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|Subject: Nasty little Supreme Court Case||Date: 10/10/2012 4:58 AM|
|Author: notehound||Number: 405662 of 459261|
A nasty little case on the Supreme Court's Fall calendar could restrict Americans' ability to sell everything from books printed outside the US to their ability to sell any used car that contained foreign-manufactured components.
Just imagine how a Supreme Court decision upholding the lower court's ruling could destroy valuations of every sort of asset from artwork to jewelry to cell phones to cars.
Under the [first sale] 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...
...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...
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 commented.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the case on Oct. 29.
Both Ammori and Band 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...
It sounds like a crazy situation that could destroy every resale market from EBay to CarMax to the neighborhood garage sale.
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