News and Views

ORI Applauds Farenthold-Polis YODA Legislation

February 10, Washington, D.C. – The Owners’ Rights Initiative (ORI) issued the following statement today regarding introduction of the “You Own Devices Act” by Congressmen Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Jared Polis (D-CO). Executive Director Andrew Shore made the following statement: “YODA addresses the growing problem where rights’ holders are controlling downstream distribution of their products by separating the essential software from the physical good. They are claiming that the software is licensed while the good owned. This is a ridiculous argument in a world where more and more goods require software to function.” “Congressmen Farenthold and Polis are true leaders …

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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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