centralized marketplace. Apple’s plan would be to skip the marketplace altogether if the user chooses, allowing people to transfer media directly. The patent does, however, reserve the right for a proceed of the resale to be paid to the creator or publisher of the digital content and / or the entity that originally sold the digital content (iTunes).

It’s worth pointing out that digital items aren’t required to be stored locally for the system to work, meaning goods stored in iCloud could be sold as well. Furthermore, the application outlines scenarios like temporary transfers, partial transfers, delayed transfers and loans. Apple could have a tough time convincing content owners to try this method, however.




User Comments: 11

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3 people like this | ragreeen2646 said:

Why is this patentable?

JC713 JC713 said:

This is so awesome if it comes to life. I have like a 100 songs I own that I never listen too . And about 100 apps I have not use for

1 person liked this | RH00D RH00D said:

Why is this patentable?

If I'm not mistaken they are patenting the method not the concept. So other people can still do this, just with a different method.

JC713 JC713 said:

If I'm not mistaken they are patenting the method not the concept. So other people can still do this, just with a different method.

Yeah, I wont be surprised if it just a concept

1 person liked this | Tiberath Tiberath said:

Why is this patentable?

If I'm not mistaken they are patenting the method not the concept. So other people can still do this, just with a different method.

That still doesn't really answer the question. Why is this even patentable? I'm not a professional or tertiary educated programmer, just an enthusiast. And I can do what's in this diagram really easily. They've pretty much just stated "We're now the only ones who can store and transfer data -in this order- HAHAHA".

This isn't something that should ever be a patent.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Everyone is making the assumption that Apple are patenting this so they can make the product described. Patenting something and never allowing anyone to license it can also be used to prevent a product from ever existing. Happens in the pharmaceutical industry all the time.

Guest said:

I am a patent attorney. Just because someone files a patent application, it doesn't make the content patentable. It remains to be seen whether this application - which is all this is at present, an application - will be granted patent rights.

Any method is patentable if it hasn't been done before. Even just a method of doing business.

" They've pretty much just stated "We're now the only ones who can store and transfer data -in this order- HAHAHA"." - This isn't true unless a patent is actually granted. In addition, it's not just the order that data is stored, it's the type of data as well. This only applies to "OWNERSHIP DATA", not any data.

1 person liked this | ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

Everyone is making the assumption that Apple are patenting this so they can make the product described. Patenting something and never allowing anyone to license it can also be used to prevent a product from ever existing. Happens in the pharmaceutical industry all the time.

That makes sense; my first thought when reading it was that it'd probably end up making Apple lose money if it were implemented (more people would buy stuff if they could resell it, but then the majority of customers could buy from each other instead of Apple). However, it makes sense if another, less popular company did it because it would take a big piece of Apple's large customer base.

Regardless of any speculation though, it still shouldn't be patentable.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

Everyone is making the assumption that Apple are patenting this so they can make the product described. Patenting something and never allowing anyone to license it can also be used to prevent a product from ever existing. Happens in the pharmaceutical industry all the time.

Exactly what will happen. Locked so that apple can make more money.

plynch28 plynch28 said:

Or, you could just strip the DRM and upload it. This has got to be one of the most retarded ideas Apple has ever had.

yRaz yRaz said:

While I don't think they should be able to patent this I'm glad that SOMEONE in the industry is doing it. We have been able to do this for years with records, tapes, and CD's. Digital downloads should be no exception.

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