Government consultations, both in the UK and through the EU, suggest that soon it will be completely legal to resell digital music files; so long as the seller deletes their copy after transfer. Described as ‘forward and delete’ in a recent statement by the UK government, the legislation is designed to prevent restrictions on trade. After all, if someone is genuinely done with their digital files, why shouldn’t they sell them on?
We suspect the practicalities of completing a transaction of this type in a legal and verifiable manner will be hard to come by, but whoever figures it out and creates a global second hand digital record store will be in for a wad of cash. Until then we won't be emptying our recycle bin anytime soon.