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To Encourage Innovation, Authors Should Control Distribution of Their Work, BSA Tells Supreme Court in Amicus Filing

Gray-market case threatens software trade protections

Washington, DC — September 7, 2012 —

The public interest in encouraging innovation and creative expression is best served when authors are given exclusive control over authorizing or prohibiting the distribution of their works, BSA argued today in a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the US Supreme Court.

The amicus filing comes in the case of Supap Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, involving an individual’s attempt to buy books abroad and sell them in the United States.

“The market for digital goods, and software in particular, is highly dependent upon and improved by the author’s right to authorize and prohibit importation,” BSA argues in its brief. “When software is sold in foreign markets, it is very often highly tailored to the particular needs of that market in terms of features, licensing, and commercial terms. Consumers and authors alike benefit from this arrangement. Consumers are able to purchase a product specifically tailored and priced to their needs, and authors are able to reap and re-invest (in both domestic and foreign markets) the benefits of selling a desirable product. But those benefits will be materially diminished if authors are unable to prevent the resale of their work in the United States.”

Click here to download BSA’s amicus brief.

About BSA

The Business Software Alliance ( ) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of more than 70 world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.

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About BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance ( is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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