The Supreme Court’s Kirtsaeng Ruling Is Good News for Consumers, but the First Sale Doctrine Is Still Doomed–Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley (Forbes Cross-Post)

26 11 2013

By Eric Goldman

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, No. 11–697 (U.S. Supreme Court March 19, 2013).  Prior blog post of the Second Circuit ruling in the case.

In Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons ($JW-A), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that U.S. copyright law doesn’t restrict the importation of legitimate copyrighted works manufactured and sold overseas.  As a result, publishers cannot use U.S. copyright law to enforce their price discrimination schemes of pricing copyrighted works on a per-nation basis.

This ruling is a legal victory for U.S. consumers, who should see cheaper prices in the short run.  This ruling is also a win for museums, libraries and other institutional collectors of copyrighted works, who face less risk now when acquiring copyrighted works (especially those initially sold overseas).  Still, amidst the good news, it’s impossible to ignore the rapid and probably irreversible demise of copyright’s First Sale doctrine, meaning this legal victory is likely short-lived at best.

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First Sale Doctrine Doesn’t Allow Resale of Digital Songs – Capitol Records v. ReDigi

26 11 2013

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani, with comments from Eric]

Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi Inc., 2013 WL 1286134 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2013)

[There has been a recent whirlwind of copyright activity in the courts. We will try to get caught up soon!]

ReDigi looks like a law professor’s exam question that sprang to life. The basic question involves the legality of a marketplace for digital music files. Unfortunately for ReDigi, the court is not very sympathetic to its enterprise, and the court grants Capitol’s request for summary judgment.  I expect an appeal will be forthcoming.

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Apple follows Amazon with patent for resale of e-books, music

21 03 2013
Is Apple looking to get into the digital lending and resale game? A recently published Apple patent application indicates as much, making publishers wonder whether Apple is truly their friend or foe. The patent addresses how licensed content such as e-books, music, movies, or even software can be moved between users while attempting to respect the rights of copyright holders. But even with provisions that would pay copyright holders a portion of the content’s resale price, publishers and musicians are unlikely to cheer, as they see digital resale as a threat to their existing revenue models.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/03/apple-follows-amazon-with-patent-for-resale-of-e-books-music/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Supreme Court upholds first-sale doctrine in textbook resale case

21 03 2013
The importation of copyrighted goods made abroad has been an increasingly contentious issue in recent years. Easy access to Internet resale markets like eBay and Amazon have made it possible for a new breed of entrepreneurs to buy low and sell high in a wide array of areas. The Supreme Court handed these resellers a major victory today, issuing a decision [PDF] that makes it clear that the “first sale” doctrine protects resellers, even when they move goods across national boundaries.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/thai-student-protected-by-first-sale-supreme-court-rules/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



How a Supreme Court ruling may stop you from reselling just about anything

19 02 2013

. . .the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that pits a major textbook publisher against Supap Kirtsaeng, a student-entrepreneur who built a small business importing and selling textbooks.

Like many Supreme Court cases, though, there’s more than meets the eye. It’s not merely a question of whether the Thai-born Kirtsaeng will have to cough up his profits as a copyright infringer; the case is a long-awaited rematch between content companies seeking to knock out the “first sale” doctrine on goods made abroad (not to mention their many opponents). That makes Wiley v. Kirtsaeng the highest-stakes intellectual property case of the year, if not the decade. . . .

“First sale” is the rule that allows owners to resell, lend out, or give away copyrighted goods without interference. Along with fair use, it’s the most important limitation on copyright. So Kirtsaeng’s cause has drawn a wide array of allies to his side. These include the biggest online marketplaces like eBay, brick-and-mortar music and game retailers, and Goodwill—all concerned they may lose their right to freely sell used goods. Even libraries are concerned their right to lend out books bought abroad could be inhibited.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/a-supreme-court-clash-could-change-what-ownership-means/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Supreme Court Grapples with Copyright Law and the Resale Trade

19 02 2013

Several Supreme Court justices expressed concern about allowing copyright holders to block the resale of goods first purchased overseas, as the court heard oral arguments Monday in a case that has interested publishers, eBay Inc. and other companies.

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The content in this post was found at http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/10/29/supreme-court-grapples-with-copyright-law-and-the-resale-trade/?mod=WSJBlog&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wsj%2Flaw%2Ffeed+%28WSJ.com%3A+Law+Blog%29 and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Useful Article on the First Sale Doctrine in Trademark Law (Guest Blog Post)

4 02 2013

 

Yvette Joy Liebesman and Benjamin Wilson, The Mark of a Resold Good, 20 George Mason L. Rev. 157 (2012)

Our article, recently published in the George Mason Law Review, concerns mark owners’ attempts at stifling the online resale of their goods. Over the past ten years, casual resellers have migrated from garage sales, swap meets and consignment stores to online sites such as eBay and Craigslist. What were once minor side hobbies have, in many instances, become lucrative businesses. Today, there are hundreds of books available about selling goods online, every month 30 million new ads are posted on Craigslist, and every day six million new listings are published on eBay. These goods—when genuine? should be protected by the first sale doctrine, a well-known defense to infringement claims that applies across patent, copyright, and trademark law. Simply stated, once a manufacturer sells a product, it may not interfere with future sales of that particular good.

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Unlocking new cell phones to become illegal on Saturday

28 01 2013

An edict from the Library of Congress is about to make phone unlocking illegal for the first time in 6 years. The decision, issued in October, is part of a triennial process whereby the Librarian of Congress hands out exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

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Amazon AutoRip: How the labels held back progress for 14 years

21 01 2013
When Michael Robertson heard news of AutoRip, the new Amazon service that automatically adds high-quality MP3s to Cloud Player when you buy a CD, he must have had a sense of deja vu. After all, the entrepreneur introduced a similar service way back in 1999. Unfortunately, it wasn’t licensed by the recording industry, and they sued it out of existence. He tried again with a licensed service in 2007, but only one label would cut a deal and the company failed to gain traction.

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Examining Sony’s Internet-free method for blocking used game sales

4 01 2013
A newly published patent application filed by Sony outlines a content protection system that would use small RFID chips embedded on game discs to prevent used games from being played on its systems, all without requiring an online connection. Filed in September and still awaiting approval from the US Patent Office, the patent application for an “electronic content processing system, electronic content processing method, package of electronic content, and use permission apparatus” describes a system “that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets.”

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/01/examining-sonys-internet-free-method-for-blocking-used-game-sales/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.