Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Copyright :: Kirtsaeng Decision - First Sale Doctrine Survives


1.   First Sale Doctrine applies to copies of copyrighted work lawfully made abroad.

2.   Both historical and contemporary statutory context indicate that Congress did not have geography in mind when writing the present version of section 109(a).

3.   A nongeographical reading is also supported by the canon of statutory interpretation that “when a statute covers an issue previ­ously governed by the common law,” it is presumed that “Congress intended to retain the substance of the common law.”

4.   Library associations, used-book dealers, technology compa­nies, consumer-goods retailers, and museums point to various ways in which a geographical interpretation would fail to further basic constitutional copyright objectives, in particular “promot[ing] the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” Art. I, §8, cl. 8.


654 F. 3d 210, reversed and remanded

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