There is a battle brewing in courts that everyone in the photo industry should pay very close attention to. A company called ReDigi ( https://www.redigi.com/) is in the business of allowing anyone to resale “used” digital files. In other words, allowing anyone to sell, for example, an MP3 file they legally purchased. They claim rightful business practice under the first sale doctrine, the same rule that allows you to resale your used books.
The first sale doctrine has been in place and used by everyone for a long time. From vinyls to CD’s, video tapes to DVD’s, books, everyone has, in their lifetime , sold copyrighted material they were done consuming. Wikipedia states “ The first-sale doctrine plays an important role in copyright and trademark law by limiting certain rights of a copyright or trademark owner. The doctrine enables the distribution chain of copyrighted products, library lending, gifting, video rentals and secondary markets for copyrighted works (for example, enabling individuals to sell their legally purchased books or CDs to others). In trademark law, this same doctrine enables reselling of trademarked products after the trademark holder put the products on the market.”
Up to now it has always been in a physical format. ReDigi claims that there should be no difference for digital files of the same content.