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This doesn't sound good.......

Posted by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 12:43 PM
  • 10 Replies


Got this off of yahoo.  This doesn't sound good.......  Here is the link to the original article.


Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Tucked into the U.S. Supreme Court’s busy agenda this fall is a little-known case that could upend your ability to resell everything from your grandmother’s antique furniture to your iPhone 4.

At issue in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons is the first-sale doctrine in copyright law, which allows you to buy and then sell things like electronics, books, artwork and furniture as well as CDs and DVDs, without getting permission from the copyright holder of those products.

A Supreme Court case could limit the resale of goods made overseas but sold in America.

Under the doctrine, which the Supreme Court has recognized since 1908, you can resell your stuff without worry because the copyright holder only had control over the first sale.

Put simply, though Apple has the copyright on the iPhone and Mark Owen does on the book “No Easy Day,” you can still sell your copies to whomever you please whenever you want without retribution.

That’s being challenged now for products that are made abroad and if the Supreme Court upholds an appellate court ruling it would mean that the copyright holders of anything you own that has been made in China, Japan or Europe, for example, would have to give you permission to sell it.

“It means that it’s harder for consumers to buy used products and harder for them to sell them,” said Jonathan Bland, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Association for Research Libraries. “This has huge consumer impact on all consumer groups.”

Another likely result is that it would hit you financially because the copyright holder would now want a piece of that sale.

It could be your personal electronic devices or the family jewels that have been passed down from your great-grandparents who immigrated from Spain. It could be a book that was written by an American writer but printed and bound overseas or an Italian painter’s artwork.

It has implications for a variety of wide-ranging U.S. entities including libraries, musicians, museums and even resale juggernauts eBay and Craigslist. U.S. libraries, for example, carry some 200 million books from foreign publishers.

“It would be absurd to say anything manufactured abroad can’t be bought or sold here,” said Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment lawyer and Schwartz Fellow at the New American Foundation who specializes in technology issues.

The case stems from Supap Kirtsaeng’s college experience. A native of Thailand, Kirtsaeng came to the U.S. in 1997 to study at Cornell University. When he discovered that his textbooks, produced by Wiley, were substantially cheaper to buy in Thailand than they were in Ithaca, N.Y., he rallied his Thai relatives to buy the books and ship them to him in the U.S.

He then sold them on eBay, making upwards of $1.2 million, according to court documents.

Wiley, which admitted that it charged less for books sold abroad than it did in the U.S., sued him for copyright infringement. Kirtsaeng countered with the first-sale doctrine.

In August 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling that anything that was manufactured overseas is not subject to the first-sale principle. Only American-made products or “copies manufactured domestically” were.

“That’s a non free-market capitalistic idea for something that’s pretty fundamental to our modern economy,” Ammori said.

Both Ammori and Bland worry that a decision in favor of the lower court would lead to some strange, even absurd consequences.

For example, it could become an incentive for manufacturers to have everything produced overseas because they would be able to control every resale.

It could also become a weighty issue for auto trade-ins and resales, considering about 40% of most U.S.-made cars carry technology and parts that were made overseas.

This is a particularly important decision for the likes of eBay and Craigslist, whose very business platform relies on the secondary marketplace. If sellers had to get permission to peddle their wares on the sites, they likely wouldn’t do it.

Moreover, a major manufacturer would likely go to eBay to get it to pull a for-sale item off the site than to the individual seller, Ammori said.

In its friend-of-the-court brief, eBay noted that the Second Circuit’s rule “affords copyright owners the ability to control the downstream sales of goods for which they have already been paid.” What’s more, it “allows for significant adverse consequences for trade, e-commerce, secondary markets, small businesses, consumers and jobs in the United States.”

Ammori, for one, wonders what the impact would be to individual Supreme Court justices who may buy and sell things of their own.

“Sometimes it’s impossible to tell where things have been manufactured,” said Ammori, who once bought an antique desk from a Supreme Court justice. “Who doesn’t buy and sell things? Millions of Americans would be affected by this.”

If the Supreme Court does rule with the appellate court, it’s likely the matter would be brought to Congress to force a change in law. Until then, however, consumers would be stuck between a rock and a hard place when trying to resell their stuff.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the case on Oct. 29.



Jennifer Waters is a MarketWatch reporter, based in Chicago.

by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 12:43 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Bradensmommy719
by Anji on Oct. 5, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Oh goodness *eye roll* why must everything be based.on making money? I wanna go back to bartering
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
eema.gray
by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm not holding my breath.  They said the new laws about monitoring lead in products for children under age 12 was going to spell the end of garage sales, thrift stores, and WAHM's.  Which hasn't been the case at all.  So.  Let's wait and see how this shakes out first.  :-)

scurnes
by Sara on Oct. 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM
That would suck if it went through but I doubt it will. At least I hope not. It's just more control.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
flowerfunleah
by Leah on Oct. 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM
If that happened the people would just create a black market and sell the items exactly as they are being sold now, it would just be underground.
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heydooney
by Danielle on Oct. 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

That is ridiculous!

Babybear89
by Gracey on Oct. 7, 2012 at 8:29 PM

that is ridiculous

Greekmama21
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 9:16 AM
1 mom liked this

Agreed, having a law and enforcing a law are two different things. Unless each manufacturer intends on tracing each product the local governments will not oversee it. 

Furthermore, I'm disgusted by our government trying to over legislate our lives. Our country has so many people in prisons compared to every other country and many are in for such small infractions like petty theft- really? Someone who stole $20 worth of something is off the streets and not paying into the tax system? Makes no sense. 

Steps off soapbox. 

Quoting eema.gray:

I'm not holding my breath.  They said the new laws about monitoring lead in products for children under age 12 was going to spell the end of garage sales, thrift stores, and WAHM's.  Which hasn't been the case at all.  So.  Let's wait and see how this shakes out first.  :-)


countrygirlkat
by Kathleen on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Our court system and our police already are overworked it seems like to ask them to have to deal with even another infraction like this is just ridiculous. 

Quoting Greekmama21:

Agreed, having a law and enforcing a law are two different things. Unless each manufacturer intends on tracing each product the local governments will not oversee it. 

Furthermore, I'm disgusted by our government trying to over legislate our lives. Our country has so many people in prisons compared to every other country and many are in for such small infractions like petty theft- really? Someone who stole $20 worth of something is off the streets and not paying into the tax system? Makes no sense. 

Steps off soapbox. 

Quoting eema.gray:

I'm not holding my breath.  They said the new laws about monitoring lead in products for children under age 12 was going to spell the end of garage sales, thrift stores, and WAHM's.  Which hasn't been the case at all.  So.  Let's wait and see how this shakes out first.  :-)



littlemascara
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM
1 mom liked this

Not likely to happen.  Brands like Chanel and Gucci are vigilant about scouring for counterfeits on ebay and other places.... but walk down any street in NYC and you can buythem by the barrel... as long as you like supporting slave labor that is.  Anyway, I don;t see the SC ruling in favor of this.  Too sketchy.

Greekmama21
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Yep, which is why they wont deal with it. They will turn a blind eye unless it's someone taking too much money from the companies. 

Quoting countrygirlkat:

Our court system and our police already are overworked it seems like to ask them to have to deal with even another infraction like this is just ridiculous. 

Quoting Greekmama21:

Agreed, having a law and enforcing a law are two different things. Unless each manufacturer intends on tracing each product the local governments will not oversee it. 

Furthermore, I'm disgusted by our government trying to over legislate our lives. Our country has so many people in prisons compared to every other country and many are in for such small infractions like petty theft- really? Someone who stole $20 worth of something is off the streets and not paying into the tax system? Makes no sense. 

Steps off soapbox. 

Quoting eema.gray:

I'm not holding my breath.  They said the new laws about monitoring lead in products for children under age 12 was going to spell the end of garage sales, thrift stores, and WAHM's.  Which hasn't been the case at all.  So.  Let's wait and see how this shakes out first.  :-)




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