May 9
2014
8:42 AM

Publisher Attacks Your First Sale Doctrine Rights in Your Casebooks

Simply put, the first sale doctrine is the copyright exception that allows you to resell your used casebooks. Recently, Aspen Publishers launched its “Casebook Connected” program. In an email to professors whose assigned casebooks fell under the aegis of this program, Aspen announced that purchase of the book would include:

• A new, bound version of the casebook, which can be marked-up, highlighted, and kept through the length of the course, but which must be returned to us at the conclusion of the class.

• Lifetime access to CasebookConnect, a rich digital companion to the casebook, containing a full digital version of the casebook as well as selected proven learning accelerators, such as examples, explanations, and a collection of issue-spotting and hypothetical exercises.

Following a serious outcry and petition opposing the program by law professors, Aspen has revised the Casebook Connected program to include an alternative option of purchasing the book alone without the digital version and without the obligation to return the physical copy at the end of the term.In addition to being alarmed, many have been amused by the publishers’ attempt to put one over on law professors, especially since the program included a casebook on property law!

[RL]

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