A few moochers have emailed me, as they noticed that I’ve been elected to Chairman of the Board of the EFF and they were surprised that I hadn’t blogged about it. Well, this blog isn’t about me, it’s about BookMooch, and I *try* to not be too self-serving with it, so I wanted to wait until I had something BookMooch-relevant to say about the EFF.

BookMooch couldn’t exist without the first sale doctrine. It’s the single most important aspect of law that keeps publishers from prohibiting things like BookMooch, where a book, once it’s been purchased and read, can be passed onto someone else.

The “First sale doctrine” says: “once you’ve acquired a lawfully-made CD or book or DVD, you can lend, sell, or give it away without having to get permission from the copyright owner.”1

Fred Sm
A few days ago, EFF poster-boy and intellectual-property wunderkind Fed von Lohmann posted a short article about a recent challenge to the first sale doctrine.

The case is about a software company trying to use copyright law to stop their software program from being sold via ebay. The article writes:

When Mr. Vernor tried to auction four authentic, packaged copies of AutoCAD software, Autodesk sent DMCA takedown notices to block his auctions and threatened to sue him for copyright infringement. Mr. Vernor, assisted by the lawyers at Public Citizen, took Autodesk to court and won.

now this is the really interesting bit:

Autodesk has appealed, arguing that so long as its license agreements recite the right magic words, it can strip purchasers of any ownership in the CD-ROMs on which software is delivered. If that’s right, then not only don’t you own the software you buy, but any copyright owner can simply recite the magic words and effectively outlaw libraries, used bookstores, and DVD rentals, among other things (eBay also filed an amicus brief on behalf of Mr. Vernor).

The EFF have another ongoing case regarding the re-sale of CDs, which also makes interesting reading on the topic.

Got to http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?id=7253850