Sea Change For Import And Sale Of Foreign-Made Goods

Law360, New York (March 19, 2013, 8:06 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 19, in a 6 to 3 decision, that “the "first sale" doctrine applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad.” Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc., No. 11-697, Slip op. at 3. As both the majority and the dissent recognized, the decision has significant practical consequences for copyright owners and subsequent purchasers of goods containing copyrighted material that are manufactured overseas.

The facts are straightforward. The copyright holder and plaintiff below, John Wiley & Sons Inc.,...
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