Who's On First? A Look at the First Sale Doctrine and Music


5 comments posted

Thanks for this great

Submitted by stan stewart (not verified) on July 24, 2012 - 11:12am.

Thanks for this great addition to the dialogue on these subjects.

I agree that copyright holds a place in right compensation for artists. In the current digital atmosphere ("anything on a web site is something I can use however I want"), some are trying to make copyright law seem "fuzzy". I do agree that if copyright is to maintain a stake in these questions, domestic vs. international trade should not be at issue.

Good succinct reveiw of the

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 24, 2012 - 3:11pm.

Good succinct reveiw of the first sale doctrine and its implications for the current music industry.

Casey, sorry that I just

Submitted by Bill Rosenblatt (not verified) on August 30, 2012 - 5:04pm.

Casey, sorry that I just noticed this post a month after the fact. I think you missed an opportunity to explain just what "digital first sale" could look like in practice.

The Copyright Office was asked to look into this issue over 10 years ago. The report that the Office wrote on this in 2001 described a "forward and delete" mechanism that is essentially a specialized form of DRM. If you lend or give a file away to someone, you don't have access to it anymore. The Copyright Office came to the conclusion that such a mechanism was too complicated to enshrine in a legal mandate at that time, but maybe it would become more practical later. (They haven't revisited the report since 2001.)

Now fast forward to 2010, when an IEEE standard called P1817 Consumer Ownable Digital Personal Property was defined (see http://copyrightandtechnology.com/2010/07/02/1054/). This is a superset of digital first sale functionality as well as of what ReDigi has implemented for files purchased on iTunes and Amazon. In the world of e-books, Barnes & Noble has implemented a 14-day lending feature that amounts to a temporary form of forward-and-delete.

No one knows if any of these technologies will become pervasive enough to matter, but one thing is for sure: there's an opportunity for artists to get compensation for secondary sales of their works, but to do so without penalizing consumers.

A quick read of the fact of

Submitted by Mark Barlow (not verified) on October 15, 2012 - 11:49am.

A quick read of the fact of the upcoming Supreme Court case indicates that this is Multi National Corporatism gone mad. See the facts and applicable law at http://www.legaladvice.com/articles/details/First_Sales_Doctrine . The global elite don't mind consumers bearing the brunt of globalism but when profits of MNC get hurt by selling of textbooks on the secondary market, that is unacceptable.

I don't see how the people in charge are going to be able to enforce this type of law. Are they really going to crack down on people that go to garage sales?

The ridiculousness of the situation is humorous and at the same time apalling.

Although, I take copyright

Submitted by Joel Decker (not verified) on April 22, 2013 - 12:55pm.

Although, I take copyright seriously, there can be no enforcement of any law that says I cannot lend or resell my property. There are entirely to many lawyers in the world!

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