Kirtsaeng decided by Supreme Court

Today, the Supreme Court decided the Kirtsaeng case. The Court held that the first sale doctrine limits a copyright holder’s ability to control distribution of copies lawfully purchased by the defendant, even when the defendant lawfully obtained the copies outside the United States. In so ruling, the Court clarified questions left behind by cases such as Quality King v. L’Anza, which many thought stood for the proposition that the first…

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Bloomberg Businessweek Editorial Calls for Reduction of IP Laws

Yesterday, Bloomberg Businessweek published a piece by Charles Kenny calling for the reduction of IP, particularly patent. An interesting component of Kenny’s argument is that patent is now a drag on GDP, and that trimming patent protection would raise GDP and – by extension – help raise tax revenue to solve the deficit problem. It’s an interesting argument, though I doubt it will get much traction in the present political…

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Copyright and the Mantei T’eo Case

By now, every sports fan has heard about the hoax apparently perpetrated against Notre Dame linebacker Mantei T’eo. And though most of the discussion has revolved around whether T’eo can credibly claim to be a victim, a few people have begun discussing whether the perpetrator of the hoax bears legal liability for what he’s done. Most of these discussions talk about the difficulty of holding the perpetrator liable. Now, I…

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Megaupload Founder Starts New Venture

The AP reports that the founder of Megaupload has started a new file sharing venture. Apparently, the new venture allows users to upload large files for downloading by others. The new service also apparently includes encryption that prevents the service from knowing what has been uploaded. This is supposed to shield the new venture from liability. However, given the possibility of applying Grokster-type inducement, I’m not sure it will work…

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Sony Releases Dylan’s “The Copyright Extension Collection”

As the New York Times reported, the title of the album says is all. Apparently Sony has released for limited sale a number of old Bob Dylan recordings strictly for the purpose of retaining copyright. If Sony had not done so, the recordings would have fallen into the public domain. The story makes me wonder about how we could better tailor our (in my opinion) overly long copyright term of…

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