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Exhaustion Finally Exhausted: International Exhaustion Now Applies to Copyrighted Works

On March 19, 2013 in the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley, the United States Supreme Court decided a case issued a decision that could significantly drastically change international markets in products that are subject to copyright law. The Court interpreted the 1976 Copyright Act’s language regarding the “first sale” doctrine (or “exhaustion”) to allow unauthorized importation into the United States of products embodying copyrighted...

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Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmets, U.K. Not Copyrightable, U.S. Infringement

John Richards 1. Introduction On July 27, 2011, in LucasFilm Ltd v. Ainsworth the United Kingdom  Supreme Court (which took over the judicial functions of the House of Lords in October 2009) in a joint judgment by Lords Walker and Collins delivered a judgment defeating a bid by George Lucas’ company (“Lucasfilm”) to stop unauthorized manufacture and sale of the iconic Imperial Stormtrooper helmets used in the 1977 Star Wars film later...

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