Important case about copyright: Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons

23 Mar

Jennifer Howard reports in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, In Win for Libraries Over Publishers, Supreme Court Upholds Reselling of Foreign Books:

If you’re the legal owner of a copy of a book or other work copyrighted under U.S. law, the Supreme Court says you have the right to resell or give it away, even if it was made overseas.

The Scotus Blog has a brief of the case:

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
11-697 2d Cir. Oct 29, 2012
Mar 19, 2013 6-3 Breyer OT 2012

Holding: The “first sale” doctrine, which allows the owner of a copyrighted work to sell or otherwise dispose of that copy as he wishes, applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad.

Judgment: Reversed and remaned, 6-3, in an opinion by Justice Breyer on March 19, 2013. Justice Kagan filed a concurring opinion in which Justice Alito joined. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion in which Justice Kennedy joined, and in which Justice Scalia joined except as to Parts III and V–B–1.

SCOTUSblog Coverage

Here is the defense of the Association of American Publishers, Understanding Kirtsaeng v. Wiley

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