A Copyright owner’ s right of distribution is limited by first sale doctrine, which is an exception to the Copyright Act. The first sale doctrine is a legal principle that limits the right to control content after a work has been sold for the first time. The first sale doctrine states that once a copyright owner sells a copy of his or her work to someone else, the copyright owner relinquishes all further right to sell or otherwise dispose of that copy. A distinction not always recognized in that ownership of physical item such as book or CD, is not the same as owning the copyright to the work embodied in that item. Under the first sale doctrine ownership of physical copy of copyrighted work permits the owner of the item to lend,resell and give away and destroy the copyrighted item, but the owner is not granted the right to copy the item in its entirety. That is because the transfer of physical copy does not include transfer of copyrighted work. The legal principles applies to physical items as well as digital content that is downloaded over the internet.

The first sale doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer a purchaser to transfer a particular legally acquired copy of protected work without permission once it has been obtained. That means the distribution right of copyrighted holder end on that particular copy once it has been sold. The first sale doctrine prohibits renting and leasing recorded music and computer software although private non-profit archives and libraries are allowed to lend these items provided they include a copyright notice on the copy. According to the copyright Act consumers cannot make copies of computer program contrary to license but resell what is owned.

Parallel Import related to Copyright

Earlier the definition of “infringing” copy under sec 2, of Indian Copyright Act was not board but since the amendment the meaning has been broadened which now clearly states ““Provided that a copy of a work published in any country outside India with the permission of the author of the work and imported from that country shall not be deemed to be an infringing copy”.

Parallel Import related to Trademark

Sec 30(4), of Indian Trademark Act very evidently states that the sub section (3), shall not apply where there exists legitimate reasons for the proprietor to oppose further dealing in the goods in particular where the condition of the goods, has been changed or impaired after they have been put in the market. This section always allows the trademark owners to control the circulation of the goods. Two major issues that are often discussed regarding parallel imports and trademarks in India.

A company sets different price for its products for different countries as per the requirements. Parallel Imports come about when there is currency and tax difference between any two countries, encouraging people to import product from one country and sell it to other country to earn profit.