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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril

Posted by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 9:23 AM
  • 15 Replies

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Tucked into the U.S. Supreme Court’s 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.

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 Inc. AAPL -0.96% has the copyright on the iPhone and Mark Owen has it 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 Band, 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.

There are implications for a variety of wide-ranging U.S. entities, including libraries, musicians, museums and even resale juggernauts eBay Inc. EBAY -1.54%  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 America 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 United States.He then sold them on eBay, making upward of $1.2 million, according to court documents.

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

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/your-right-to-resell-your-own-stuff-is-in-peril-2012-10-04?link=MW_story_popular


by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 9:23 AM
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Replies (1-10):
katzmeow726
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 9:26 AM
1 mom liked this

This isn't anything new.  It's come up and been struck down a couple of times prior to this.  Essentially, they're trying to argue that when  you purchase something, you do not own it, which is not true. I don't see it passing this time either.

Not to mention, it would be almost impossible to control.  

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 9:42 AM

It's un-enforcablejust like laws against file sharing, prostitution, and drug purchase. 

They can make all the laws they want people are still going to sell things to other people.

SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Oct. 8, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I can see this working for Physical property (books, Radios, Video's CDs Etc) But they are trying to make it legal to resell electronic books, MP3's etc.. The problem there is you can resell the same file multiple times... Anyways shutting up now!

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:55 AM

http://ownershiprights.org/


Please sign the Citizens’ Petition for Ownership Rights

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Well that's just great........= /

mustloveanimals
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 1:00 PM
1 mom liked this

I would think EBay has a stake in this case.

Kate_Momof3
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 2:27 PM
1 mom liked this

Thank you. I signed and passed it on.

I sell used books on Amazon. This could potentially affect churches (who raise money through rummage sales), libraries (book sales) and schools (who will sell anything lol).

The resale market is a huge part of our economy. I can't imagine this will fly.

First I have to worry about sales tax and now this? Good grief!!

Quoting annabl1970:

http://ownershiprights.org/


Please sign the Citizens’ Petition for Ownership Rights


Kate_Momof3
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 2:31 PM
1 mom liked this

And FTR, John Wiley publishes text books which is, hands down, the biggest scam in the book market. In fact, I wish those bastards would get sued for putting out "new" editions every year that often means a footnote on page 357 was edited. Anyone who has been to college or any school where you have to purchase your textbooks, can agree that they lose their value faster than any piece of electronic equipment.

Paper publishing is a dying industry. I see this as Wiley's way of trying to hang on for one more decade. 

furbabymum
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:29 PM

 Don't tell our clients drug sales are un-enforceable. They'd be pissed they were in prison!

It'Quoting UpSheRises:
s un-enforcablejust like laws against file sharing, prostitution, and drug purchase. 

They can make all the laws they want people are still going to sell things to other people.

 

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Fair enough but we both know they are only a fraction of a percentage of the people who are selling drugs. I also understand that you can sometimes get better drugs in prison than you can on the street, another example of drug laws un-enforcibility.

Quoting furbabymum:

 Don't tell our clients drug sales are un-enforceable. They'd be pissed they were in prison!

It'Quoting UpSheRises:
s un-enforcablejust like laws against file sharing, prostitution, and drug purchase. 

They can make all the laws they want people are still going to sell things to other people.

 


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