Sunday, October 14, 2012

Copywriters take legality of second-hand sales to Supreme Court

Source: Russia Today

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons will center on whether or not an individual can buy copyrighted material outside the United States, then resell it inside the US. The first-sale doctrine, established 1908, permits individuals to sell copyrighted products to others. According to the doctrine, the copyright holder only has control over the first sale. But for products manufactured abroad – which include almost all popular electronics, including those Chinese-made gadgets consumers are so used to swapping annually – this law is being challenged.

The trial, which begins October 29, follows a Thai student at Cornell University's choice to buy his textbooks abroad. Noticing that the books, required for class, were cheaper in Thailand, Supap Kirtsaeng had his relatives gather and mail them to him. Eventually, the graduate student began selling those books online at a profit.

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