OCTOBER TERM, 2012Syllabus
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as isbeing done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has beenprepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.See
Detroit Timber & Lumber Co.,
200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
. JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FORTHE SECOND CIRCUITNo. 11–697. Argued October 29, 2012—Decided March 19, 2013The “exclusive rights” that a copyright owner has “to distribute copies. . . of [a] copyrighted work,” 17 U. S. C. §106(3), are qualified by theapplication of several limitations set out in §§107 through 122, in-cluding the “first sale” doctrine, which provides that “the owner of aparticular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title . . . isentitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or oth-erwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord,” §109(a).Importing a copy made abroad without the copyright owner’s permis-sion is an infringement of §106(3). See §602(a)(1). In
Quality King Distributors, Inc.
L’anza Research Int’l, Inc.,
523 U. S. 135, 145,this Court held that §602(a)(1)’s reference to §106(3) incorporates the§§107 through 122 limitations, including §109’s “first sale” doctrine.However, the copy in
was initially manufactured in theUnited States and then sent abroad and sold.Respondent, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., an academic textbook pub-lisher, often assigns to its wholly owned foreign subsidiary (Wiley Asia) rights to publish, print, and sell foreign editions of Wiley’s Eng-lish language textbooks abroad. Wiley Asia’s books state that theyare not to be taken (without permission) into the United States.When petitioner Kirtsaeng moved from Thailand to the United Statesto study mathematics, he asked friends and family to buy foreign edi-tion English-language textbooks in Thai book shops, where they soldat low prices, and to mail them to him in the United States. He thensold the books, reimbursed his family and friends, and kept theprofit.Wiley filed suit, claiming that Kirtsaeng’s unauthorized importa-tion and resale of its books was an infringement of Wiley’s §106(3)