Just like you may have sold your old CDs, tapes, and LPs once you no longer wanted them, a new site called Bopaboo has created a marketplace to do the same thing with MP3s you may no longer listen to.
After registering for the site, the user is given his or her own “store,” where they can market their unwanted tracks. The MP3 is uploaded to Bopaboo’s server, where it resides until it is bought. Once purchased, the funds are transferred to the seller.
Like eBay, the company would take a portion of the sales price in order to fund its operations. Tracks would begin at 25 cents, and all tracks would be DRM-free. The service is currently in private beta.
Now, while a potentially great idea, this is obviously skirting with illegality, at least in the music industry’s eyes. What is preventing the people selling the track from keeping it on their hard drives post upload? Nothing, really.
If there was some method to ensure that the file was not retained, then I think the record industry would have some serious issues in getting Bopaboo shut down. But this would require some type of Trojan horse-like app that would scan the user’s machine to verify its deletion. Would users go for this? I don’t know.
Then again, if they’re that hard up for money and it can be independently verified that the application is not spying on other things, it might work.
I’m no lawyer, but if it can be determined the file is no longer on the seller’s PC, there’s little the record industry can do. It’s already settled case law that music owners can resell their used media, so it would be hard to argue against reselling old MP3s, also a form of used media.