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Copyright (c) 2011 South Texas Law Review, Inc.
South Texas Law Review

COMMENT: Limiting the First Sale Doctrine: Why Would Anyone Make Copies in the United States?

Summer, 2011

South Texas Law Review

52 S. Tex. L. Rev. 661


Andrew Wynans*


I. Introduction
Copyright law in the United States exists to support a fundamental policy: to balance the interests of authors in creating valuable cultural works which benefit society with the interest of society in having access to those works. 1 To that end, the drafters included in the United States Constitution a means by which Congress would have the ability to protect the rights of authors in their creative works in order to facilitate the progress of "useful Arts." 2 Congress, in order to allow authors to fully exploit their works, granted to those authors, or copyright owners, certain exclusive rights. 3 The most recognizable of these rights is the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work. 4 The policy, as it pertains to authors, is simple: if one creates something original, that person should not have to worry about others taking the work and reproducing it without authorization, thus diminishing its value to its creator. Because of this policy of granting copyright owners the right to gain the full value of their work, Congress has given to copyright owners certain other exclusive rights in the copyright statute that are perhaps less known, but just as potent. 5 These include the exclusive right to make derivative works, display, and perform the copyrighted work. 6 The right to copy the work allows the creator the control over how many instances of the work exist at any one time. However, the other exclusive rights govern when, where, and how those ...
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