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The "first sale doctrine" is the legal doctrine that protects the items that you make from copyrighted items and sell. Under the first sale doctrine, a copyright owner can enforce its rights the first time it sells an item. After the first sale, the item enters the stream of commerce, and the copyright owner's control ends. With copyrighted items, the first sale occurs when the copyright owner licenses or sells its copyright to the manufacturer. When you purchase the item from a store, your purchase is a subsequent sale that the copyright owner cannot control.


In spite of the legal restrictions presented by the first sale doctrine, some copyright holders nevertheless try to enforce their copyright protection against individuals who make and sell items from copyrighted items. You may be able to reduce the risk of a rights owner attempting to enforce its rights against you by using a disclaimer when you sell your products. Whether you sell online, at a craft bazaars or in a retail store, it can't hurt to include a disclaimer on your website, at your booth or on your packaging that clearly states that your products are not associated or affiliated with the original copyright owner.