Thursday, June 12, 2008

Judge dismisses Universal's Infringement Allegations

Source: Story forwarded by Alex Lencicki. A federal judge has dismissed a copyright infringement allegations from Universal Music Group (UMG), affirming an eBay seller's right to resell promotional CDs that he buys from secondhand stores. Troy Augusto, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and law firm Keker & Van Nest, was sued by UMG last year in the United States District Court for the Central District of California for 26 auction listings involving promo CDs. At issue was whether the "promotional use only, not for sale" labels on those CDs could trump Augusto's right to resell materials.

In dismissing UMG's lawsuit late Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero ruled that the promo CDs are gifts distributed by UMG, as they are mailed free and unsolicited to thousands of people without any expectation or intention of their return. The first sale doctrine says that once the copyright owner sells or gives away a copy of a CD, DVD, or book, the recipient is entitled to resell that copy without further permission.

Clearly, this ruling impacts the book business.

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