Items tagged "First Sale"
It’s Copyright Week! From today through Saturday, a number of groups around the Web will be exchanging ideas, information, and actions about how to fix copyright law for the better. Each day will be devoted to a different aspect of copyright law. For more on Copyright Week, see here.
Today’s focus is on how copyright law balances the rights of someone who wrote a copyrighted work and someone who bought a copy of it. This post looks at how fine print can throw that balance out of whack.
Public Knowledge Welcomes Department of Commerce Report Calling for Copyright ReformJanuary 28, 2016 Copyright Reform , Fair Use , First Sale , Statutory Damages
Today, the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force released its “White Paper on Remixes, First Sale, and Statutory Damages: Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy.” Public Knowledge commends the Department for recognizing the importance of a balanced copyright law, and that copyright law’s onerous statutory damages provisions need to be changed.Read More
Copies, Rights, and Copyrights: Really Owning your Digital StuffJune 27, 2013 First Sale , white paper
Our new PKThinks white paper takes a look at one aspect of the changing relationship between copyright owners and owners of copyrighted things: the first sale doctrine.
Today, we’re releasing a white paper called “Copies, Rights, and Copyrights.” It’s about the conflict between the owner of a copy of a work—like you, when you buy a paperback—and the owner of the copyright in that work – the author, or the author’s publisher. It’s often an invisible conflict, because to us, the basic boundaries in that relationship are so customary as to be obvious: the copyright holder gets to prevent the book being copied, and the owner of the copy gets to use that copy any other way she wants.
But things get trickier as we start looking at digital copies—in particular, copies that are sold as downloads instead of on physical media like CDs or DVDs.
That’s because most of the ways in which we use digital media require making copies—just reading an ebook or listening to an mp3 will make additional copies within the device as it is being buffered or cached. Transferring ownership of a copy from one person to another also requires making copies—unless you’re handing over your entire hard drive to someone.Read More
Notes From Today’s Hearing: The Register’s Call for Updates to U.S. Copyright LawMarch 21, 2013 Copyright Office , DMCA , Enforcement , First Sale , Internet Blueprint
Maria Pallante, the Register of Copyrights (and thus, head of the Copyright Office) was the sole witness in a hearing today with an ambitious title: “The Register’s Call for Updates to U.S. Copyright Law.” (An archived copy of the hearing is here) Her testimony provides a guide to the sorts of changes she thinks are necessary in the coming years.Read More
Kirtsaeng Shows Why Trade Negotiators Don’t Always Know What the Law Actually IsMarch 19, 2013 First Sale , TPP
Something we commonly hear when the United States Trade Representative or others are negotiating “trade” agreements is that, to the extent that these agreements mention other areas of law or policy–such as copyright law–they are “consistent” with it. “Who could object,” we are asked, “to simply restating what the law already is?”
The first problem with this is that such agreements don’t just restate the law–they can freeze it in place. It is politically more difficult for Congress to pass a law if there’s an argument (even a wrong one) that doing so would take us out of “compliance” with a trade agreement. If trade negotiators want to freeze US law in place they should explain that is what they are doing and not frame the issue as a technical one without real consequences.Read More
Another Kirtsaeng Question: Why Have the Distribution Right?November 8, 2012 First Sale , Kirtsaeng
In the wake of the Kirtsaeng oral argument, I wanted to look at a strange thing about how the first sale doctrine works in our copyright laws. The first sale doctrine makes it legal for you to sell, lend, or give away copies of copyrighted works that you own.Read More
There were three separate theories of section 109’s interpretation in the Court today: Kirtsaeng’s, made by Josh Rosenkranz; Wiley’s, made by Ted Olson, and the U.S. Government’s made by Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart. Kirtsaeng’s position is that “lawfully made under this title” means “made lawfully,” and that to judge what “lawfully” means, we look to the standards of title 17.Read More
Today, the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., a case that could decide whether or not you fully own your own books, CDs, DVDs, and all your other things that contain copyrighted works—particularly if they were made outside the US.
Recordings of the oral arguments should be posted later in the week. In the meantime, if you’re looking for some background on the case, see Jodie’s post here, or read on below.Read More
Public Knowledge to Testify in First Sale HearingMay 30, 2014 Copyright Reform , First Sale
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.Read More
Public Knowledge Urges Supreme Court to Preserve First SaleJuly 9, 2012 First Sale , Kirtsaeng
Today, Public Knowledge filed a public interest amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons, Inc., a dispute that has the potential to drastically alter users’ property rights in their own copies of books, movies, music, software—in fact, any copyrighted material. The case began with a Thai student studying in the United States who realized that international editions of textbooks cost significantly less than the U.S. editions. He then imported international editions and resold them. Wiley & Sons sued under the theory that these sales violated their exclusive distribution rights.