Pubs to U.S. Supreme Court: No 1st-Sale Doctrine on Imports

posted on by Jacob Browning
Decision could affect U.S. imports

The Association of American Publishers sent a brief on Tuesday to the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the court to uphold a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on the first-sale doctrine and imports. The Ninth Circuit decision stated that the first-sale doctrine is inapplicable to the unauthorized importation into the United States of copyrighted works that are manufactured and acquired overseas. The case provoking AAP's brief is Costco Wholesale Corporation v. Omega, S.A., which involves the importation of wristwatches. However, AAP sees the upcoming ruling on the first-sale doctrine as important for all publishers.

The first-sale doctrine allows the purchaser to sell or give away a copyrighted work without permission once the first transaction or sale is made. The Supreme Court's upcoming ruling could affect imported items into the United States, including Japanese manga and anime goods. The Berne Convention grants foreign copyrighted materials the same copyright recognition in the United States as American copyrighted materials. A U.S. District Court had ruled in 2008 that the first-sale doctrine did not apply to imported textbooks.

Source: Publishers Weekly

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