v.23 #1 Legal Issues – Cases of Note: Copyright

First Sale Doctrine — Mountains From Molehills
Column Editor: Bruce Strauch (The Citadel) strauchb@citadel.edu

Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT, 541 F.3d 982; 2008 LEXIS 18800 (2008).

Every now and again we need a new tempest in a teapot for lawyers to yap about and — dare I say — brew anxiety among librarians. Remember the Texaco case, that classic muchado- about-nothing? Everyone threw up their hands in horror and exclaimed “Do you mean I really have to buy a second copy of a journal and can’t just photocopy the library’s?”

My response was, legally yes, but you’ll just keep on photocopying and sticking it in your file drawer and no one will know or do anything about it. And now you just download it at home via your own printer. And the most common method of publisher pricing now is by FTE users.

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