Posts Tagged ‘First Sale Doctrine’

In a copyright case, the Justices voted 6-3 not to give the first sale doctrine a geographical limitation, meaning “buyers of foreign copyrighted works may resell them in the US without the copyright holder’s permission.” Supap Kirtsaeng resold on eBay textbooks purchased abroad and shipped to him in the US. A textbook manufacturer sued him for copyright infringement, arguing that goods produced outside the US could not be made under American law, as the language of the first sale doctrine in the Copyright Act requires.

Read more at Wired

Right to Resell Foreign-Made Goods

Author: Austin Alexander

On October 29, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on a copyright issue that could have huge impact, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Called the “most important copyright case” in a decade by SCOTUSblog, the Court will decide whether importing goods purchased and manufactured in another country for resale here in the United States is a violation of the original copyright. The case will likely have little to no effect on the right to resell goods manufactured domestically. Kirtsaeng purchased textbooks through family in Thailand, where Wiley sells them at a much lower price than in the United States. He then resold them on eBay to American students, making profits upwards of $1.2 million. Both the district court and the Second Circuit determined that the resale in this case was a violation of the Copyright Act. The case turns on interpretation of three provisions of the Copyright Act to determine whether the Act has been violated. If the Court affirms the Second Circuit decision, it could have dramatic repercussions in the market for used goods. Businesses like eBay and Goodwill (who have filed amicus curiae briefs) stand to lose a great deal, and so does anyone who doesn’t like buying new.