Understanding the Supreme Court First Sale Decision

Read the ArticleIn The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley on Libraries (pdf), Jonathan Band explains the recent landmark copyright decision on the scope of the “first sale” doctrine, its context, and its likely consequences for libraries in the US.

In short, the Supreme Court’s opinion is a landmark victory that strengthens the legal foundation of library lending, and the Court’s extensive reliance on the Library Copyright Alliance’s amicus brief shows the importance of library engagement in policy debates.

Continued vigilance will be necessary, Band explains, as rights holders disappointed with the Court’s majority opinion could go to Congress for a change to the law. Jonathan Band is counsel to the Library Copyright Alliance, whose members are the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries. Band practices law at Policybandwidth, LLC.

Carrie Russell is the Director of the Program on Public Access to Information in the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP). Her portfolio includes copyright, international copyright, accessibility, e-books and other public policy issues. She has a MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a MA in media arts from the University of Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at crussell@alawash.org.

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