WaPo's Kaplan Scolded For Demanding $300 From Student Trying To Sell One Of Its Books On eBay
from the let-me-explain-to-you-first-sale-rights dept
After sending a nastygram with a demand for $300 to a student who put up a used copy (which she had purchased used as well), a letter was sent to Kaplan's lawyers from Paul Levy at Public Citizen explaining the law to Kaplan and refusing to give in to the crazy demands in the letter:
In fact, elisha8779 is a medical student who bought a used copy of the notes from another student. Regardless of whether Kaplan might have a contract action against that seller, Kaplan has no copyright claim against anybody, and it certainly has no claim against elisha8779. This issue was conclusively determined by the Supreme Court of the United States in Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus, 210 U.S. 339 (1908), a case that is still good law.... Consequently, in response to your "cease and desist," elsiah8779 will not return any books in her possession and she is certainly not going to send you $300 dollars for having exercised her statutory first-sale rights.Levy then goes on to directly scold Kaplan for this move and suggests that the company not pursue similar claims against others:
Beyond that, you and your client should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to intimidate students into giving up their first-sale rights. elisha8779 is not planning to file a class action for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement--she wants to get on with her life--but we are going to be looking for other clients who may not be so charitable toward Kaplan. I strongly suggest that you stop sending these frivolous demands.