Friday, 23 July 2010

Threat to U.S. right to resell or redistribute

From MLA-FOCUS July 22, 2010 email newsletter:
MLA Urges Supreme Court to Reverse Decision in Costco vs. Omega

MLA has signed onto a brief urging the Supreme Court to reverse a decision that Costco infringed copyright by selling Omega watches without the watchmaker’s permission. The brief addresses the harmful impact of the decision on consumers, resellers, libraries, and the economy at large. The first sale doctrine permits libraries to lend books without infringing the copyright owners’ exclusive right of distribution. The Ninth Circuit held that the first sale doctrine applies only to copies physically made in the United States. If the Supreme Court affirms this decision, it could call into question libraries’ ability to lend books and other materials printed overseas. Even if a book has a US publisher, the book may actually have been printed abroad. In the absence of the first sale doctrine, libraries would have to rely on fair use to circulate foreign-made copies.

The brief, which was prepared by Public Knowledge, was also signed onto by the American Association of Law Libraries and the Special Libraries Association and can be found on MLANET.
The linked brief mentioned at the end is entitled "Brief of Amici Curiae Medical Library Association, American Association of Law Libraries, American Free Trade Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and Special Libraries Association" (pdf)

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