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Will SCOTUS make it illegal to resell your stuff?

 
KiLLUMiNATi_
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10/10/2012 10:28 AM
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Will SCOTUS make it illegal to resell your stuff?
If you buy an iPod or a phone, a book or a DVD, it’s currently legal to resell it, as thousands of eBay and Craigslist posts attest.

However, as Jennifer Waters at MarketWatch reports, a little-known case “tucked into the U.S. Supreme Court’s agenda this fall could upend your ability to resell everything from your grandmother’s antique furniture to your iPhone 4.”

Under current law — on the books since 1908 — copyright holders only have control over the first sale, so while I cannot take iPhones straight off the factory line and sell them, I am able to sell a device that I first bought from a retailer.

This, Waters reports, is being challenged:

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.

… 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. 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.


There would be serious implications for manufacturers and online giants like Craigslist and eBay were SCOTUS to uphold the ruling. Firstly, it would become an incentive to manufacture overseas so that all resales could then be controlled and charged for by the copyright holder. Secondly, the entire of eBay and Craigslist’s business would be jeopardized. “If sellers had to get permission to peddle their wares on the sites, they likely wouldn’t do it,” Waters notes.

[link to www.salon.com]
"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both."
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KiLLUMiNATi_ (OP)

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10/10/2012 10:29 AM
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Re: Will SCOTUS make it illegal to resell your stuff?
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.

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.

[link to articles.marketwatch.com]
"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both."
-Niccolo Machiavelli
KiLLUMiNATi_ (OP)

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10/10/2012 10:43 AM
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Re: Will SCOTUS make it illegal to resell your stuff?
bump
"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both."
-Niccolo Machiavelli
dennis_k85

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10/10/2012 11:12 AM
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Re: Will SCOTUS make it illegal to resell your stuff?
The really scarey thing is that if any part of a device is manufactured overseas, this could also apply.
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more beer
KiLLUMiNATi_ (OP)

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10/10/2012 11:25 AM
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Re: Will SCOTUS make it illegal to resell your stuff?
The really scarey thing is that if any part of a device is manufactured overseas, this could also apply.
 Quoting: dennis_k85


even a dust cover on a book could also apply
"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

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