Wipe your iPod before selling it, RIAA warns

Organisation on the look-out for loaded music player sales

If you sell your iPod and don't remove your music first, you could find yourself with the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) breathing down your back. The organisation last week told sellers in the US that doing so is a clear violation of copyright law and warned them that it's sniffing out for infringers.

Apple's rapid iPod refresh schedule, not to mention those of its competitors, have generated a tide of old music player offers in classified ads columns and on sites like eBay. Rather too many sellers are shipping their old machines with music libraries intact - some we've seen even make a virtue of the fact.

But it's illegal, not only in the US but also in the UK and the rest of Europe. As, incidentally, is ripping all your CDs and LPs to MP3 then selling or even giving away the originals. By disposing of your physical media, you're ending your right to use the music they contain. The RIAA's point, made in an MTV online report is that handing over music on a music player is no different from duplicating a CD and selling the copy.

The only way around the problem is to either erase the iPod, or make sure it ships with only copies of the music - downloads if that's how they were obtained, or the original physical media. And don't keep copies yourself. ®

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