Registered Coward v2 writes "The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case to determine how copyright law and the doctrine of first sale applies to copyrighted works bought overseas, then imported to the U.S. and then re-sold. The case involves a foreign student who imported textbooks from Asia and the resold them in the U.S. to help fund his education. He was sued by the publisher, lost, and was ordered to pay $600,000 in damages. Now SCOTUS gets to weigh in on the issue. 'The idea -- upheld by the Supreme Court since 1908 -- is that once a copyright holder legally sells a product initially, the ownership claim is then exhausted, giving the buyer the power to resell, destroy, donate, whatever. It's a limited idea -- involving only a buyer's distribution right, not the power to reproduce that DVD or designer dress for sale. ... The tricky part is whether that first-sale doctrine applies to material both manufactured and first purchased outside the United States. Federal law gives that authority to a purchaser's work "lawfully made under this title." Does "this title" apply to any copyrighted work — whether manufactured all or in part in the United States and around the world?"
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