Sunday, December 23, 2018

Right Of First Sale Does Not Apply To Digital

A copyright owner has the exclusive right to publish, reproduce, and distribute her work. This applies to music files, and to ebooks.

Fair use is, apparently, a rule that was created by a judge and later made law by Congress. However, fair use applies to limited portions of a work, not to an entire book or to an entire song (or tune).  If someone creates a copy, and sells it in competition with the legal version created by the copyright owner or copyright holder, that is not fair use.

One of the best (most readable, most well-articulated) explanations of copyright infringment with regards to digital files is:

and is penned by Samuel J. Zeitlin   and Bruce Rich   legal bloggers for the law firm Weil Gotshal and Manges LLP

If you see that you have to register and log in to read the article, look for the orange text link below the invitation to "register" and click on the orange text to read the original.

Here is the orginal

Now, if only someone would do something about this:

Porter Anderson reports on the same court ruling.

As does Michael Cader for Publishers Lunch,

Also, Publishers Weekly

It is also worth remembering that Amazon has a patent on digital resale.

All the best,
Rowena Cherry


  1. The article the first link leads to can't be read because it requires registration and log-in.

  2. rowena cherry7:49 AM EST

    Margaret, when that happens, click on the orange text link to "read original".

  3. rowena cherry7:58 AM EST

    Margaret, I apologize. I've added a new link to the original.