First-sale doctrine  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The first-sale doctrine is a limitation on copyright that was recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1908 (see Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus) and subsequently codified in the Copyright Act of 1976, Template:UnitedStatesCode. The doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell, lend or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained. This means that the copyright holder's rights to control the change of ownership of a particular copy ends once ownership of that copy has passed to someone else, as long as the copy itself is not an infringing copy. This doctrine is also referred to as the "right of first sale," "first sale rule," or "exhaustion rule."

In other jurisdictions, notably France, and, following this example, the European Union, there is no right of first sale for works of art, but instead there is the droit de suite, allowing artists to receive a fee from resale of works of art.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "First-sale doctrine" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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