Cut from http://www.arl.org/info/frn/copy/dfc_comments_104.html The ultimate Constitutional goal of our copyright system is a public one: "To Promote the Progress of science and Useful Arts." Historically, the "first sale" doctrine has contributed to the achievement of that goal by providing a means for the broad secondary dissemination of works of imagination and information. That the public has reaped a wide range of benefits from the "first sale" doctrine becomes clear from even a cursory examination of the range of various cultural and commercial institutions this rule has supported and enabled -- everything from great research libraries to second-hand bookstores to neighborhood video rental stores. More broadly still, the doctrine has been an engine of free social and cultural discourse, permitting significant texts to be passed from hand to hand within existing or developing reading communities. In the current round of discussions over the future of "first sale," the DFC*s primary concern is that a "default rule" -- restricting possession and use of copies embodying texts, images and other copyrighted works to the first purchaser or authorized recipient of such materials -- would ****** rather than advance the progress of knowledge. Our immediate concern about the future of the "first sale" doctrine in the new electronic world stems from comments included in the 1995 White Paper on Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure (at 93-94) suggesting that the doctrine should be inapplicable, as a matter of conventional copyright doctrine, to electronic retransmissions by consumers of material originally received (by way of gift or purchase) over digital networks. Although this interpretation had not (and, to date, has not) been judicially tested, it is sufficiently plausible to suggest that even before the enactment of the DMCA, "first sale" was a doctrine at risk. The DFC's commitment (already noted) to balance in copyright law reform led us to propose that as proprietors* rights were updated in new legislation, "first sale" should be as well.