Press Release Copyright Reform

Public Knowledge to Testify in First Sale Hearing

May 30, 2014 ,

On Monday Public Knowledge's Vice President of Legal Affairs, Sherwin Siy, will testify before the House Judiciary Committee in New York in the hearing titled, “First Sale under Title 17.” Siy will explain that the first sale doctrine is a fundamental principle that balances people's basic rights to their personal property with authors' rights to their intellectual property. 

First sale is a limitation or exception in copyright law that enables people to do what they like with their belongings. Reproducing keys or reselling a bicycle at a garage sale are examples of how first sale fits into the copyright system. 

As more media is transferred online, Public Knowledge has repeatedly called on Congress to update the first sale doctrine to extend the same rights for physical property to digital property. 

The following can be attributed to Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs at Public Knowledge:

“Transferring digital copies requires reproducing them, just as using them does. The Copyright Act does not specifically account for the way consumers may distribute, share, or buy copies of downloaded digital works without breaking the law. It's important to update copyright law to meet the needs and concerns of consumers in the digital space to eliminate this grey area which is becoming increasingly difficult to legally navigate.” 

A link to the testimony can be found here

More information about the hearing can be found here