Stare Decisis or Something Like It

January 25th, 2006 · No Comments
by Booksquare

We have spoken at length on our thoughts on used book sales — not a bad thing, but, boy, it would be nice if the authors got themselves a piece of that pie. One thing each and every person who’s weighed in on this topic acknowledges is that the doctrine of first sale is alive and well.

We’ve also noted that current copyright laws don’t really address the rapid changes in how we access and consume media. Congress needs to focus on this — and they need to understand the issue. We figure that’s going to take some time, if Arlen’s Specter’s recent commentary at the Alito hearings is any indication. We need a Congress who actually accesses the Internet on a regular basis. You cannot make laws if you don’t understand the medium.

Our sister site, Medialoper, looks at subtle and not-so-subtle attacks on the doctrine of first sale. This might not seem like an issue worth considering, but you so don’t want to hear us saying “told you so” a year from now. We are not pretty when we’re gloating.

For some reason, we’re being asked to believe that digital content is is something entirely new and different. We’re being told that the principles of copyright that have applied for hundreds of years no longer apply in the digital realm, even though the content is essentially unchanged — only the method of delivery has changed.

File Under: Our Continuing Fascination With Copyright