SCOTUS was undeterred by Hurricane Sandy yesterday, holding arguments in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley while most of Washington hunkered down for the storm. The landmark case involves the legality of purchasing copyrighted works overseas and selling them here in the U.S. without authorization from the publisher. SIIA’s Keith Kupferschmid joined HuffPo Live to explain how the case threatens the U.S. information industry–wrapping up his segment just minutes before losing power.
Watch the full segment:
The justices seemed fairly split on the case during the argument. Wiley’s counsel, Ted Olson, reiterated a critical point made in SIIA’s amicus brief – that there are many of exceptions in the Copyright Act, including the Fair Use Defense, which can be used to prevent the concerns raised by the appellant.
We believe that the First Sale Doctrine should not apply to materials made and sold overseas. It threatens to severely undermine U.S. companies’ ability to compete in foreign markets. Ultimately, we hope that the Court will be convinced by the very real argument that both publishers and consumers will face direct harm if our markets are allowed to be flooded with copyrighted material that was intended for purchase overseas. American consumers will be defrauded into buying products that may be inferior or otherwise very different from those intended for U.S. markets, while confronting higher prices in the long run. Meanwhile, consumers and students abroad will lose access to valuable U.S. resources that were created for them.
Laura Greenback is Communications Director at SIIA. Follow the SIIA Public Policy team at @SIIAPolicy.