I recently discovered that a bookstore is offering my book for rental. Is it legal for the store to rent out my book? Is the store infringing on my copyright? What the store is charging people who might want to rent out my book is well above my book's retail price. I am not sure how to handle this issue and I am not sure if I have any rights in this type of use of my book.

  • Did you license any rights to the store, or to a distributor who distributes to the store? What rights, specifically, did you transfer to them? Commented May 27, 2015 at 19:13
  • Also this question is unanswerable without knowing what jurisdiction you're in, and may be unanswerable without a lawyer. Commented May 27, 2015 at 19:46
  • Thank you for your input. I researched some more after I posted this question and it does appear that the store can rent my book out if they obtained it legally based on the First Sale doctrine. I do have some other issues that I want to address with an attorney. I appreciate your responses to my question! Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that, in the US, for books, the First-Sale doctrine allows the legitimate owner of a legitimate copy of a book to re-sell, lend, or rent that book. It is under this doctrine that libraries operate, for example.

There are exceptions to this doctrine, for example, it appears to be illegal to rent audio recordings, but as far as I can tell there is no such limitation for books.

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