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Publishing News: The SCOTUS “first sale” ruling spells trouble ahead for publishers

Publishers react to Kirtsaeng ruling, School of Data Journalism returns to festival, and a look at publishers' struggles to remain relevant.

Publishers express disappointment in SCOTUS “first sale” ruling

Headline news this week was the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the student textbook seller in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., in which the court upheld the “first sale” doctrine in the case of copies of copyrighted material lawfully made outside the U.S. Jeff John Roberts reported the gist of the ruling at PaidContent:

“Writing for the majority, Justice Stephen Breyer rejected John Wiley’s argument that the phrase ‘lawfully made under this act’ implied a geographic limitation. He also cited the concerns of library associations, used-book dealers, technology companies, consumer-goods retailers, and museums — all of which had urged the court to reject the restricted notion of ‘first sale.’”

Andrew Albanese rounded up reactions to the ruling in a post at Publishers Weekly. Wiley president and CEO Stephen M. Smith said, “It is a loss for the U.S. economy, and students and authors in the U.S. and around the world.” Read more…

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