Oct 082012

The US Supreme Court will be considering a case which challenges the “first sale” doctrine, first established here in 1908. This is the holding that a copyright holder only has a say on the ‘first sale’ of some derivative work as it goes into the stream of commerce. Subsequent sales are at whatever the market will bear. But if this falls – as may be a result from the case brought to the high court – then re-sale of materials subject to copyright or other intellectual property rules would require the IP holder’s permission, meaning, things like consumer electronics would soon have serious new limits on re-sale. (So much for being able to lawfully sell a used digital phone on Craig’sList without paying another royalty to the owner of the intellectual property not just of the phone but potentially of each of the apps on it.)

 Posted by at 1:57 am on October 8, 2012