Fred von Lohmann of EFF writes:
You bought it, you own it.
That’s a concept we’ve been fighting to defend for years against erosion at the hands of patent and copyright owners, in contexts as diverse as printer cartridges, promo CDs, and software. The answer should be simple—if you bought it, a copyright or patent owner shouldn’t be able to use federal intellectual property law to dictate whether you can resell it, simply by pointing to boilerplate in a license agreement or label. That’s thanks to the “first sale doctrine” (also known as “exhaustion”).
Today EFF, joined by national library associations, the Consumer Federation of America, Public Knowledge, and U.S. PIRG, filed an amicus brief in Vernor v. Autodesk, the latest battle to raise the question of whether the “first sale doctrine” will continue to have vitality in a world filled with end-user license agreements that claim that you own nothing, but rather merely “license” it.
Read more on EFF.