Saturday, September 08, 2007


Universal Wants You! (To Stop Discounting)

Back again to my earlier post on the overturning of the Dr. Miles decision by the Supreme Court, and the possibility of pricing restrictions in publishing: there's a fascinating piece yesterday in NPR's On The Media about a new case by Universal Music Group which opens another front in industry efforts to assert control beyond the "First Sale Doctrine."

Wikipedia, take it away! --

"The doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained. That means that a copyright holder's rights to control the distribution of a particular copy end once that copy is sold. This doctrine is also referred to as the "first sale rule" or "exhaustion rule".

The First Sale Doctrine has been applied to book wholesalers who then distribute books to shops, who thus can sell it for whatever they like.... even at a loss. If Universal prevails, that could change.

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