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Apple Patent Describes iTunes Reselling and Loaning System 97

Posted by timothy
from the on-the-internet dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An Apple patent granted on 7 March details a system allowing customers to resell iTunes and iBooks content to other users at a reduced price, or to loan the content temporarily for free. Such a system could pave the way for second hand content being made available on iTunes for a discounted price." (Note: Beware the auto-playing video ad, with sound.)
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Apple Patent Describes iTunes Reselling and Loaning System

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  • The actual patent. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Techniques are provided for managing access to a digital content item (such as an ebook, music, movie, software application) to be transferred from one user to another.

    This doesn't say for "itunes" or "ibooks" or anything of the sort.
    I'd say it's a toss up if they even plan on implementing it, or just using it as ammo when another entity tries to.

    • by earlzdotnet (2788729) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @03:50PM (#43108939)

      This! When the next big content company that competes against Apple decides to take a move in the right direction to make their customers happy, Apple will be waiting with this patent, lawyers ready to pounce.

      I've given up all hope that Apple actually wants it's users to be happy

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I've given up all hope that Apple actually wants it's users to be happy
         
        Funny... I'm a happy Apple user. I can't say the same thing when I stuck it out with Linux and Microsoft.

      • if they don't actually implement it, though, then they'll have some serious antitrust questions to answer.

      • I've given up all hope that Apple actually wants it's users to be happy

        Apple makes it's users very happy. It's Linux users that are perpetually unhappy with Apple.

      • by node 3 (115640)

        This! When the next big content company that competes against Apple decides to take a move in the right direction to make their customers happy, Apple will be waiting with this patent, lawyers ready to pounce.

        Based on...???

        I've given up all hope that Apple actually wants it's users to be happy

        For Apple, happy customers is one of their primary driving forces. It's why their products are so wildly popular, in spite of what a handful of butthurt Slashdot-types would have you believe.

      • This is why you shouldn't be allowed to patent "as system or method" for something that is not fully implemented and available to customers. I read a great article posted here in the last week or 2 that all patent applications should be submitted with the working code. Thus, any other patent applications for a similar process, using different code could be seen as independently discovered.

  • Hmmmm.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I thought The Pirate Bay and DRM removal tools had already solved this problem. Funny that Apple's getting a patent for this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07, 2013 @04:14PM (#43109225)

    Apple will naturally take a percentage of every "used book" sale. It is of course the same in the existing market, where a second hand book shop will typically buy a book for about 1/4 cover price and then turn around and sell it at 1/2 cover price. All fine and good, it's a service and you pay for it.
    The difference is that Apple will provide the ONLY method through which the used goods can be sold. There is no way to cut out the middle man or even choose a different middle man.

    • eBay takes 2 cuts if you use PayPal. They bought them so that they could control all the money.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      And the tricky part is that you're not (re)selling a book or a music album, you're instead (re)selling a copyright license to that content. And that makes the whole thing much less transparent. After all there is no physical object involved as in traditional sales.

  • Let's see if I have this straight:

    Apple just got a patent on allowing people to resell or loan digital "content" when it's hosted on a server and managed by client software? Is that really the meaning of the claims, not something narrower?

    Hasn't the patent office YET stopped patenting business models consisting of "Doing an existing business model on the Internet using a database"?

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Hasn't the patent office YET stopped patenting business models consisting of "Doing an existing business model on the Internet using a database"?

      As long as they get paid for granting patents, this trend will only worsen.

    • on the Internet using a database

      I think you mean "IN THE CLOUD".

      So of course it's new. Because noone else has thought of doing anything obvious like that IN THE CLOUD.

  • Obviously such a scheme would involve trading through Apple's sites, where Apple gets a cut of the sale.
    • by Jeremi (14640)

      Apple's slice is clearly a core feature, as it allows them to stem losses caused by seedy individuals who would otherwise peel away their profit.

  • Just yesterday, I was wondering how much I cold have saved by not buying music from itunes store. Do drug and cigarette addicts say the same too?
  • For the best deals on used bitstreams. Special offer, today only: 50% discount on all PDFs. Get them now before they are gone!
  • What about increased price? Suppose I buy an ebook. It becomes valuable due to the limited number of copies that were originally made. The original DRM key was lost so no more copies of these bits can be made. Now I go to sell my book for one hundred times what I paid for it. Is that covered by the patent?
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      I haven't read the patent (no intention to) but I bet they will have that covered.

    • by pantaril (1624521)

      Suppose I buy an ebook. It becomes valuable due to the limited number of copies that were originally made.

      This is one of the reasons i'll never suppoort copyright. Artificial scarity and greed. Supporting creators is good think bud limiting distribution to achieve it is nonsense and causes much more harm then good.

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