First Sale Doctrine: Intellectual Property

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HabeasTortoise
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First Sale Doctrine: Intellectual Property

Postby HabeasTortoise » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:09 pm

Can anyone lend a hand with this simple question: consumers who buy a copyrighted work lawfully have the exclusive right to dispose of it or resell it. However, how does this apply in the context of an initial release of a book where say a publisher buys 1,000 books but is told not to start selling until a certain date. I have my exam tomorrow and know the teacher said something about this but can't find the answer. Thanks!

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Desert Fox
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Re: First Sale Doctrine: Intellectual Property

Postby Desert Fox » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:18 pm

HabeasTortoise wrote:Can anyone lend a hand with this simple question: consumers who buy a copyrighted work lawfully have the exclusive right to dispose of it or resell it. However, how does this apply in the context of an initial release of a book where say a publisher buys 1,000 books but is told not to start selling until a certain date. I have my exam tomorrow and know the teacher said something about this but can't find the answer. Thanks!


It's probably a breach of contract issue.

FSK
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Re: First Sale Doctrine: Intellectual Property

Postby FSK » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:22 pm

Yeah, depends on if acquisition in breach of contract to which you were not actually aware is unlawful, under 17 USC § 109(a). I'd probably say no, because your purchase was not unlawful, but likely depends on how the publisher/retailer contract is structured and on substantive contract law.

redtalun
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Re: First Sale Doctrine: Intellectual Property

Postby redtalun » Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:49 am

Desert Fox wrote:
HabeasTortoise wrote:Can anyone lend a hand with this simple question: consumers who buy a copyrighted work lawfully have the exclusive right to dispose of it or resell it. However, how does this apply in the context of an initial release of a book where say a publisher buys 1,000 books but is told not to start selling until a certain date. I have my exam tomorrow and know the teacher said something about this but can't find the answer. Thanks!


It's probably a breach of contract issue.


Yes, it can be a contract issue, but OP sounds more interested in whether the author has a cause of action for copyright infringement.

Answer will hinge on whether the publisher is a licensee or owner of the copies of the copyrighted work. See Vernor v. Autodesk, 621 F.3d 1102 (CAFC '10).

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postard
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Re: First Sale Doctrine: Intellectual Property

Postby postard » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:14 pm

Yeah, pretty sure that hypo is drawn from that Hunt for Red October case that showed up in my contracts textbook.

HabeasTortoise
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Re: First Sale Doctrine: Intellectual Property

Postby HabeasTortoise » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:19 pm

Thanks so much guys!




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