people don’t know what rights they have, and they don’t know when they are infringing on another’s rights.
The first sale doctrine (agotamiento) is a form of the numerus clausus principle because it effectively acts as a prohibition on nonpossessory property interests in particular copies of copyrighted works and patented inventions… However, the first sale doctrine or doctrine of exhaustion disappears when works are instantiated in a digital, rather than in an analog or physical, context. There is no first sale doctrine for digital works. The ideas of “copy” and “use” in copyright law have been merged in a digital context, due to the Ninth Circuit decision MAI Systems Corp. v. Peak Computer Inc., which held that a copy of a software program in RAM qualified as a copy for copyright infringement purposes
The problem of orphan works… is an important example: when it is difficult to establish whether a work is copyrighted and, if so, who owns the copyright, aspiring users and copiers of the work can underuse the asset for fear of finding themselves in legal trouble.
The separation of movie rights (los derechos para hacer una película basada en una novela)— and their ability to be reconveyed — raises the measurement costs of acquiring intellectual property. Suppose Ann owns a copyright, and Ben wants to purchase it. Ben must not only establish that Ann owns the copyright; Ben must also establish that no pieces of the copyright, such as movie rights, have been severed from Ann’s ownership interests. This might be especially difficult, because Ann will often be able to show all indicia of ownership in the copyright, leaving Ben to have to inquire carefully about whether any aspects have the right have been spun off.
Because a character can have a separate copyright from the work the character appears in, it was possible for the title to the character Betty Boop to become separate from the title to the cartoon. This is unlike the “movie rights” situation, where a copyright can be severed into parts, because there is a separate copyright in a character and a work including the character. However, the Fleischer situation illustrates the same problem that exists with movie rights. The transfer between Original Fleischer and Paramount included both the title to the Betty Boop cartoons and to the Betty Boop character. But when Paramount got around to selling Betty Boop, they sold only the cartoons. Decades and several title holders later, Fleischer believed they were buying back what Original Fleischer sold — not realizing that the rights in Betty Boop character had been separated.
Paramount and UM&M’s decision to convey only part of its rights to Betty Boop caused confusion and massive litigation costs for Fleischer. Even if that contract was best for Paramount and UM&M, their decision to split up the rights in the Betty Boop cartoons had unintended consequences for Fleischer that certainly appear to have wasted significant legal resources for the parties in the Fleischer case.
“on up to three licensed devices in [a] household for use by people for whom that is their primary residence”