aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Is it illegal to sell ARCs?

ARCs are marked "Advance Reading Copy, Not for Sale" - so is that true? NPR has a story that begins:
“Ever gone into a used record store and picked up a CD or LP with this stamped on the cover: "For Promotional Use Only — Not For Resale?" You wanted to buy it but you had a creepy feeling you might be participating in some kind of shady transaction — possibly even illegal. Turns out you weren't.

“This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a lower court's decision that the sale of so-called promo records — usually advance copies of new releases sent to music critics and radio stations by record labels — does NOT violate copyright laws.”
Doesn’t that sound a lot like ARCs? I would assume the same legal decision would apply.

I used to get my panties in a twist when I saw an ARC of mine for sale on ebay. Now I’m a lot more sanguine. Whoever buys it is a fan, clearly.

What about the person who sells it? Now that I’m a reviewer, I get dozens of ARCs a month. Some I take one look at and know they’re not for me. A mystery solved by cats? Um, not interested.

I donate those books, but I always felt a little strange about it, because sometimes I donate them to places that might end up selling them. But it felt better to do that than to toss them.

Whether someone buys/sells/loans ARCs - it’s very similar to what happens with used books. I don’t make a dime from a book that’s resold. Or a book borrowed from a friend.

Read the NPR story here.

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