The Future: Reselling of eBooks? What Does That Mean for Publishers and Authors?

This article comes from Publisher’s Weekly. To read the complete article visit http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/53334-redigi-plans-to-sell-used-e-books.html

For serial entrepreneur John Ossenmacher, founder, president, and CEO of ReDigi, which bills itself as “the world’s first pre-owned digital marketplace,” the copyright infringement case filed by Capitol Records in U.S. District Court in Manhattan at the start of the year to shut it down is only a “hiccup in the road.” ReDigi, which launched its Web site (redigi.com) with used digital music late last year, is poised to start reselling e-books once the case is resolved. Ossenmacher and CTO Larry Rudolph, who took a leave of absence from his work at MIT, are eager to do so, since e-books will have a much higher ticket price than 69¢ songs. Their goal is to unlock the billions of dollars that consumers have invested in digital goods by reselling them, using the partners’ patented cloud-based technology, which enables them to weed out pirated goods.

If ReDigi prevails in court, it could upend the way e-books and other digital products are sold, since such products would get a second life on the resale market and provide a new revenue stream for publishers and authors. Ironically, the Cambridge, Mass.–based firm could be competing for customers with its neighbor at the Cambridge Innovation Center, Amazon. Currently, ReDigi can’t resell Amazon’s music or other digital files; it is partnering with iTunes.

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