Washington Law Review


Maureen M. Cyr


In L'Anza Research International, Inc. v. Quality King Distributors, the Ninth Circuit held that a copyright owner's right to bar imports is not limited by the first sale doctrine, which ordinarily prohibits a copyright owner from controlling the further distribution of copies after the copyright owner has consented to their sale. This Note examines the importation right in light of the purposes of the Copyright Act's distribution and first sale provisions, congressional intent behind the importation right, and the underlying purposes of copyright law. The Note argues that the first sale doctrine properly limits a copyright owner's right to bar imports, and that withholding from copyright owners the power to bar importation of copies first sold within the United States is an appropriate way to limit the importation right.

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