Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Harrison: "First-sale" Defense does not apply to 2318 prosecutions

In U.S. v. Harrison, No. 07-13808 (July 16, 2008), the Court held that the "first-sale" doctrine, which limits copyright holder rights, is not a defense to a prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 2318 for unauthorized sales of Microsoft authenticating labels, which enabled purchasers to activate pirated copies of Microsoft’s programs.
The Court pointed out that Harrison was not charged with copyright infringement. Further, Congress did not incorporate the "first-sale" doctrine into § 2318. The Court noted that allowing a "first-sale" defense would effectively eliminate restrictions on secondary markets, when Congress’ purpose was to intend to eliminate secondary markets.