This could be especially bad news for libraries and those who love them, as Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Fred van Lohmann said on the fine radio show "On the Media." Here's a partial transcript of Lohmann's comments (the entire transcript is here).
If Universal here is able to trump the First Sale Doctrine by putting a little label on a product that says "For promotional use only, not for resale," then I think you're going to see a lot of copyright owners try to do the same kind of thing. You're going to see labels that say, "This book not for use in libraries, for personal reading only." You're going to see labels on DVDs that say, "This DVD not for video rental, for home use only."
The American Association of Publishers, I think, really puts the point on this. They represent book publishers in the United States and they have always had an uneasy relationship with libraries because they feel that librarians buy books and then they give them out, loan them for free.
That has led Pat Schroeder, the head of the association, to say that they have, quote, "serious issues with libraries," unquote. And one of their spokespeople, back in 2001, compared some in the library community to Ruby Ridge and Waco-style terrorists.
So First Sale is incredibly important if you believe in things like libraries and used-book stores.The idea that we may lose control over what we do with our used books or CDs (or that anyone would consider librarians to be terrorists, for heaven's sake) is dismaying. This may be the biggest "must win" for consumers out there right now.