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Friday, 9 January 2004


The BBC reports that the British Phonographic Industry is considering suing Amazon for selling CDs in the UK imported from outside the EEA. The imports allow Amazon to sell the CDs well below standard UK prices. However, the BPI is questioning whether the imports infringe the copyright of its members. A final decision has not been taken and the BPI has said that it is standard practice for it to review websites to determine whether products sold on them are legitimate. The BPI is already suing two retailers, CD-Wow and, for the same reason.

The IPKat notes that while the principles of trade mark exhaustion have been exhaustively litigated [yes – the pun is intentional!] thus far there have been few European cases considering how exhaustion applies to copyright. He awaits the outcome of any litigation with interest. UK consumers will also be interested in knowing whether the law sees any difference between them going to the US for their holidays and coming home with a luggage-load of cheap CDs, which is perfectly legal, and going to the US-based website where they can buy the same cheap CDs without facing the hazards of international travel and the looming threat of having to get a US visa.

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