May 23, 2022

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing About First Sale Doctrine and Digital Media

A U.S. House of Representatives hearing titled, “First Sale Under Title 17” was held this morning in New York City by the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

The hearing was not streamed live.

If/when an archived stream becomes available we will let you know and embed below.

Right now the full text of the prepared statements by witnesses are linked below along with opening remarks by Judiciary Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

Opening Statement

Rep. Bob Goodlatte

From his remarks:

As digital business models have grown and in many cases supplanted analog business models, the role of licensing has become more important. From software offered at lower prices in educational settings to movies offered at lower prices for 24 hour viewing periods, licensing enables a greater range of business models that benefit consumers.

Expectations in the digital context are still developing. For example, consumers seem to have embraced business models that set a lower price for educational uses than commercial uses of software. Consumers are also accustomed to files such as apps, songs, and movies being accessible on any device on a consumer’s home network at one purchase price without having to pay for multiple copies.

Consumer expectations in other areas appear to be more fluid. For example, do most consumers expect to be able to sell their digital files? One of our witnesses this morning provides such a service, but has been involved in litigation over his business model.

Finally, several of our witnesses have ongoing experience in the business to business context where consumer expectations do not necessarily apply. The Subcommittee looks forward to hearing their perspective on first sale as well.

Witnesses Testimony

  • Mr. Greg Cram
    Associate Director of Copyright and Information Policy
    The New York Public Library


NYPL Represents Libraries at House Judiciary Subcommittee Copyright Hearing (via Library Copyright Alliance)
Summary of Greg Cram’s testimony.


Links via:

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.