QuestionsCategory: legalFirst-sale doctrine
Janka asked 3 years ago

Hello, the first sale doctrine is in the US. E.g. If your shirt is transformed into a dress, it is no longer a violation of the license. Does this doctrine also apply to me if I’m from another continent but my license is in the US? Is America lawful for me?,
Thank you

1 Answers
Facebook Profile photoJon Kruse answered 3 years ago

The first sale doctrine, codified at 17 U.S.C. § 109, provides that an individual who knowingly purchases a copy of a copyrighted work from the copyright holder receives the right to sell, display or otherwise dispose of that particular copy, notwithstanding the interests of the copyright owner. The right to distribute ends, however, once the owner has sold that particular copySee 17 U.S.C. § 109(a) & (c). Since the first sale doctrine never protects a defendant who makes unauthorized reproductions of a copyrighted work, the first sale doctrine cannot be a successful defense in cases that allege infringing reproduction.
The exhaustion doctrine, also referred to as the first sale doctrine,[1] is a U.S. common law patent doctrine that limits the extent to which patent holders can control an individual article of a patented product after a so-called authorized sale. Under the doctrine, once an authorized sale of a patented article occurs, the patent holder’s exclusive rights to control the use and sale of that article are said to be “exhausted,” and the purchaser is free to use or resell that article without further restraint from patent law. However, under the repair and reconstruction doctrine, the patent owner retains the right to exclude purchasers of the articles from making the patented invention anew (i.e., making another article), unless it is specifically authorized by the patentee to do so.[2]

I made bold the part that was important. From my understanding, you can resell the original product but you can’t change it and resell it like in your example.