question.jpgIn Copyrights

What is the distribution right?

The copyright owner holds the distribution right, which is the exclusive right to distribute copies or phonorecords of his protected work. Distribution includes selling, renting, leasing, etc. As with all of the exclusive rights granted by a copyright, this is exclusive from the other rights, which means it is separate and distinct from the exclusive right to reproduce - thus, an author can license one entity to be a manufacturer and reproduce the work while licensing another entity to be the distributor of the work

The exclusive right to distribute only applies to the initial sale of a copy or phonorecord. Once that initial sale is made, the purchaser can redistribute the work. This is why you can resell a book you have purchased without seeking the author’s permission. However, this so-called “first sale doctrine” does not apply to sound recordings of music or musical compositions, or to computer programs - in those cases, the copyright owner is allowed to prevent their works from being rented (this is why you can rent videos but not CD’s).