Today NetChoice joined several other tech companies in filing an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court.
The case comes out of the Second Circuit, Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons, and would prevent the application of the first-sale doctrine to any product created outside the US.
The first-sale doctrine of US Copyright law makes it possible to resell an item without getting the originator’s permission. For example, if I buy a Harry Potter book at my local book store and wanted to resell it, I don’t need to ask the author or publisher for permission. I can do this is because of our “first-sale doctrine.”
However, the Second Circuit in Kirtsaeng said that if I were to go into the same bookstore and buy a copy of the book that was printed in the UK, I could not resell it without first obtaining permission from the author.
This clearly impedes free commerce and flies in the face of the original intentions of our copyright law’s first-sale doctrine.
Since NetChoice promotes convenience, choice, and commerce on the Internet, we have an interest in expanding the range of goods that can be sold safely and legally on secondary markets, particularly where the Internet enables these markets to reach across national borders.
So, we joined allies in the e-commerce industry to ask the US Supreme Court to find that the first-sale doctrine should apply even for goods made outside the US.