Originally Posted by Andrew H.
No, that's not the issue at hand. If it were that simple, the court of appeals wouldn't have ruled the way it did and the supreme court wouldn't have agreed to hear the case.
The relevant provision provides: "Importation into the United States, without the authority of the owner of copyright under this title, of copies or phonorecords of a work that have been acquired outside the United States is an infringement of the exclusive right to distribute copies or phonorecords under section 106, actionable under section 501."
IOW, under this statute, a distributor who imports copies of copyrighted works into the US without the authorization of the copyright holder is infringing. And because the distributor is infringing - according to the court opinions - the first sale doctrine does not apply, since it only applies to items that were "lawfully" bought.
I don't know to what extent this will affect manufactured goods, since they are not - I don't think - "copies...of a work."
Well in fact a lot of manufactured goods are copies of a work, the electronic device you used to write your post is a copy of a good first manufactured abroad. Well at least the code used to run the device is, but that's just getting into semantics...