The Copyright Act First Sale Doctrine

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Clarifies the Parameters of the “First Sale” Doctrine in the Cross-Border Context

First Sale Doctrine - Under the Copyright Act, the exclusive right of a copyright owner “to distribute copies . . . of [a] copyrighted work,” 17 U.S.C. § 106(3) is limited, in part, by the “first sale” doctrine. The...more

Digital First Sale: Online Marketplace For "Used" Digital Music Strikes Discord With The Copyright Act

A recent decision out of New York illustrates the difficulty that courts in the digital era face in applying laws designed for a brick-and-mortar world. In Capitol Records, L.L.C. v. ReDigi Inc., the U.S. District Court for...more

SCOTUS: “First Sale” Doctrine Also Applies to Copyrighted Works Lawfully Manufactured Abroad

In arguably the most important copyright case of the past decade, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 6-3 decision, held that the “first sale” doctrine protects the right to import and sell gray market goods. Gray...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- April 19, 2013

- Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi, Inc., USDC S.D. New York, March 30, 2013 ..District court grants summary judgment in favor of plaintiff Capitol Records on its copyright claims against ReDigi, online “reseller” of...more

Federal Court Says No to “Used” Digital Music Marketplace

Digital music has come a long way since the era of widespread unauthorized sharing, with digital music sales estimated to be approaching $6 billion worldwide. As this market grows, a natural question is whether there can be a...more

Supreme Court Declines to Decide Whether the “First Sale Doctrine” Should Apply to Patent Law

On March 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari filed by Ninestar Technology Co. in a case decided by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals last year captioned Ninestar Tech. Co. v. ITC (Supreme...more

International Reach Given to First Sale Doctrine in Kirtsaeng Deals a Blow to Copyright Owners

In a decision likely to have broad implications on international consumerism and alternative markets, the Supreme Court, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, articulated the contours of the Copyright Act’s first sale doctrine...more

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