Art Law Report

New Sullivan & Worcester Advisory: Supreme Court Responds to Museums' Concerns in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on April 5, 2013 at 11:05 AM

The Sullivan & Worcester LLP Art and Museum Law Group has issued a new client advisory about the Supreme Court’s decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. As analyzed in the advisory, the Court has extended the “first sale” doctrine of the U.S. Copyright Act to copies of protected works that were lawfully manufactured and first sold abroad and later re-sold in the United States, in a result strongly advocated by United States museums. The decision abrogates the earlier view that the “first sale” doctrine applied to copies manufactured outside the United States only if an authorized first sale occurred within the United States. The implications are significant for museums and anyone engaged in visual arts commerce who otherwise might have had to search for permission to import or display works made overseas.

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Topics: Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc., first sale doctrine, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, Copyright, Art and Museum Law Group

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