We fully expected
efforts in Congress to look to overturn the strong and important "first sale" ruling by the Supreme Court, and it looks like they're not wasting any time. Rep. Doug Collins has already put out a statement about how awful the ruling in Kirtsaeng is
and how he'll look to remedy it.
“The Supreme Court's ruling in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley raises concerning questions about the future of U.S. copyright law,” Collins said. “Many industries and businesses in Georgia rely on strong copyright protections to create jobs and invest in our local economies, including the established and exclusive right to import in to the United States. When a U.S. business harnesses innovation and creativity to develop a product, they should have certainty their copyrighted work will be protected against unauthorized importation of foreign products.
“As a Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I look forward to discussing the need for strong copyright protections with the Register of Copyrights at a subcommittee hearing tomorrow afternoon.”
No, actually, it doesn't raise any serious questions. It confirms
a basic principle that "you own what you've purchased." It's amazing that a Representative who claims
that he wants government to get out of the way and and that "the private sector is best at generating economic growth" would suddenly pipe up in favor of centralized monopolies handed out by the federal government. Furthermore, it's ridiculous, wrong and misleading to argue that Kirtsaeng is somehow antithetical to "strong copyright protections." The first sale doctrine has existed in the US for ages and nothing in it goes against "strong copyright protections." The Supreme Court decision standing up for first sale is hardly an attack on copyright. Even the claim about "being protected against unauthorized importation of foreign products." That's not a copyright issue, but an import issue. Here, again, Collins, who pretends to be for free trade, appears to be arguing that the US should have tariffs. It's funny what copyright will do to politicians -- including highlighting their own hypocrisies.