does the first sale doctrine protect against buying fan art and then reselling

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does the first sale doctrine protect against buying fan art and then reselling

If i were to buy a fan designed marvel inspired t shirt from ebay.com or
redbubble.com. Would it then be legal for me to sell that item to someone else
under the protection of the first sale doctrine?

Asked on April 23, 2019 under Business Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The first sale doctrine only protects you from suits or liability for sale of properly licensed or legal products: i.e. if you bought then resold a licensed shirt. It does not protect against liability for trademark or copyright violation from selling products that themselves infringed on intellectual property. That is because otherwise, everyone could skirt the IP laws by "selling" their infringing products to a third party for a nominal fee, then having the third party sell it publically.


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