May 21, 2022

Archived Version of ARL Webcast Now Online: Kirtsaeng v. Wiley and the Threat to Library Lending

The webcast is hosted by ARL’s Brandon Butler and was recorded on Tuesday (October 16, 2012). It runs about an hour.


+ Jonathan Band, policybandwith

+ Kevin Smith, Duke University Libraries

+ Carrie Russell, ALA


On October 29, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral argument in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, a dispute over the importation and re-sale of cheap foreign editions of textbooks. At the heart of the case is the “first-sale doctrine,” the provision in copyright law that makes it possible for libraries to lend books and other copyrighted material, for students to sell used textbooks, and for any rightful owner to sell or lend the copyrighted works they own. Because it touches such a fundamental aspect of copyright law, the decision of this case could have sweeping, profound effects for libraries, calling into question whether materials printed abroad can circulate legally.

For more details about the case and its implications for libraries, read the Library Copyright Alliance’s amicus curiae brief (PDF).

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.