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Kirtsaeng v. Wiley and the Threat to Library Lending: ARL to Host Webcast


The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) will host a webcast on October 16, 2012, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. eastern time, to discuss the Kirtsaeng v. Wiley case, the first-sale doctrine, and what’s at stake for libraries and others. The webcast will be moderated by Brandon Butler, Director of Public Policy Initiatives at ARL, and will feature discussion from:

  • Jonathan Band, of policybandwidth, an expert in copyright law and the author of the Library Copyright Alliance amicus brief in the Kirtsaeng case
  • Carrie Russell, Director of the Program on Public Access to Information at the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy, and a widely respected expert on libraries and copyright
  • Kevin Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer at Duke University, a lawyer and librarian who has written about the Kirtsaeng case for Library Journal and on his blog, Scholarly Communications @ Duke


Registration for this webcast is free and open to the public.

To register for the webcast, visit http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=89442.


On October 29, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral argument in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, a dispute over the importation and re-sale of cheap foreign editions of textbooks. At the heart of the case is the “first-sale doctrine,” the provision in copyright law that makes it possible for libraries to lend books and other copyrighted material, for students to sell used textbooks, and for any rightful owner to sell or lend the copyrighted works they own. Because it touches such a fundamental aspect of copyright law, the decision of this case could have sweeping, profound effects for libraries, calling into question whether materials printed abroad can circulate legally.

For more details about the case and its implications for libraries, read the Library Copyright Alliance’s amicus curiae brief (PDF).

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.