Law Essay Sample Paper on First Sale Doctrine

First Sale Doctrine


1a. Who are the potential stakeholders in any decision involving the first sale doctrine?

In the first sale doctrine, stakeholders involved are the publishers, users groups, content creators and the technology industry. The government, producers and owners of music and software are also major stakeholders in this doctrine

1b. What are the ethical theories in first sale doctrine?

The ethical theories refer to the critical evaluation of situations and what best to do in any given situations. The duty to rescue may fall on the government and other stakeholders to ensure that publishers are not exploited though dirty deals. The theory of utilitarianism meant that Kirtsaeng should have considered the best alternative that would benefit everyone involved in the publishing industry.

By opting for the foreign copies, he brought more harm to the main company than good. It is also unethical to create unfair competition by using means that harm other people involved in the distribution competition. The ethics of care and goodness was not exhibited in the case. Kirtsaeng actions were not in line with the first sale and doctrine and were driven by selfish desires.

1c. What was the supreme Court’s ruling on the case of Kirtsaeng?

Kirtsaeng had lacked ethics in his decision, but the supreme court admitted that first sale doctrine had no geographic restrictions and so Kirtsaeng was not wrong to resale the books in the United States of America. They also pointed out that copyright act encourages non-geographic reading, and in away promotes unrestricted resale of used books no matter where they were manufactured. The Supreme Court therefore affirms that the first sale doctrine applies to physical products anywhere in the world.

2. First sale doctrine on software or digital music

Unlike physical goods, first sale doctrine does not give the buyers the right to resell music they bought online. In digital music, the doctrine implies that people do not buy the music but only rent it for his own use and so he does not get the right to own the music and re-distribute it.

  1. In the case of Redigi, the court ruled in favor of the Capitol records stating that Redigi was violating the copyright law. Redigi had taken every measure to ensure that the copyright owner is not harmed but this did not affect the court’s decision. In the USA, digital goods are not supported by the first sale doctrine.
  2. In the resale of oracle software, The EU court of justice gave a ruling that software that are available online for downloads follow the first sale doctrine. This means that the manufacture’s exclusive right to distribute the software copies is exhausted when it is made available for download.

10. What were the intellectual property rights in Fly vs. Barclays Case?

By publishing the hot news almost the same period as the copyright owner, Fly was violating the copyright act. These were time sensitive news, which people subscribed to by paying and were only supposed to be accessed by the people who have paid. Fly was therefore engaged in news misappropriation doctrine to attract subscribers. The first sale doctrine gives Fly the authority to redistribute the information but not at the same period, Fly should therefore wait for sometimes as the court ruled before releasing the information to other people. This way, the subscribers of wall street would have the benefit of accessing the information first before any other person and it would create logic for the need to subscribe.