US Supreme Court Upholds Reselling of Foreign Books

March 19, 2013
Chronicle of Higher Education
“In Win for Libraries Over Publishers, Supreme Court Upholds Reselling of Foreign Books
By Jennifer Howard

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.

In a much-anticipated ruling in the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, the court ruled, 6 to 3, on Tuesday that the so-called first-sale doctrine protects the buyers of copyrighted works even if those works were legally manufactured outside the United States. Library groups celebrated the decision as “a total victory” for library users and others who share or resell copyrighted products. But publishers said the ruling would have “significant ramifications” for creators of copyri:ghted works and would discourage global trade.

Further analysis and a link to the Library Copyright Alliance Statement are available from the Association of College and Research Libraries.

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