On December 13, 2010 the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed a lower court’s decision against Costco Wholesale Corp. and in favor of Omega, S.A. The divided Supreme Court agreed with the lower court that the “first-sale doctrine” does not apply to imported works manufactured abroad, and can be used as a defense. The basis of this case is rooted in 17 U.S.C. §109 which states that the “. . . owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord.” The legislative policy behind this provision is to protect the consumer who has purchased the copyright owner’s material and later would like to resell that exact same item. This article will explore the conflict that resulted from this recent Surpreme Court decision and the need for changes to legislation.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/man_huynh/3/