March 20, 2013
Supap Kirtsaeng was a Thai student in the United States who helped finance his education (and then some) by reselling textbooks that family members bought for a low price in Thailand. Textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons sued Kirtsaeng for copyright infringement in 2008, citing a federal ban on importing copyrighted goods without the copyright holder's permission. Lower courts agreed with Wiley, opining that the "first sale" doctrine - a buyer's right to sell, lend, rent or give away a lawfully purchased copy of a copyrighted work - did not apply to foreign-made products even if they'd been manufactured under contract with the copyright holder.
March 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court gave foreign buyers of books, video discs and other copyrighted works a right to resell them in the U.S. without permission of the copyright owner, giving discount retailers a victory and the entertainment industry a setback. The 6-3 decision Tuesday came in the case of Supap Kirtsaeng, a USC graduate student from Thailand who figured he could earn money for his education by buying low-cost textbooks in his native country and reselling them in the United States.
February 22, 2013 |
Unlike last year, people hoping to jazz up their Academy Awards viewing parties this weekend with an oversized statuette resembling Oscar are now out of luck. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has settled a lawsuit it brought against an Edwardsville, Ill.-based events rental company for copyright infringement stemming from the alleged renting and selling of eight-foot statues that looked like the Oscar statuettes. The case against TheEventLine.com and its president, Robert Hollingsworth, was settled late last year and dismissed Nov. 19. In a lawsuit filed March 9 in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, the Academy had alleged that Hollingsworth continued to market, sell and rent the eight-foot statues after he'd been notified of the alleged infringement in a letter sent in March 2011.
January 18, 2013 |
Aaron Swartz may be a galvanizing figure for Internet activists, but his exploits didn't exactly make him popular among copyright holders. In fact, the tributes to Swartz, who committed suicide last week while awaiting trial on computer fraud charges, have started drawing blowback from the defenders of strong copyrights, who argue that Swartz's efforts to "liberate" documents locked behind paywalls was nothing more than theft. A good example is an editorial in Friday's Wall Street Journal -- I'd link to it, but it's behind a paywall (insert your own snappy one-liner about irony or having the courage of one's convictions here)
November 30, 2012 |
Hollywood's chief lobbying group is taking issue with some academic research suggesting that the shutdown of popular file-hosting website Megaupload has hurt some movies' box-office revenues. Researchers at the Munich School of Management and the Copenhagen Business School recently posted a two-page summary concluding that the closing of Megaupload in January had a negative effect on box-office revenues of some movies, particular independent films that may benefit from the exposure to file-sharing sites.
November 28, 2012 |
If you're a Black Keys fan and you've ever been enticed to order a Meat Lovers' Supreme at Pizza Hut or invest in a storage shed from Home Depot, there might have been a subliminal reason. Each company used songs in commercials that sounded an awful lot like tracks from the Black Keys' smash album "El Camino," namely "Lonely Boy" and "Gold on the Ceiling. " The Black Keys noticed this too, and have reportedly settled the resulting lawsuits around copyright infringement of the band's music.