facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Supreme Court shakes up copyright law

March 19, 2013 at 6:51 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court Tuesday ruled foreign buyers of books, movies and other products can resell them in the United States over the copyright owners' objections.

The nation's highest court voted 6-3 in the case of Supap Kirtsaeng, a former University of Southern California student from Thailand who found he could make a buck or two buying textbooks at lower prices in his home country and selling them in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported.

John Wiley & Sons had sued the entrepreneur, charging he had violated its copyright protection, and a jury in New York awarded the publisher $600,000 in damages.

The Supreme Court reversed that judgment, deciding the copyright-holders' rights expire when their product is lawfully sold overseas. Under the "first sale" doctrine, a copyright holder has a right to profit from the first sale of a book, but not its resale, the Times said.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote since the textbooks at issue were lawfully made overseas with the copyright-holder's permission, they were not pirated copies. So, he said, the "first sale" doctrine applies and the buyer was free to resell them.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy dissented, the newspaper said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Russia to take rubles, yuan for oil
2
Snapchat is worth $10 billion now
3
North Dakota gets more gas processing capacity
4
Tanzania positioned as LNG hub, BG Group says
5
Rheinmetall to build vehicle assembly plant in Algeria
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback