News and Views

You Can’t Misuse Copyright to Thwart the First Sale Doctrine

Writing for the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Judge Kim Wardlaw affirmed the district courts decision requiring Omega to pay Costco nearly $400,000 in attorney’s fees for misusing their copyright to thwart the First Sale Doctrine.  Omega had initially sued Costco for importing watches into the United States without their permission in alleged violation of the Copyright Act.  The decision in Wiley v. Kirtsaeng barred Omega’s claim because there would be no international exhaustion of the First Sale Doctrine.  As ORI has always held, once the rights’ holder has been paid, their downstream control of the good ceases.  …

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ORI Advisor Doug Kari Published in Ars Technica

Sometimes all it takes to alter the course of history is one pissed-off person. Supap Kirtsaeng wasn’t a crusader or lone nut; he was just an eBay trader who got backed into a legal corner and refused to give up. To help pay for grad school at USC, he sold textbooks online—legitimate copies that he’d purchased overseas. But academic publishing behemoth John Wiley & Sons sued Supap, claiming that his trade in Wiley’s foreign-market textbooks constituted copyright infringement. The implications were enormous. If publishers had the right to control resale of books that they printed and sold overseas, then it …

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LA Times Opinion: New bill would protect the market for used high-tech goods

It may be hard to imagine as you gaze upon your shiny new iPhone 6, but there just may come a day when you’ll want something even newer and shinier. At that point, you may decide to sell your iPhone on eBay or Craigslist to offset the price of its replacement. But what if Apple said you couldn’t sell a working version of one of its products? What if Apple demanded that buyers of its used gear pay a hefty fee to activate the operating system, or required them to pay for a service contract? Article posted here.

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