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The used-digital-music market could be fertile ground for pioneering entrepreneurs.

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This story appears in the April 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The used-music market's sales are estimated at more than $250 million a year, says the National Association of Recording Merchandisers. The used-digital-music market is worth a mere 50 cents. That's how much George Hotelling, a Web developer in Ann Arbor, , charged a friend for a Devin Vasquez remake of Frankie Smith's song "Double Dutch Bus" in September 2003, raising the issue, Can digital music be resold?

The transaction made headlines and raised legal concerns regarding the applicability and interpretation of the "first sale" doctrine to digital goods. (The "first sale" doctrine allows the owner of a lawful copy of work to sell it without the permission of the copyright owner.) Currently, no precedent has been set.

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