One of the running gags those of us who follow the music world for a living has had focused on the idea of the used-MP3 store. “Ha ha!” we laughed. “This is when we know that people are really trying to make money off anything on the Internet, and when we all close up shop and learn a trade.” Well, my friends, I give you Bopaboo, which, while cloaked in a ready-to-carry-yuppie-babies name, offers those people who want it “an online marketplace that allows you to legally transfer and resale digital music.” “Legally,” huh?
So they claim, because, you see, when you upload an MP3 for “sale” on Bopaboo, the only thing that can be downloaded is the very item you uploaded—it isn’t being seeded and copied for all the world to take back, and it’s presumably made unavailable once someone purchases their MP3 of choice. Each digital file costs around 50 cents—about half of what it would on iTunes. And hey, used CD sales are legal, so isn’t the one-for-one buy-for-sell idea still kosher? Something tells me that once the record labels get wind of this idea, they’re not going to be as fond of it as the Bopaboo founders think. Especially since I’m guessing that uploading a file to Bopaboo’s servers doesn’t necessarily mean that the file is magically deleted from your hard drive.
But at least they’re hiring, which just goes to show you: Naive optimism can still take you a long, long way!