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(Reuters)   In a case likely to have major implication for those Russian websites selling $0.10 Mp3's, as well as online sellers of used CDs, video games and textbooks the US Supreme Court says the "first sale doctrine" applies to copyrighted works   (reuters.com) divider line 252
    More: Spiffy, U.S. Supreme Court, first sale, Russians, United States, logical implications, web sites, federal jury, supreme court ruling  
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21080 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Mar 2013 at 12:50 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-19 12:51:51 PM
Does the same doctrine apply to virgins?
 
2013-03-19 12:52:41 PM

Feepit: Does the same doctrine apply to virgins?


Done in one.
 
2013-03-19 12:53:40 PM
Odd ruling, law seems pretty clear on this one
 
2013-03-19 12:53:48 PM
explain this to me like you would a child
 
2013-03-19 12:54:10 PM
Scalia dissented? I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

/Thomas disagreed with Scalia? I am surprised.
 
2013-03-19 12:54:16 PM
The split on the vote on this broke my brain.

The three against - Alito (duh he's on the wrong side of everything), Kagan and Ginsburg.

Alito, Kagan and Ginsburg agreed on something. Hide your kids. Hide your wives.
 
2013-03-19 12:54:36 PM
Eight textbooks came from an Asian unit of John Wiley & Sons Inc, which sued Kirtsaeng for copyright infringement and won a $600,000 damages award from a federal jury.


Seems reasonable only $7,500 per book.
 
2013-03-19 12:54:38 PM
Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion. The court was not split along ideological lines, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal, writing a dissenting opinion in which she was joined by Justice Elena Kagan, another liberal, and the conservative Justice Samuel Alito.

Color me confused, I wish they had a summary of the decisions so I could see the rational.

/Can't read the whole decision, have to plow driveway...again...
//Stupid New England winter
 
2013-03-19 12:54:55 PM

Feepit: Does the same doctrine apply to virgins?


"droit du seigneur"
 
2013-03-19 12:55:08 PM
Can we get rid of region encoding on DVD's now?
 
2013-03-19 12:55:09 PM
The decision will provide support for the $63 billion gray market, in which third parties import brand-name goods protected by trademark or copyright into the United States.

Uh... no, the decision outright states that said market is no longer gray and legal action can't really be effectively brought against the people that do it.  Kind of a big difference there.
 
2013-03-19 12:56:19 PM

Tricky Chicken: explain this to me like you would a child


Man flew to Thailand and purchased textbooks.
Man flew back to USA and sold textbooks on ebay.
Publisher sued, because the markup on Thailand textbooks isn't as high as USA textbooks.

Threat was anything made overseas can permanently be controlled by the people who made it.
 
2013-03-19 12:56:24 PM
Anyone wanna buy my Wiley textbooks?

I'll give you a sweet deal for the accounting one.
 
2013-03-19 12:56:24 PM

Mager: The split on the vote on this broke my brain.

The three against - Alito (duh he's on the wrong side of everything), Kagan and Ginsburg.

Alito, Kagan and Ginsburg agreed on something. Hide your kids. Hide your wives.


Don't read Gonzales v Raich then...
 
2013-03-19 12:56:33 PM
Hmm, the vote was split pretty oddly.  Ginsberg, Kagan, and Alito on the dissent.  Not a combination you hear about very often, and one that I'm sure will give some Farkers fits.
 
2013-03-19 12:56:38 PM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Scalia dissented? I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

/Thomas disagreed with Scalia? I am surprised.


Try reading the article. 6-3.  Dissenting Ginsburg, Kagen and Alito.
 
2013-03-19 12:57:21 PM

Mager: Tricky Chicken: explain this to me like you would a child

Man flew to Thailand and purchased textbooks had family mail him textbooks sold only in Asian market.
Man flew back to USA and sold textbooks on ebay.
Publisher sued, because the markup on Thailand textbooks isn't as high as USA textbooks.

Threat was anything made overseas can permanently be controlled by the people who made it.


FTFY
 
2013-03-19 12:59:06 PM
They'll just put a little sticker on the back of the item saying you're licensing the work and not buying it.  Then there is no right to transfer. 
Just like software.  You paid for it, but you don't own it.

It's funny how hypercapitalism ends private property and not communism.  When everything is licensed like SW It's truly the end of ownership.
And that will be the next step.  Don't kid yourself.
 
2013-03-19 12:59:10 PM

redmid17: Threat was anything made overseas can permanently be controlled by the people who made it.


To be fair, that last bit was the only really important part.
 
2013-03-19 01:00:01 PM
The case itself is one that the publishing industry as a whole should never have attempted to prosecute so vigorously because it deals in physical wares, not electronic items which are by far the most problematic to control and easiest to copy/pirate/sell.  From the standpoint of strategy this is a fight the publishing industry should not have attempted to win, simply because they couldn't afford to lose it and the facts just strike people wrong.

With physical goods, differential pricing in different markets only really makes sense in the context of tarrifs, taxes, overhead and shipping.  So if a book costs $10 in Thailand because it's being printed in China and the store owner makes peanuts, and the same book costs $60 in Boston the presumption is that the difference is due to shipping, taxes and overhead costs.  NOT that the publishing company just feels like gouging Americans because it can.  The global economy encourages and more or less relies on individuals looking for price differences and if it works out, buying items cheap where they are cheap and selling them somewhere the local price point is higher.

Just as the "you wouldn't download a car" argument is used for digital goods, nobody would think that you can't buy a Mercedes in Germany, ship it to the U.S. and re-sell it for whatever you can get for it.  If that is cheaper than the local price of a new Mercedes then more power to you.
 
2013-03-19 01:00:15 PM

Mager: The split on the vote on this broke my brain.

The three against - Alito (duh he's on the wrong side of everything), Kagan and Ginsburg.

Alito, Kagan and Ginsburg agreed on something. Hide your kids. Hide your wives.


Goldangit! I hate when I agree with Scali-omas.
 
2013-03-19 01:00:32 PM
From the dissenting opinion, dismissing the "parade of horribles": "The absence of such lawsuits [the owner of a consumer good authorized for sale in the United States being sued for copyright infringement after reselling the item or giving it away] is unsurprising. Routinely suing one's customers is hardly a best business practice."

Yeah, well tell that to the farking RIAA and MPAA mafias.
 
2013-03-19 01:00:54 PM

dougermouse: They'll just put a little sticker on the back of the item saying you're licensing the work and not buying it.  Then there is no right to transfer.
Just like software.  You paid for it, but you don't own it.

It's funny how hypercapitalism ends private property and not communism.  When everything is licensed like SW It's truly the end of ownership.
And that will be the next step.  Don't kid yourself.


Several countries already prevent content distributors from attempting to impose such measures.
 
2013-03-19 01:01:03 PM
It's like that case where the lady in Arizona had to pay $83,000 for venom (and hospital treatment) that sells for $130 OTC two hours to the south in Mexico.  We can't keep subsidizing the world.
 
2013-03-19 01:01:03 PM
Alito is on the wrong side of history, so I'm not surprised he's a whore for money. I'd like to see Ginsberg and Kagan's reasoning though.
 
2013-03-19 01:01:49 PM

Tricky Chicken: explain this to me like you would a child


If you buy something, you have the right to sell it to anyone else, under whatever terms you want.

Longer version:

Publishers (book, software, etc.) can't sell $25 books and $60 games in countries like Thailand where people's monthly income is more like $100 instead of $2000. So they sell the same products locally there for, say, $5 a book or $20 a game. Someone figured out they could buy all the stuff cheap in Thailand, and sell it online to buyers in the US for less than the US price. Publishers got angry and said "you're distributing our copyrighted products in a way we don't approve of; you either sell them in the US at our US prices or we'll sue." The Court said "there's a longstanding rule that once you buy something, you have the right to sell it to whoever you want for whatever you want. Doesn't matter that it was bought overseas."

In this internet age, it's a consumer-friendly ruling that will cause headaches for companies that want to try to sell the identical product to upscale US markets and lower-income foreign markets.
 
2013-03-19 01:02:07 PM

dougermouse: They'll just put a little sticker on the back of the item saying you're licensing the work and not buying it.  Then there is no right to transfer. 
Just like software.  You paid for it, but you don't own it.

It's funny how hypercapitalism ends private property and not communism.  When everything is licensed like SW It's truly the end of ownership.
And that will be the next step.  Don't kid yourself.


Absolutely cannot work that way, the only move would be to eBooks. This ruling basically eviscerated the constraints on the resale of physical objects permanently. First sale always applied to things made in the US, and this extends that same protection to things in general regardless of place of manufacture.
 
2013-03-19 01:02:19 PM

redmid17: Mager: Tricky Chicken: explain this to me like you would a child

Man flew to Thailand and purchased textbooks had family mail him textbooks sold only in Asian market.
Man flew back to USA and sold textbooks on ebay.
Publisher sued, because the markup on Thailand textbooks isn't as high as USA textbooks.

Threat was anything made overseas can permanently be controlled by the people who made it.

FTFY


That doesn't really change the principle. First Sale doctrine applies to everything, and companies that make and sell things don't get to make an end run around it.
 
2013-03-19 01:02:23 PM
I hope Canada follows suit, although it would needless to say, come under attack from British publishers and their Canadian subsidiaries.

A big part of the "Canadian premium" on things like books is due to the impossibility of simply importing the cheaper British or American editions. The publishers have gotten around other (well-meaning) laws designed to protect the Canadian industry or Canadian culture by setting up branch plant production and sales in Canada.

But the Canadian consumer pays as much as 30% more for some goods, almost inexplicably, including, as it turns out, Canadian novels and other work owned and distributed by foreign companies in London, New York, etc.
 
2013-03-19 01:02:53 PM

Faddy: Prank Call of Cthulhu: Scalia dissented? I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

/Thomas disagreed with Scalia? I am surprised.

Try reading the article. 6-3.  Dissenting Ginsburg, Kagen and Alito.


I read the decision: "BREYER, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS, ALITO, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. KAGAN, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which ALITO, J., joined. GINSBURG, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which KENNEDY, J., joined, and in which SCALIA, J., joined except as to Parts III and V-B-1.  "

Original sources FTW!

IANAL, but doesn't that mean SCALIA dissented?
 
2013-03-19 01:03:10 PM

dougermouse: They'll just put a little sticker on the back of the item saying you're licensing the work and not buying it.  Then there is no right to transfer. 
Just like software.  You paid for it, but you don't own it.

It's funny how hypercapitalism ends private property and not communism.  When everything is licensed like SW It's truly the end of ownership.
And that will be the next step.  Don't kid yourself.


One of those unintended consequences of the most recent copyright act. I don't think all of those who agreed saw into the future very well and had no idea there would be zillions of physical items with software or some type of digital information embedded into it.

Makes one ask the question such as, what are we to do about say... cars as they start to receive more and more digital shiat?
 
2013-03-19 01:03:27 PM
Text books should be free.
 
2013-03-19 01:03:28 PM

Mager: Tricky Chicken: explain this to me like you would a child

Man flew to Thailand and purchased textbooks.
Man flew back to USA and sold textbooks on ebay.
Publisher sued, because the markup on Thailand textbooks isn't as high as USA textbooks.

Threat was anything made overseas can permanently be controlled by the people who made it.


Wrong.  There is a specific provision in US law that forbids the importation of copyrighted works that were first sold overseas without the copyright owner's permission.  This allows copyright holders to sell, for example, books at one price in the US and sell them for lower prices overseas where buyers would not be able to afford them at US prices, without worrying that someone would buy them overseas, ship them back to the US, and pocket the difference, which is exactly what this guy did.  The case turned on the wording of both the copyright statute and the statute forbidding importation back to the US without permission.  This is a big loophole that will quickly be filled through legislation.
 
2013-03-19 01:03:40 PM

Mager: The split on the vote on this broke my brain.

The three against - Alito (duh he's on the wrong side of everything), Kagan and Ginsburg.



So, you're totally cool with the government being able to take your home and give it to a box store developer, huh?
 
2013-03-19 01:04:22 PM

tdyak: Can we get rid of region encoding on DVD's now?


Well, they did go from 6 regions on DVD to 3 on Blu-Ray. I guess that's a step in the right direction?
 
2013-03-19 01:04:42 PM

Faddy: Prank Call of Cthulhu: Scalia dissented? I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

/Thomas disagreed with Scalia? I am surprised.

Try reading the article. 6-3.  Dissenting Ginsburg, Kagen and Alito.



The article is wrong.  Best to use primary sources  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-697_d1o2.pdf
 
2013-03-19 01:05:17 PM

Tricky Chicken: explain this to me like you would a child


In other countries where the average income is less, goods are often sold for less.  For example when my daughter needed a physic texts book it was cheaper for her to log onto abebooks.com, buy it from a place in India, and pay for 2 day international shipping than for her to walk to down to the local book store and buy a copy solid in America.  In the case of the her book it was cheaper in party because of income difference and also because of the quality, it was soft cover and in black and white, whereas the only option in America was hard cover and high gloss/fancy colors.  For a book she would use once in her life the soft cover option was better.

In this specific case a guy from Thailand was having a friend ship over books like that and selling them on campus to undercut the local book store, so the publisher went after him.

Another example would be I recently came back from Korea with 50k in Tiffany's jewelry because it was cheaper over there (diamonds are cheaper over there since there is less cultural demand for them).  I'm a good American so I did all my customs paperwork, and paid the taxes regarding their sale, but I bet the local Tiffany's store would not be happy.

It's getting more common around my office.  An email goes around saying "Hey, I'm going to China and Korea for a week, need anything taken over or brought back?" and then luxury goods start moving around.  In a couple of weeks I'll be heading for China with a carry on half full of ginseng for my friends over there.

/this is a historic day in that Scalia was on the proper side of a ruling while Kagan and Ginsburg need to get that corporate dick out of their mouths
//maybe I'm in a parallel universe?
 
2013-03-19 01:05:43 PM

redmid17: Mager: Tricky Chicken: explain this to me like you would a child

Man flew to Thailand and purchased textbooks had family mail him textbooks sold only in Asian market.
Man flew back to USA and sold textbooks on ebay.
Publisher sued, because the markup on Thailand textbooks isn't as high as USA textbooks.

Threat was anything made overseas can permanently be controlled by the people who made it.

FTFY


In an online world this is actualy huge.  If Apple sells an "export only" Ipad for $100 to capture Indian market share, there is now nothing (which is as it should be) to stop a young entrepenuer from buying a few thousand and unloading them in the US.   The real punch is going to come on sales of "digital" things like Mp3's and E-books, where foreign rights holders can now break the cartel-like control apple and others have over the music and book markets, because, so long as thier inital sales occur in thei designated country, nothing stops them from re-selling the item on the internet directly to US consumers
 
2013-03-19 01:05:47 PM
Cool--the publishers should be shot for what they charge college students for text books these days.

Can we make it illegal to needlessly "update" the books every two years to keep the used book market nearly useless?
 
2013-03-19 01:06:00 PM

Reverend J: Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion. The court was not split along ideological lines, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal, writing a dissenting opinion in which she was joined by Justice Elena Kagan, another liberal, and the conservative Justice Samuel Alito.

Color me confused, I wish they had a summary of the decisions so I could see the rational.

/Can't read the whole decision, have to plow driveway...again...
//Stupid New England winter


Opinion here  including a summary at the top.

The decision boiled down to how one reads "lawfully made under this title".   Some courts, including the one that found against the defendant (and of course the publisher, Wiley & Sons) read "under" to mean"in conformance with the Copyright Act where the Copyright Act is applicable." .  The defendant (and the majority of the court) read "under" to mean  "in accordance with."

The majority found that there doesn't exist a definition of "under" in the OED that is specifically geographically limiting.  They also found that if one reads "under" as "in accordance with", then the initial phrase "lawfully made under this title" holds its meaning.  They also found that the common-law before the act supported that definition (and that where the terms used were unclear the doctrine is to follow the common-law as a guideline).  And they also notices that S104 of the act itself actually states that the act applies regardless of the geographic location of the author (and thus even if you were to say that "under" was limited to only where the act could apply, the act itself would still apply everywhere because the act says that it does.)
 
2013-03-19 01:06:04 PM

Zavulon: redmid17: Mager: Tricky Chicken: explain this to me like you would a child

Man flew to Thailand and purchased textbooks had family mail him textbooks sold only in Asian market.
Man flew back to USA and sold textbooks on ebay.
Publisher sued, because the markup on Thailand textbooks isn't as high as USA textbooks.

Threat was anything made overseas can permanently be controlled by the people who made it.

FTFY

That doesn't really change the principle. First Sale doctrine applies to everything, and companies that make and sell things don't get to make an end run around it.


I wasn't arguing against the principles. I was telling him he read the story wrong.
 
2013-03-19 01:07:03 PM

ha-ha-guy: /this is a historic day in that Scalia was on the proper side of a ruling while Kagan and Ginsburg need to get that corporate dick out of their mouths
//maybe I'm in a parallel universe?


Possibly because I would have assumed that Roberts would have sided with the corporate as well
 
2013-03-19 01:07:10 PM

Faddy: Prank Call of Cthulhu: Scalia dissented? I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

/Thomas disagreed with Scalia? I am surprised.

Try reading the article. 6-3.  Dissenting Ginsburg, Kagen and Alito.


Wait I'm an idiot to trust Reuters

FTFA: The court was not split along ideological lines, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal, writing a dissenting opinion in which she was joined by Justice Elena Kagan, another liberal, and the conservative Justice Samuel Alito.

Actual decision pdf: BREYER, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS ,C.J., and THOMAS, ALITO, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ.,j oined. KAGAN,J ., filed a concurring opinion, in which ALITO,J., joined. GINSBURG, J.,filed a dissenting opinion, in which KENNEDY J., joined, and in which SCALIA, J., joined except as to Parts III and V-B-1.

sorry it is a bit messed up
 
2013-03-19 01:07:15 PM

Uzzah: Publishers (book, software, etc.) can't sell $25 books and $60 games in countries like Thailand where people's monthly income is more like $100 instead of $2000. So they sell the same products locally there for, say, $5 a book or $20 a game. Someone figured out they could buy all the stuff cheap in Thailand, and sell it online to buyers in the US for less than the US price. Publishers got angry and said "you're distributing our copyrighted products in a way we don't approve of; you either sell them in the US at our US prices or we'll sue." The Court said "there's a longstanding rule that once you buy something, you have the right to sell it to whoever you want for whatever you want. Doesn't matter that it was bought overseas."

In this internet age, it's a consumer-friendly ruling that will cause headaches for companies that want to try to sell the identical product to upscale US markets and lower-income foreign markets.


So... best case scenario, every publishing house in the US will be out of business in the next few years. Because now all of our books will be printed in China and shipped here.

Just like everything else we own.
 
2013-03-19 01:07:25 PM

Cheron: Seems reasonable only $7,500 per book.


Thinking back to purchases I was compelled to make at the campus bookstore... that sounds about right.
 
2013-03-19 01:07:33 PM
That's going to have some interesting ramifications.  Textbooks will stop being cheaper elsewhere.  Or will the companies lobby smaller nations to prevent exporting those books?
 
2013-03-19 01:09:10 PM

Cheron: Eight textbooks came from an Asian unit of John Wiley & Sons Inc, which sued Kirtsaeng for copyright infringement and won a $600,000 damages award from a federal jury.

Seems reasonable only $7,500 per book.


need to move the decimal a bit to the right. $75K/book
 
2013-03-19 01:10:15 PM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Scalia dissented? I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

/Thomas disagreed with Scalia? I am surprised.


Look at the other two. Those are even less shocking. Especially Kagan.
 
2013-03-19 01:11:20 PM
This case makes me wonder if the Supremes might...just might...be reading the public opinion tea leaves and deciding that more Citizens United-like decisions might be poisoning the well in so far as their legacy might be.

/yeah, I know...wishful thinking on my part
//Prop 8 & DOMA...any takers?
 
2013-03-19 01:11:27 PM

cefm: With physical goods, differential pricing in different markets only really makes sense in the context of tarrifs, taxes, overhead and shipping. So if a book costs $10 in Thailand because it's being printed in China and the store owner makes peanuts, and the same book costs $60 in Boston the presumption is that the difference is due to shipping, taxes and overhead costs. NOT that the publishing company just feels like gouging Americans because it can. The global economy encourages and more or less relies on individuals looking for price differences and if it works out, buying items cheap where they are cheap and selling them somewhere the local price point is higher.


Whoa buddy, what fun is capitalism if everyone can do it? That's like an infringement of other people's capitalism.
 
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