Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My First Sale Doctrine Testimony

Lisa Shaftel, Graphic Artists Guild's advocacy chair, and me
at the courthouse in New York
On June 2, 2014, I appeared in front of members of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives in a hearing with the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet on behalf of The Graphic Artists Guild, The Copyright Alliance and all visual artists concerning changes to the First Sale Doctrine.

Changes to the doctrine will negatively affect those like me who create, as well as publishers, music and movie distributors and many others. And the ripples from the changes will make their way to consumers and the market at first in positive ways (Yay- cheaper stuff!) and then longer term stifling of creativity and variety of products.

Read my previous post on this topic to get an overview on some of the negative effects.

I was joined by those representing the publishing world, libraries, public knowledge, software companies and a company whose business model hinges on changing the doctrine:

  • Mr. Stephen M. Smith President and Chief Executive Officer John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Smith spoke about the importance of market segmentation in the publishing world. That is, the ability to vary the price of Wiley's books based on the location of the market. In the U.S., for instance, we can (generally) afford to pay a higher price, however in less affluent regions the same books are priced lower so they are more attainable. See this article about Kirtsaeng v Wiley.)
  • Mr. John Ossenmacher Chief Executive Officer ReDigi (A main player in the secondary use market)
  • Mr. Ed Shems edfredned illustration & graphic design
  • Mr. Jonathan Band Owner’s Rights Initiative
  • Mr. Matthew B. Glotzer Media Consultant
  • Mr. Greg Cram Associate Director of Copyright and Information Policy The New York Public Library
  • Mr. Sherwin Siy Vice President, Legal Affairs Public Knowledge
  • Professor John Villasenor Professor of Electrical Engineering and Public Policy UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Mr. Emery Simon Counselor BSA – The Software Alliance

Read witness testimony or watch the video HERE

Read Chris Meadow's follow-up article on Teleread HERE
Read the Graphic Artists Guild's article HERE

Tomorrow, June 25, 2014, I'll be participating in a roundtable at Harvard organized by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) concerning the proposed changes to the first sale doctrine. 
More about tomorrow's roundtable HERE

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