March 19, 2013
Last fall we wrote about the “first sale” doctrine in copyright, and the challenge faced in the Supreme Court in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. as it applies to goods of foreign manufacture that are purchased abroad and then re-sold in the United States. Today, the Supreme Court issued its opinion: the “first sale” doctrine applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad.
You can find the decision on Westlaw at 2013 WL 1104736. Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court. Justice Kagan filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Alito joined. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Kennedy joined and Justice Scalia joined in part.