December 12, 2018
Publishers Welcome the Second Circuit’s Ruling in Capitol Records v. ReDigi
Publishers welcome the Second Circuit’s opinion in the important infringement case, Capitol Records, LLC et. al. v. ReDigi Inc., et.al. In finding for the copyright owners, the Court rejected the application of the first sale doctrine as a defense to the unauthorized copying and distribution of digital files, and further rejected fair use.
The Following Statement may be attributed to Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers:
“Publishers welcome the Second Circuit’s sound ruling in Capitol Records v. ReDigi on the three major issues addressed in the opinion. First, in applying the plain meaning of the Copyright Act, the Court confirmed that when a defendant makes unauthorized reproductions of copyrighted works and distributes them, it is not merely reselling or retransferring used works in the manner of a used bookstore. Rather, it is engaged in copyright infringement, and therefore disqualified from asserting the limitations on the distribution right afforded by the first sale doctrine. Second, the court unequivocally rejected fair use, in which it highlighted that the defendant’s conduct creates nearly identical copies of protected works and is therefore aimed squarely at the copyright owners’ primary markets. Third, the Court rejected the invitation from law professors to overtake Congress on matters of policy, noting that on the question of whether first sale should be extended to the digital realm, it is not the Court but Congress they must seek to persuade.
This case is critical in that it reinforces the underlying equities of the copyright law, in which the rights and investments of copyright owners are a valuable part of the marketplace of innovation, not to be minimized or appropriated in the name of expediency.”