Digital first rights seemed a pipe dream -- a 2001 report by the US Copyright Office went into extensive detail arguing that such a concept, while technically possible, was impractical. The only constant in this ongoing battle is that the status quo argument is always represented by Hollywood, record labels, and publishers. The short history of digital case law is almost entirely one-sided, as record labels, movie studios, and publishers have been able to not only maintain their ground, but also in many ways to expand their territory where digital content is concerned. The real issue is the intent to restrict or end first sale, which would impose massive new costs that no library could hope to afford. It is into this maelstrom of fear and uncertainty that Amazon's patent for Secondary Market for Digital Objects lands. The good news is that any action by Amazon would broadly fit many of the libraries' own goals for something in the nature of a digital first sale.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.