Upholding the first sale doctrine
Posted Mar 22, 2013 15:40 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: Upholding the first sale doctrine
Parent article: Upholding the first sale doctrine
I don't have time to read the decision (note that it took 33 pages for the court majority to explain why First Sale does apply to foreign-made copies; a concurring judge spent 4 more pages saying First Sale does apply, but for a different reason, and the minority took 33 pages to explain why First Sale doesn't apply. So it does not seem like a trivially obvious result that one of us could just criticize off-hand), but I read the first page and this is the argument that First Sale does not apply to foreign-made copies:
Rights to prevent copying come from the US copyright statute. That statute says those rights don't cover simply transferring ownership of a copy made "lawfully under this title." (That is the First Sale doctrine). The US copyright statute has nothing to do with copies made in Thailand; it cannot be said that those copies were made "under this title," ergo the First Sale limitation to copyright does not apply.
Obviously, the other way to look at it is that the copies made in Thailand did not violate the US copyright statute, so they were lawful under that statute.
So it takes 33 pages to delve deeper into it, look at the rest of the title, previous decisions, history of the law, etc. to figure out which version Congress meant. Going only on the LWN article and the first page of the decision, I wouldn't even venture to guess.
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