NYPL, photo by Carol M. HighsmithToday, June 2, 2014, Greg Cram, associate director of copyright and information policy at the New York Public Library (NYPL), testified on the importance of the first sale doctrine to libraries at “First Sale under Title 17,” a field hearing held by the US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. The Library Copyright Alliance—which consists of the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries—endorsed Cram’s public support for the first sale doctrine.
On June 2, 2014, Jonathan Band of the Owners' Rights Initiative and Greg Cram of the New York Public Library testified at the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet's Hearing on First Sale Under Title 17. These are their written testimonies.
Greg Cram, Associate Director, Copyright and Information Policy, The New York Public Library [PDF]
Jonathan Band, Counsel, Owners' Rights Initiative [PDF]
This week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is hosting Copyright Week, with each day devoted to a different issue. Copyright Week will last six days, ending on Saturday, January 18, 2014, the two-year anniversary of the Internet blackouts protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). ARL and 16 other organizations are participating in Copyright Week. Throughout the week, the participants will discuss key principles that should guide copyright policy.
remix of image by Patrick HoeslyOn January 8, 2014, the Library Copyright Alliance submitted additional comments (PDF) on the US Department of Commerce “green paper,” Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (PDF), following a public meeting held by the Commerce Department in December. The post-meeting comments focus on four issues: the recent fair use court decision in the case Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens, digital preservation, remixes, and collective rights organizations.
On January 8, 2014, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), of which ARL is a member, provided these additional comments on a number of issues raised in the recent US Department of Commerce “green paper” on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy. These comments focus on four issues: the recent fair use court decision in the case Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens, digital preservation, remixes, and collective rights organizations.
remix of image by Patrick HoeslyThe US Department of Commerce is seeking comment on the recently released Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy. In response, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), of which ARL is a member, provided comments (PDF) on a number of issues raised in the Green Paper. LCA commented on issues relating to statutory damages, online licensing, collective rights organizations, and contractual restrictions on copyright exceptions.
On November 13, 2013, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), of which ARL is a member, provided these comments on a number of issues raised in the recent US Department of Commerce “green paper” on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy. LCA commented on issues relating to statutory damages, online licensing, collective rights organizations, and contractual restrictions on copyright exceptions.
image © ed_needs_a_bicycleOn May 10, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) submitted comments (PDF) on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a trade agreement currently being negotiated between the US and the European Union (EU). While negotiations are still in their preliminary stages, LCA urges the inclusion of provisions to harmonize public access to the results of government-funded research. LCA also cautions against the inclusion of an intellectual property chapter in the agreement.
image © Chrystal Parsons
In "The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley on Libraries" (PDF), Jonathan Band explains the recent copyright decision on the scope of the "first sale" doctrine, its context, and its likely consequences for libraries in the US. In short, the Supreme Court's opinion is a landmark victory that strengthens the legal foundation of library lending, and the Court's extensive reliance on the Library Copyright Alliance's amicus brief shows the importance of library engagement in policy debates. Continued vigilance will be necessary, Band explains, as rights holders disappointed with the Court's majority opinion could go to Congress for a change to the law.
image © Chrystal ParsonsToday the US Supreme Court announced its much-anticipated decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, a lawsuit regarding the bedrock principle of the “first sale doctrine.” The 6-3 opinion is a total victory for libraries and our users. It vindicates the foundational principle of the first sale doctrine—if you bought it, you own it. All who believe in that principle, and the certainty it provides to libraries and many other parts of our culture and economy, should join us in applauding the Court for correcting the legal ambiguity that led to this case in the first place. It is especially gratifying that Justice Breyer’s majority opinion focused on the considerable harm that the Second Circuit’s opinion would have caused libraries.
Two organizations in which ARL partners recently released informational resources about the first-sale doctrine and the Supreme Court case Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons:
The Public View: Two-Minute “Person on the Street” Video by Owners’ Rights Initiative
First-Sale Fast Facts for Libraries: One-Page Summary by Library Copyright Alliance (PDF)
The case of Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons, a case in which the key issue is the proper scope of the "first-sale doctrine" in copyright law. In this case, the first-sale doctrine is being challenged by a publisher who seeks to block re-sale in the US of the cheap editions of textbooks it authorized to be printed and sold abroad.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) joined the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), who all work collectively as the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), to file an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of petitioner Supap Kirtsaeng in the case Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons.
Brief Amici Curiae of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries in Support of Petitioner.
On December 13, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Costco v. Omega in a manner that eliminated none of the uncertainty caused by the lower court's ruling in that case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had ruled that the copyright law's "first sale doctrine" did not apply to copies manufactured abroad. This ruling cast doubt on a library's ability to circulate books and other materials manufactured outside of the United States.
H.R. 107, the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act, is needed to restore a proper balance in copyright law between the rights of copyright users and the rights of copyright owners--a balance that is essential to the future conduct of research and education in the digital age.
Testimony urging Congress to support the Digital Media Consumers?? Rights Act.
Testimony delivered on behalf of the Digital Future Coalition.
Library association letter endorsing the "Consumers, Schools and Libraries Digital Rights Management Awareness Act of 2003," S. 1621.
Comments of the Digital Future Coalition