Category First Sale / Exhaustion

Conference Coming Up January 15; Program Changes

A reminder that our eleventh annual Copyright and Technology Conference is coming up on Wednesday, January 15 at Fordham Law School in NYC, co-produced by the Copyright Society of the USA and sponsored by the good folks at the Fordham Intellectual Property Institute. Online registration is still available. I’d like to announce a couple of […]

EU High Court Rules Against Digital Resale; We’ll Talk About This at the Conference

This week the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a landmark ruling that digitally downloaded files are not subject to exhaustion (the EU equivalent of first sale in U.S. law). This means that consumers don’t have the right to resell (or give away, lend, or rent) ebooks and other digital files. This […]

Libraries Take E-Book Lending Fight into Antitrust Territory

The U.S. library community has gotten involved in the investigation that Congress recently opened into possible anticompetitive behavior by Big Tech. The American Library Association, the advocacy group for public and academic libraries, sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee last week complaining of unfair behavior from Amazon as well as Big Five trade […]

CJEU’s Advocate General Finds No Resale Right for Digital Files

The European Union’s highest court is likely to rule that, as with ReDigi in the U.S., it’s not legal to resell digital content files without the copyright owner’s permission.

For Digital First Sale, It’s Still 2001

Seventeen years ago, the U.S. Copyright Office — Congress’s official advisor on copyright issues — published an opinion for Congress on whether there should be a first sale right for digital content: a right for consumers to alienate (sell, lend, rent, or give away) digital files, like the one that exists for physical items like […]

Blockchain Comes to E-Books, DRM Included

Blockchain technology has reached e-books. The CEOs of two startups with e-book distribution platforms based on blockchains, Scenarex and Publica, are going to appear with me on a panel at the Digital Book World conference in Nashville in early October. The similarities of their technologies indicate a direction for blockchains in the e-book world. The […]

Judge’s Ruling in Redbox Case Raises Concerns for Physical/Digital Content Bundles

A ruling from a California district judge last month impacts an area we explore here from time to time: when you purchase a digital content product, what rights do you have to that product, and are you buying it or licensing it? Judge Dean Pregerson’s recent ruling in Disney v. Redbox helps define the boundaries between sale and […]