[A2k] It has started already By Kevin Smith (can libraries buy a DVD from Amazon or lend a textbook in the US?)

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Sun Jan 27 10:04:18 PST 2013

Excellent piece on John Wiley v. Supap Kirtsaeng upcoming decision
impact and what is going on right now with publishers, libraries and
the first sale doctrine ... under attack.
It has started already
By Kevin Smith, J.D. On January 25, 2013


Yesterday one of our librarians came to me about a film we had bought.
 In response to a faculty request, we purchased a DVD of this film
through an ordinary commercial channel.  Going directly to a retail
outlet in this case was the fastest way to fulfill the request, as
librarians will surely understand.  But somehow the film’s producer
found out that our library owned a copy of this film, and they have
been asserting to us that we need to buy an additional license, at
three times the retail price we paid for the DVD, in order to lend the
film.  The argument is incorrect, of course.  The copyright law allows
us to lend any lawfully made copy that we acquire, without permission
or a lending license.  This is not the case in every country; some
nations grant to the copyright holder a “public lending right” that
forces libraries to pay extra fees.  But no such right exists in the
U.S., and first sale allows us to lend the DVD we bought.  Also, there
is no indication that the DVD was manufactured abroad, so even an
adverse decision in Kirtsaeng would not change our situation.

Manon Ress
Knowledge Ecology International
manon.ress at keionline.org
tel.: +1 202 332 2670

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