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Sunday, October 14, 2012

The sad story of Supap Kirtsaeng

Librarians Brief

Kirtsaeng vs. Wiley Supap Kirtsaeng was an entrepreneurial University of Southern California graduate student in 2008. Mr. Kirtsaeng was trying to make money for college by recognizing an opportunity to purchase discounted goods abroad and sell them for a profit online. Kirtsaeng acquired textbooks through friends and family in Thailand who bought authentic textbooks in bookstores there; they would ship those textbooks to Kirtsaeng and he would sell them through various e-commerce sites. Kirtsaeng used the revenue from his entrepreneurial venture to pay his tuition.

Kirtsaeng was sued by the book publisher. The book publisher claimed that copyright law barred Kirtsaeng’s unauthorized sales of the textbooks. Kirtsaeng tried to claim that he was the lawful owner of those books, since he had paid full price for them, and he could now do with them what he wished. But the courts ruled against Kirtsaeng, holding that because the books were manufactured abroad, he was in violation of U.S. copyright law for being an unauthorized seller. The publisher was awarded damages of $600,000, more than 15 times the amount that Kirtsaeng made from the sale of the books.

eBay and extra-territorial rights

The 2d Circuit case below which needs to be Reversed and beaten to a bloody pulp!

Did I say "bloody"? Oh drat! I brought that in from England. I'm really screwed now.

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