Site Tries to Cash in On “Used” MP3s

    December 4, 2008
    Chris Crum

A new site has emerged that claims to be a place to buy and sell "used" mp3s. "Stop illegally sharing and start legally selling! Buy drm-free mp3’s starting @ $0.25," Bopaboo states on its front page.


There are so many forseeable holes in this plan that its hard to take seriously. In fact, the common reaction to the site has been one of questioning the story’s legitmacy. For example, "It isn’t April 1st yet," states Digg user, SnowBladerX (a comment that has 18 diggs itself at the time of this writing).

For one, how do you know the mp3s being sold were not illegally downloaded? For two, how can you sell a file for a fraction of the cost that record companies are requiring retailers like iTunes and Amazon to sell it for? There is the argument that people sell CDs when they could have easily shoplifted them or burned themselves a copy, so when you look at it that way, it’s not much different. Except that the record companies have been far more concerned with illegal downloading than they have with shoplifted CDs. And you know this is an industry that will not hesitate to put up a fight whether justified or not.

"The logic behind it is that it’s legal to sell on a CD you’ve bought – so why can’t you do the same with a music file? In case you haven’t spotted it yet, the difference is that when you sell a CD, you don’t get to keep an identical copy of it for yourself. Which is probably a point that the record labels and their lawyers are making right now,"  Tom Phillips at The Ridiculant writes. "That’s unless, of course, Bopaboo have some special software that reaches onto your computer and deletes your files for you, in which case we can’t see many people flocking to use it."

Call me skeptical, but I don’t see this one panning out too well for the owners of Boparoo. It’s an interesting concept, but how often do you see anything Internet-music related get by without a struggle with the recording industry? Good luck with that one.