Give the gift of iTunes

A new patent filing describes a fairly straightforward method by which iTunes users can gift digital content to someone directly from the iTunes Store and have it charged against their own account.

First sale’s big fail

In a nutshell, the court found that any transfer of a digital file from one hard drive or storage device to another inescapably involves making a new copy of the file on the second device. Since that copy is not made under license, it is not a “lawfully made” as required by the first sale doctrine.

Managing digital resale

Like Amazon, Apple is not asserting that its users have a right independent of their being Apple customers to resell digital goods, as they would with physical goods. It’s describing a service that allows them to transfer digital goods among themselves under Apple’s supervision.