Congressional Digest

Supreme Court Debates December 2012 No. 9 Vol. 15
U.S. Copyright Law

U.S. Copyright Law

The First-Scale Doctrine in the Global Marketplace

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Supap Kirtsaeng came to the United States from Thailand in 1997 to enroll as an undergraduate at Cornell University. Like many students, he was confronted with the high cost of textbooks and other college education expenses. For Kirtsaeng, however, textbooks were not the problem; they were the solution to his financial challenges.

What Kirtsaeng had discovered was that the same books used in U.S. classrooms were also for sale in Thailand at a considerably lower price. Taking advantage of that price differential, he arranged for friends and relatives to buy textbooks in Thailand and mail them to him, after whic…

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