Praise Supreme Court for Defending Consumers’ Right to Resell Goods

Target: The United States Supreme Court

Goal: Thank Supreme Court officials for ruling in favor of a consumer’s right to resell purchased materials, even if those materials were purchased outside of the U.S.

Recently, the United States Supreme Court decided to rule in favor of first sale doctrine rights, specifically the right to resell goods and materials purchased outside of the country. The decision was made as a response to the Kirtsaeng vs. Wiley case in which textbook publisher Wiley claimed that the first sale doctrine only applies to goods manufactured within the U.S. and that the defendant, Supap Kirtsaeng, was infringing on their copyright by purchasing textbooks manufactured in his native Thailand and then reselling them for a profit in the U.S.

The Supreme Court rejected Wiley’s notion, stating that a purchaser’s right to resell, lend, or even give away goods that they’ve purchased is not restricted within the confines of the region where they purchased them. The only condition that applies to the resale of printed materials is whether or not the publisher authorized the copy’s manufacturing in the first place (in this case Wiley had authorized it).

Supreme Court officials released a statement saying that their decision was based off the recognition that copyright laws are supposed to serve the public interest, not the other way around: “A copyright law that can work in practice only if unenforced is not a sound copyright law. It is a law that would create uncertainty, would bring about selective enforcement, and, if widely unenforced, would breed disrespect for copyright law itself.”

Help thank Supreme Court officials for defending the rights of individual citizens in the face of big businesses by signing this petition letter.


Dear Supreme Court Officials,

Your decision to rule in favor of individual first sale doctrine rights in the case of Kirtsaeng vs. Wiley was a major step forward in the fight to protect an individual U.S. citizen’s rights to freedom. Wiley’s attempted prosecution of Mr. Kirtsaeng was undoubtedly motivated by little else besides greed and it is comforting to know you weren’t willing to let them get away with it.

Our country is based on principles of ingenuity, integrity, and a willingness to venture outside the established norm. By standing up to big business in order to protect the rights of the individual, you’ve helped reinforce those principles. By signing this letter, I am personally thanking you for your decision and expressing my hope that you’ll continue to do so in the future.


[Your Name Here]

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41 Signatures

  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
  • Ellen McCann
  • Darlene Roepke
  • Lynn Juozilaitis
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