Scheduled for argument on Oct 29, Supap Kirtsaeng, dba Bluechristine99, v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. will focus on whether the right to resell a legally purchased copy of material attaches to foreign purchased items. Forbes contributor John Villasenor writes that in this case, a student from Thailand was able to profit from reselling textbooks purchased in Thailand on the US market.
The appellate court held Kirtsaeng liable for copyright infringement, its ruling based on the fact that the books were purchased in a foreign country, and therefore the right of first sale did not apply (Keeley). Right of sale, as Lisa Schuchman points out, not only allows the holder to sell the material, it also gives display and lend material without clearing it with the copyright holder. This Clancco post describes the amicus arguments art institutes and museums have filed in preparation for the upcoming argument session.
Libraries also see their stock and trade threatened by the broad scope of the ruling. Allison Frankel writes an in-depth article on the potential impact on library collections. Since many books are published outside of the US, libraries would be required to seek extra licensing permissions to lend books manufactured in foreign countries. Imagine what the French Cultural Center Library holdings would look like after failed attempts to get licensing, either due to lack of response or excessive licensing fee requests.
Image taken by flickr user Jo Jakeman, licensed via Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)