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(Marketwatch)   Supreme Court to decide whether or not you're allowed to resell your own stuff   (marketwatch.com) divider line 269
    More: Asinine, U.S. Supreme Court, iPhone, John Wiley & Sons, friend of the courts, Association of Colleges, American Library Association, Georgetown University Law School  
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25837 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Oct 2012 at 8:36 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-06 09:01:32 PM  
The real problem as I see it is in this particular case: Textbooks manufactured in India and China and sold in developing countries are poorly made with low quality glues, giving off horrible VOCs. I knew a guy from India who had some books from back home, I couldn't stand to be near them.

If first-sale is approved, the US market will be flooded with these poor quality - nay, poisonous - textbooks, retarding the intelligence of America's educated elite. It will be like the leaded plumbing of Rome.

Frankly I think this kid should go to jail just on the basis of that.
 
2012-10-06 09:01:40 PM  

heavymetal: You would think we would want to encopurage students in the U.S. to get a good education and go to college. It benefits our entire nation. So why do companies feel it is OK to fleece the Amercian student ot of every penny possible making it harder to get an education?


They aren't going after the students, per say... they are just a means to an end and a casualty of the situation. They are going after the scholarship, grant and subsidy money to which a student has access. That a student may endure financial hardship or suffer in academic performance is inconsequential to the greater goal.
 
2012-10-06 09:02:10 PM  
From the amicus briefs, MPAA and RIAA along with some publishers are the ones who stand to be impacted because they sell product cheaper in other countries.
 
2012-10-06 09:03:10 PM  
I believe that the correct legal terminlogy is "fark 'em".
 
2012-10-06 09:03:21 PM  
Courts want to stop people from buying used goods: "RARGH HOW WILL I CONTINUE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT LOW MANUFACTURING GROWTH IF I DON'T BUY EVERYTHING VIA RESALE"
Courts want to stop Taxbongo from using the American people: "NO PLEASE GO RIGHT AHEAD RAISE MY TAXES I DON'T NEED THIS MONEY"

Never stop on shaming yourselves, stupid libs. Let's just hope they apply this retroactively so we can jail all the poor people.
 
2012-10-06 09:04:43 PM  

Mike_LowELL: Courts want to stop people from buying used goods: "RARGH HOW WILL I CONTINUE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT LOW MANUFACTURING GROWTH IF I DON'T BUY EVERYTHING VIA RESALE"
Courts want to stop Taxbongo from using the American people: "NO PLEASE GO RIGHT AHEAD RAISE MY TAXES I DON'T NEED THIS MONEY"

Never stop on shaming yourselves, stupid libs. Let's just hope they apply this retroactively so we can jail all the poor people.


You are magic, my friend. Check my profile. You're on the hall of fame.
 
2012-10-06 09:05:10 PM  

ZAZ: Here is the question the court has agreed to answer:How do Section 602(a)(1) of the Copyright Act, which prohibits the importation of a work without the authority of the copyright's owner, and Section 109(a) of the Copyright Act, which allows the owner of a copy "lawfully made under this title" to sell or otherwise dispose of the copy without the copyright owner's permission, apply to a copy that was made and legally acquired abroad and then imported into the United States?So stop worrying about your made-in-China lead lollipops. This only affects items acquired overseas.


What's that? A rational evaluation of what is actually happening, without hyperbole and fear mongering?
How DARE you sir. How DARE you.
 
2012-10-06 09:06:05 PM  
So if a house has a component that was made in china... be it a door hinge, floor paneling or electrical socket, can the foreign patent holder prevent you from selling your home?
 
2012-10-06 09:07:56 PM  
What happened to common sense?
 
2012-10-06 09:08:02 PM  
Ok, so I don't own anything. That's cool, that tells me that whatever I have that they own that might be broken...they need to fix.

FIX YOUR BROKEN shiat!

What? No, not your problem? Ok, then fark you. It's mine and therefore I can resell it.
 
2012-10-06 09:08:44 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: You are magic, my friend. Check my profile. You're on the hall of fame.


I appreciate your kind words, and I appreciate your offer, which I understand is good for one alcohol-based beverage. I am simply stating the things that are necessary to save this country. I can only hope that we ban the resale of everything, before it is too late.
 
2012-10-06 09:11:00 PM  

Silly Jesus: Who resells stuff? I've never resold anything. If I don't need it anymore I throw it away or give it away.

/poor people problems


Not just poor people there, bucko.

Have you ever had to sell your house as part of a move? Wouldn't it be a PITA if you had to get the permission of the original contractor or architect before you could sell, or what if they would only let you sell it back to them. . .at whatever price they chose to buy it at?

Have you ever traded in a car when buying a new one? Imagine if you had to have permission from the maker of the car, or if they decided you could only trade it in to them, for whatever they decided to offer for it.

What if you collected rare and valuable things? Valuable baseball cards from the 1930's are still in copyright. Imagine having a card worth thousands of dollars. . .but you can't legally sell it because you have to track down the copyright holder because the original company has been bought out, merged, sold, dissolved and otherwise changed so many times over the decades. . .and what if they say no to the sale? What if they will only let you sell it back to them, at the price of their choosing, or else you can't sell it to anybody?

If you owned an original Picasso, you'd need to talk to Claude Picasso, Pablos son and the administrator of the Picasso Estate, to sell the painting legally. Again, he could say no, or he could say you could only sell it to him.

It's not just poor people, this could hurt the rich too. 

/Everybodies problem
 
2012-10-06 09:11:27 PM  
If it does pass it would be worth blowing the postage sending my used product back to the head office foreign country with a note that says "I'm done with it, you deal with it"
 
2012-10-06 09:11:35 PM  

bojon: From the amicus briefs, MPAA and RIAA along with some publishers are the ones who stand to be impacted because they sell product cheaper in other countries.


And the traditional way to prevent this is import duties, which are going away due to free trade agreements. Watch the corporations say that free trade should only apply to them and not average Joe and the Supreme Court might agree.
 
2012-10-06 09:13:14 PM  
Damn, I guess that kind of puts my idea of bottling and selling this girls bath water in jeopardy:
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-10-06 09:14:20 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: dahmers love zombie: This would be unbelievable if upheld. Can you imagine a Honda dealership? "Yeah, we'll give you $2,000 trade-in value for your 2010 Accord.". "WTF?" "OK, don't take our offer -- you're not allowed to sell it at all now".

Actually, that may depend on where the car was built. Honda may be a Japanese company, but the car was manufactured here. So, if it's manufactured here, I can sell it again, right?

Of course, Honda will then claim that it was somehow NOT made here, but in Japan. Taken to its logical extreme, Honda would be operating here, but claiming that they are not for business purposes. And at that point, one has to ask whether they should be taxed as a domestic firm or not.


My Honda Civic Si was manufactured in Canada, though it was sold to me in the United States which likely would make the "first sale" doctrine applicable to it.
 
2012-10-06 09:14:25 PM  
Posible that good could come from this if SCOTUS finds for plaintiff: War on drugs ends because more money in chasing down dangerously criminal resellers.
 
2012-10-06 09:14:33 PM  

AssAsInAssassin: Wow, that's Farked up. At first, I could barely believe an appellate court would side with a foreign interest over an American citizen, in defiance of the well-established case law regarding Fair Use. By what US law does a foreign corporation get its own special anti-constitutional privileges?

Then I remembered the last 20 years or so, and went "Ohhhh... Right."

/Should have been a follow-up tag. Saw the original story back when.


It's not a foreign corporation. Which is why I'm puzzled at the ruling that "first sale" doesn't apply. The only thing foreign about it is where it was sold.
As for companies "overcharging" Americans - every company prices their products differently for different markets. When you make 10 times as much money, stuff costs 10 times as much. Stuff that is too expensive to sell at lower prices elsewhere don't get sold elsewhere. Businesses are about making money.
 
2012-10-06 09:14:54 PM  
When they outlaw selling used belongings, only outlaws will sell used belongings.

There will just be a much greater percentage of outlaws, that's all.
 
2012-10-06 09:16:23 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Considering that 9/10 items on store shelves in America (including virtually 100% of electronic/technology related products) are made outside the USA, customers here would be unable to resell nearly everything they ever buy.


That would certain drive up economic activity and new sales.
 
2012-10-06 09:16:39 PM  
All this would do is massively expand the black market.
 
2012-10-06 09:16:47 PM  
If history is any guide this will split 4-4 with Kagan being the deciding vote, As mentioned see swatch vs costco that was 4-4 with kagan staying out of it. At a guess she will vote to uphold first doctrine, but its hard to say. Strictly reading the law...it seems to me they need to vote against it, so im curious how the other 4 managed to get to common sense instead of the law.

In the end if it goes poorly congress will have to take it up. And large companies most likely will lobby against it, and only use it as a weapon very slowly. Kinda like how you boil a frog.
 
2012-10-06 09:17:27 PM  

Deman: When they outlaw selling used belongings, only outlaws will sell used belongings.

There will just be a much greater percentage of outlaws, that's all.


Ebay will become an offshore tax haven.
 
2012-10-06 09:18:29 PM  
In other news, people do what they want.

F*ck your corporate plutocracy.

And f*ck you too, martid4.
 
2012-10-06 09:20:34 PM  

cman: There aint no way in hell SCOTUS would overturn the 1908 precedent. That would cause extreme chaos within our country and its economic system. SCOTUS wouldn't dare to do something that drastic


You forget Scalia...
 
2012-10-06 09:21:59 PM  

joonyer: In other news, people do what they want.

F*ck your corporate plutocracy.

And f*ck you too, martid4.


You sound fat.
 
2012-10-06 09:23:12 PM  
The people of the country would just ignore such a law. Its pure idiocy and would, as a nice corollary, essentially destroy all of your international trade agreements in one go.
 
2012-10-06 09:24:15 PM  

ZAZ: Here is the question the court has agreed to answer:How do Section 602(a)(1) of the Copyright Act, which prohibits the importation of a work without the authority of the copyright's owner, and Section 109(a) of the Copyright Act, which allows the owner of a copy "lawfully made under this title" to sell or otherwise dispose of the copy without the copyright owner's permission, apply to a copy that was made and legally acquired abroad and then imported into the United States?So stop worrying about your made-in-China lead lollipops. This only affects items acquired overseas.


This, kind of. Wikipedia says it succinctly: "The issue comes down to whether §602(a) creates an affirmative right to bar all unauthorized importation, or does the first-sale doctrine limit the reach of §602(a), thus permitting the resale of at least some lawfully made imported copies."

What nobody on this thread has brought up is the important part: This is a case of statutory interpretation, not constitutionality. HealthCare and Citizens United were cases deciding the constitutionality of certain statutes. This case, on the other hand, involves interpreting an already constitutionally valid statute which, on the face of it, seems to outlaw the importation of foreign, copyrighted goods.

If the court upholds the lower court, they are not reversing precedent because the first-sale doctrine is a statutory right (17 USC §109(a)). The Constitution doesn't guarantee you any sort of copyright protection, only that Congress has the power to regulate it. If the statute plainly says that you can't sell imported, foreign copyrighted goods, then the Supreme Court can't decided that the statute does allow you to sell those goods. All Congress needs to do is amend the Copyright Act with two lines of text.
 
2012-10-06 09:27:54 PM  

cman: DamnYankees: 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.

It's called arbitrage. Good for this kid for figuring it out. The idea that doing this would become illegal, assuming we have a freed trade agreement with the other country, it utterly biatchcakes.

If it were a case about pharmaceuticals and chemicals there would be a valid point as those should be held at a higher standard. But books?


Becasue cartels are ENTITLES to their closed market profits as per the GOP.
 
2012-10-06 09:30:06 PM  
True story:

Friend of mine who ran an ebay business (quite successfully) bought a few cases of cool Sennheiser headphones in bulk on sale, legitimately, in the US. When trying to sell them on Ebay for a markup but still under Sennheiser's current prices, Sennheiser threatened to sue him and forced Ebay to cancel all transactions. And that's not even with this potential ruling.

Not being able to afford to go up against Sennheiser, he had to eat thousands of dollars of inventory.
 
2012-10-06 09:30:30 PM  
I just copyrighted skidmarks on underwear so I'm getting a kick out of this thread. No one will be able to sell used underwear with skidmarks without prior permission if SCOTUS makes a special ruling.
 
2012-10-06 09:30:52 PM  

Dimensio:

My Honda Civic Si was manufactured in Canada, though it was sold to me in the United States which likely would make the "first sale" doctrine applicable to it.


Honda can just claim (and adjust their accounting practices to reflect this) that the first sale was the sale from Honda Canada to the US dealer, with the sale being completed in Canada, then authorized by Honda for resale in the US by that dealer.
 
2012-10-06 09:32:19 PM  
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.

What was their reasoning for pulling that out of their ass?

The only case I could see here would be if a sell explicitly requires the buyer to agree not to import that specific product into the US at the time of the sale.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-06 09:32:58 PM  
AssAsInAssassin: Wow, that's Farked up. At first, I could barely believe an appellate court would side with a foreign interest over an American citizen, in defiance of the well-established case law regarding Fair Use.

No fair use here. The defendant made about a million dollars importing foreign textbooks and reselling them. The reason you pick your Supreme Court challenges carefully is this guy doesn't get a bit of sympathy if he steps a micron outside the letter of the law. If you're eBay trying to set a favorable precedent you would rather the case involve a starving grad student selling one copy of last year's textbook which he imported because his stipend was cut. Technically it's the same legal question.
 
2012-10-06 09:35:29 PM  
Textbooks are an extortion racket.
 
2012-10-06 09:35:54 PM  

Generation_D: I'll take this as you don't see Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Alito quite the same way I do. If it screwed everyone over but made corporations more money, Scalia and Thomas will vote for it and twist logic to defend it. Alito and Roberts aren't quite that bad, but both also never found a corporate right that should be denied if an individual's right was being screwed. To sum up: though this is a bizarre thing, I would not at all be surprise if our dear right wing judge contingent said all in on limiting sales to rightsholders alone, and the hell with whomever else. Its kind of what they do. Corporate rights are to be defended, people rights are to be cut into any time its possible.


The way you see them stems from your partisan hatred of their rulings and not the actual text of their rulings. The importation of an item in regards to copyright is a different matter than simple resale. The right of resale isn't the issue.

Remember when the right-wing contingent of the court ruled that corporations can seize property under eminent domain. No? Well it must have happened because it fit your criteria perfectly.
 
2012-10-06 09:36:35 PM  
Wasn't there a nice unanimous SCOTUS decision in 1988 stating that the copyright holder cannot stop people from re-importing items that the copyright holder authorized?

I think it was Quality King vs. L'anza.

The odd thing is that the US government is supporting the publisher, and wants the court of appeals decision to be affirmed.
 
2012-10-06 09:36:44 PM  
For even more fun, if they do hold that first sale doctrine doesn't apply libraries would potentially be unable to lend a large portion of their collection.

Link
 
2012-10-06 09:36:49 PM  
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.


I can only imagine that it wasn't just a matter of books he needed himself for his courses that he had his relatives in Thailand send over.
It seems he found the printer and arranged to buy them direct, importing them and selling them 'used' on Ebay.
Bypass the textbook monopoly/racket and lawsuits will ensue.

/Unless textbooks have suddenly got batshait expensive.
 
2012-10-06 09:39:08 PM  
I own a stuffed caiman that my father bought in Panama during WWII. If I wanted to sell it would I have to track down the little street urchin that sold it to him.
 
2012-10-06 09:39:44 PM  

ZAZ: If the article is accurate, the court could duck the issue by looking to the place of first sale rather than the place of manufacture. Buy textbooks in Thailand, you're a smuggler. Go to Best Buy in New York and buy a camera made in China, you own it.


Not according to the email I got (because I'm a seller) from ebay. I've been following this for a while and I've seen it elsewhere that it would basically apply to all goods made outside the US.

Ebay, Amazon, Gamestop, Halfprice Books, clothing thrift stores, and I'm sure lots lots more businesses would either lose a big chunk of their operating revenue (Gamestop literally makes most of their profits from used games, NOT new ones). Amazon would lose a huge amount of fee revenue from sellers, and I'm guessing Ebay would go out of business in just a few short years as 80%+ of their listings were banned.

If SCOTUS is stupid enough to allow this, I'm going to be extremely grateful I didn't bank more on Ebay as a career. I already am, but in one fell swoop they can destroy the livelihoods/second job of thousands of people.
 
2012-10-06 09:40:11 PM  

BMFPitt: 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.

What was their reasoning for pulling that out of their ass?


They are trying to find a way to stop grey imports even though there is no legal way to stop them at all in your relatively true free-marker economy. There is a vast effort at trying to redefine the law, this is just a mechanism for that. There isn't really any 'reasoning' other than the desired result
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-06 09:41:13 PM  
Lanctwa

The Second Circuit considered and distinguished that precedent. If you make something in the United States first sale applies regardless of whether the item is exported and re-imported.
 
2012-10-06 09:41:14 PM  
Somehow this reminds me of the Ohio State 'scandal' where players traded their own stuff for tattoos. Apparently, this was really bad (but not illegal).
 
2012-10-06 09:41:24 PM  

basemetal: [www.fwdailynews.com image 286x400]

Can't resell stuff? Don't like that idea a bit, not one bit.


Leaving satisfied.
 
2012-10-06 09:41:53 PM  
You know, this would kill Good Will, Salvation Army, and other charities (some that really do good work) too.
 
2012-10-06 09:42:29 PM  
The solution to this is not to allow textbooks to be sold cheaper in other countries. Sell them at the same RRP and if they can't afford that, they can *always write their own textbooks*. I'm sure they are smart enough to do it. Make it all "open source" - that way none of the authors profit.
 
2012-10-06 09:44:04 PM  
cdn.macgasm.net

"Are you sure this is ISBN: 3540368396?? You want $400, right?"
 
2012-10-06 09:44:33 PM  

Lanctwa: The odd thing is that the US government is supporting the publisher, and wants the court of appeals decision to be affirmed.


Really? What clown is in charge of that organization?
 
2012-10-06 09:45:07 PM  
Well they already said i had to buy stuff
 
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