Saturday, April 6, 2013

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons

     In the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Wiley brought a claim against Kirstsaeng for violation of  the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101–810. Kirstsaeng was attending school in the US and had imported some od Wiley's textbooks from Thailand and was reselling them in the US. Wiley is claiming that he is not allowed to do that because he violated § 602(a)(1) of the Act, which prohibits the importation of foreign-made works or goods without the copyright owner's authority. "Kirtsaeng claims that, according to the first-sale doctrine codified in § 109(a), he was permitted to resell Wiley’s textbooks in the U.S. without the Respondent’s permission because the doctrine states that a copyright owner loses exclusive rights after the first sale of the work."
     "The Supreme Court ruled last week in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, a case that centered on the tension between copyright law’s first sale doctrine, codified at 17 U.S.C. §109(a), and the importation restriction found in 17 U.S.C. §602(a).   The express question before the Court was whether the first sale doctrine applies to works manufactured outside the United States.  While the Second Circuit and the Ninth Circuit had each ruled, in some fashion, that the first sale doctrine was limited to works manufactured within the United States, the Supreme Court disagreed with them – and the Solicitor General, holding that the first sale doctrine applies regardless of where the works are manufactured."

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