In my previous entry in this series, I discussed the Supreme Court’s long-awaited decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, involving the unauthorized resale in the United States of textbooks purchased overseas. Indeed, the Kirtsaeng case and the issue it presented have been a popular subject of IP Issues commentary; before the Supreme Court ruling, I wrote on the issue here and here, and Randy Picker had some commentary both beforeand after the opinion came down.

You can read those earlier entries for the details, but the outcome of the case is clear: U.S. copyright law does not prohibit the buyer of any lawfully made good from reselling it, even if the good was made abroad, and even if the owner of the copyright in the good objects to the resale.

In this essay, I will look at the various ways in which the Kirtsaeng decision might be undone. Copyright owners don’t like the decision, but how can they get around it? How might they reassert control over the downstream distribution of their goods? There are four possibilities. [...]

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