Thursday, June 12, 2008

US court: Promos belong to the owner, not the labels

Another little humiliation for the major labels: The case brought by Universal against an eBay seller of second-hand promos has been tossed out of court by the judge:

Dismissing the American case, US District Court Judge S James Otero said that Mr Augusto was protected by the "first sale" doctrine in copyright law.

This says that once a copyright owner gives away a copy of a CD, DVD or book, the recipient is entitled to sell it on.
Record companies have long maintained that they continue to own these items and can ask for them back at any time.

They can be recognised by markings such as "For promotional use only" or "Not for resale", visible on the record or CD artwork and sometimes on the disc label itself.

But the judge said that such labelling did not alter the legal position.

This also means that writing "this belongs to ME" on someone else's stuff doesn't mean it becomes yours.

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