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Confused, Frustrated, and Exhausted: Solving the U.S. Digital First Sale Doctrine Problem Through the International Lens

Posted by on Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Notes, Vol. 48 No. 1, Volume 48, Volumes.

Users worldwide enjoy digital goods such as music and e-books on a daily basis. They have become a major part of people’s lives, with uses ranging from lighthearted entertainment to serious educational pursuits. In many cases, convenience and affordability make digital goods more preferable than their analog counterparts. However, users often cannot use digital goods as freely as they would analog goods. Courts, legislation, and businesses prohibit those users, accustomed to reselling unwanted hard-copy books or vinyl records, from reselling digital books and music. This confuses users as to what they can actually do with their digital goods. This Note proposes that the United States adopts a digital first sale doctrine based on normative principles pulled from E.U. and Canadian copyright law.

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