Copyright Reform Next?

Andrew AlbanesePublishers prepare to pack for London, while the Supreme Court sends John Wiley & Sons packing with a copyright-related ruling that the First Sale doctrine applies as well in Bangkok as it does in Berkley.

Ahead of the London Book Fair, running from April 15-17, Publishers Weekly has a preview of attractions, including Rachel Deahl’s “London Briefcase,” detailing the titles and rights that agents and publishers plan to bring for sale. “There are some big names, and some sleepers,” Andrew Albanese, PW senior writer, hints to CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

The recent Supreme Court decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley – upholding the First Sale doctrine, even for goods bought outside the US – also gets Albanese’s attention. “Copyright law is almost certainly in need of an update for the digital age. If ever there was an indicator of that, it is in the Kirtsaeng decision,” he observes. “Simply put, the copyright act as constructed did not envision what technology has now wrought. In his majority opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer says as much.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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