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Intellectual property rights vs owners rights

Supreme Court to hear arguments in case of student who resold books.

A grad school student in the US got his family to purchase books overseas, ship them to him and then sold them on eBay. He was sued for copyright infringement by the publishers as the books were labelled "not for importation to or exportation from another region" and lost the case. The appeal now goes before the supreme court. Some people argue that the ruling could threaten ones right to resell items that were purchased such as music, movies etc even at yard sales.

One longstanding provision says when the holder of a copyright offers a work for sale, its legal interest in that specific copy evaporates as the item is sold. It's called the first-sale doctrine, and it means that if you buy the latest John Grisham novel, you can sell it on a website or give it away to the church library without violating copyright laws.

But another law prohibits importing works "acquired outside the United States ... without the authority of the owner of copyright." Applying that statue, the federal courts ruled against Kirtsaeng, reasoning that "the first-sale doctrine does not apply to copies manufactured outside of the United States.

Any ideas on which one is right ?



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