U.S.: On May 16, in opening the first in a series of hearings that the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee will hold as they conduct a comprehensive review of U.S. copyright law, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) stated that the goal of the hearings will be to determine whether the copyright laws are still working in the digital age to reward creativity and innovation. “The Committee is not endorsing the specific recommendations of the Copyright Principles Project,” Goodlatte explained. “However, it is my hope that this hearing will help demonstrate how interested parties can come together to discuss copyright issues in a productive way.” Commenting previously on these hearings, which kicked off with discussions on orphan works and the limiting of statutory damages for copyright infringement, NMPA President/CEO David Israelite noted: “Chairman Goodlatte recently announced a series of hearing to review existing copyright law. Expect music to be a focus and rest assured that NMPA will ensure the voice of songwriters and music publishers is heard not only in the halls of Congress but in courtrooms, board rooms and media outlets as well.”
U.S.: In a vote of 6-3, the U.S. Supreme Court has extended the “first sale doctrine” to copyrighted works manufactured abroad. Now, whether a copyrighted work is manufactured domestically or somewhere else in the world, the first sale doctrine now allows others to buy the copyrighted work abroad and import it into the U.S. The Court was ruling in the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The U.S.-based publisher of academic textbooks had sued college student Supap Kirtsaeng after he had family members in Thailand purchase more than 600 copies of John Wiley & Sons textbooks to take advantage of the lower prices of foreign editions and send them to him. He subsequently sold them in the U.S. for a profit. The Court asserted that the Copyright Act does not create a right to divide foreign markets from domestic markets.