US court ruling brings copyright laws into sharp relief

What are the implications for artists of US copyright laws regarding re-sale of goods?
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When the US Supreme Court this week ruled against a publisher in a copyright case in favour of a student reselling textbooks online at discounted rates, the decision sent copyright holders in the publishing and music industries into a tailspin.

Publisher John Wiley & Sons filed a lawsuit against Thai graduate student Supap Kirtsaeng, who used eBay to resell copies of the publisher’s copyrighted books that his relatives first bought more cheaply in Thailand and shipped them to him in the States. Supposedly to finance his studies at Cornell University and the University of Southern California, Kirtsaeng is estimated to have sold $900,000 worth of books published overseas by Wiley (and other publishers) and made about $100,000 in profit. The international editions of the textbooks were essentially the same as the more costly American editions.

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MaryLou Ciampa
About the Author
Mary-Lou Ciampa is a Victorian secondary school teacher and writer. Follow her@zialulu.