Skip to comments.Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril
Posted on 10/07/2012 2:48:27 PM PDT by NonValueAdded
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) Tucked into the U.S. Supreme Courts agenda this fall is a little-known case that could upend your ability to resell everything from your grandmothers 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.
Thats 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.
(Excerpt) Read more at marketwatch.com ...
The case stems from Supap Kirtsaengs 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.
the article continues
That smacks of something that be solved by an adjustment to pricing strategy than yet another restriction on consumer rights.
The stage is being set for the anti-crist faster than I expected....Revelation states there will be no buying or selling unless you have the mark of the beast....now the SC has such a law heading their way....
“You didn’t make that” PING
Interesting. I’m all in favor of intellectual property laws...up to a point. The problem is that we have now skewed it in such a way that we have actually restricted distribution.
I just got an uncomfortable ‘chill’ from that...
Like overly restrictive state gun laws, this will just create a huge black market.
“John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!” ~President Andrew Jackson
“He then sold them on eBay, making upward of $1.2 million”
Sounds like the real issue is the dividing line between personal vs business purchases. He wasn’t buying individual books for his own use and then reselling them, he was buying by the case with the intent to immediately resell for profit.
I don’t like differentiating between personal and business purchase & resale, but our system does rely on there being a difference.
All other commercial activity is strictly verboten.
Sounds like Wiley and Sons wants to engage in price-fixing.
The lawsuit sounds like conspiracy in restraint of trade.
LOL. Arbitrage in the college textbook industry. I think Kirtsaeng is a future currency trader.
They intend to control and track everything. This is freedom, didn’t you know?
Maybe too, a problem with importing goods without the proper permits or fees.
Here in Ga. scrap metal dealers are now asking for
photo ID. in order to buy YOUR scrap.
“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.”
Asians may be renowned for studying hard — but, I would wager that only a tiny minority spend $1.2 million on textbooks.
For which he should have had a business license and pay taxes on his profits.
At least that is what I as a retailer must do.
The absurdity grows.
I have always hated the John Wiley Co.
[”Psst, buddy, wanna buy a college textbook?”]
When I was in school many years ago it was often possible to buy books from other students. Before the beginning of the semester students would set a time and location on campus where you could trade books. The retail prices in the book store would be outrageous.
That's 'cause here in Detroit, they're ripping the aluminum siding off other peoples' houses and ripping out all the copper wire to sell to the scrap dealers.
What an inherently evil purpose!
Maybe they could use the automobile import model and apply it to books.
Every book manufactured or sold abroad that is intended to be imported into the United States would have a unique identifier number (equivalent to a VIN) stamped indelibly on the spine and hidden in several other locations within the book, and would be produced in strict compliance with a number of unique and obscure regulations and requirements for paper thickness, durability and tear strength, alignment of text, font selection, etc.
Examples of each book intended for sale in the US would then be inspected and rigorously tested to ensure compliance.
Then and only then would a block of the identifier numbers be issued by the US government - for a specific title and edition of a book allowing those and only those books displaying an identifier number within the range of numbers as issued to be imported into the United States.
Customs would be given enforcement rights to confiscate and destroy any non-compliant goods.
That ought to get the problem under control.
It sure worked to ensure that if you want to buy a Mercedes in the United States, you had best go through the licensed dealer.
Because thieves are stealing the innards if air conditioners, cutting [pieces of iron fence, and in Western Pennsylvania three guys tried to cut apart and steal a railroad trestle.
Buyers of scrap metal can get into just as much hot water as a pawn shop buying stolen watches.
Yep and they can scan your house for heat and know how many people are in there, no hiding from the all powerful big brother unless you have a bomb shelter underground...
Oh, I understand the so-called reasons for it.
It’s just hard being older and remembering America.
I don’t know about SC but I have a scrap engine that is intact but no one wants that I need to get out of a building.
Plenty of cast iron in that old 345 IH.
I heard that old engines are worth slightly more if broken down not that I believe there would be any great amount of money.
A long time ago the Army left three Armored Personnel Carriers up at Camp Grayling, Michigan. These old, mostly aluminum, vehicles were being used as targets.
When the units returned to do more live fire exercises some one had stolen two whole APC's and had cut the third in two and taken half.
FWIW, last time I sold scrap iron I got $200/ton.
I paid for a year’s tuition by selling course materials packages for materials unavailable at the campus bookstore. The prof ordered the books through the ‘proper channels’, only to be told that his order got lost and that the bookstore couldn’t have his semester books available to the students who needed them.
So I made a master copy of all the readings by signing out the books from the library and photocopying them. Then I took the master copy, and made prints for the entire class. Cost, about 5 per copy not including my time, which was a solid weekend. Resold at 50 per copy (about 1/4 the retail price). Investment - 500 dollars. Return, 5k.
Textbooks are a massive scam. Good on the student for
I'm going through the same thing now. Somedays I just want to go to the bar...
One person commented that this only applies to foreign goods sold in foreign countries.
hum, Do we have any international law experts on FR?
However, how would something like this be enforced.
I mean really the “resale” police would peruse neighborhoods looking for grandma and grandpa selling their stuff in a garage sale, and arrest them.
if you own something you can sell it again. period. otherwise you don’t really own it.
Even though the scrap dealers probably would not be arrested they would be out the purchased scrap and the money they paid the crooks.
The scrap dealers are just trying to protect themselves.
If a scrap dealer is caught frequently buying stolen property they will eventually be arrested and prosecuted.
You can import anything you can buy if it isn’t restricted. Certain items you may pay a duty to import. Usually the issue is that it isn’t profitable to import. For instance, if the quantity is too small to overcome freight cost. But, if you can import direct and cut out a middleman markup then sometimes you can make money. You can also avoid having to have a customs broker and be an importer if you have family shipping direct (Air freight via DHL for instance).
It just hasn’t kept up with the technology.
I am a photographer. I used to sell prints. Now folks want digital copies of the original files. They can make multiple copies, all of identical quality.
I have had to change my sales policies and structures to maintain an average profit per sale. Most folks are OK with the structure, but every once in a while I get someone who just doesn’t get it...and that is a pain in the butt.
Since I work for college athletic departments, I am getting close to jacking up their prices and giving up being authorized to sell to athletes and their parents.
There. I know I feel better now. How bout you?
Thank goodness the SCOTUS is so fair and so smart! Where would we be without them?
He can preach to us all he likes. He can't change a single vote in our favor however. Exactly, what is he good for?
Kind of funny, I remember in 1985 for college, I spent like $170 for books. When we got a new president, he issued an edict that textbooks had to be changed out every year and I ended up spending like $400. Plus no used book market either. He came from the East Coast.
> Textbooks are a massive scam. Good on the student for
Here in Ga. scrap metal dealers are now asking for
photo ID. in order to buy YOUR scrap.
That’s because criminals, many of them illegal immigrants, are ripping out electrical wiring, copper plumbing, memorial plaques, anything that can be melted down.
Scrap dealers are going to have to operate according to pawn shop rules if they don’t want to be fencing stolen goods.
Sell the books in the USA for the same price as in Thailand
Discount in other markets at your peril
An Entrepreneur will find a niche for profit
BTW, Academic books are WAY overpriced
Depending on a captive sales audience
who has no access to competitive pricing
Free market mechanisms are not accessible to students
What I find interesting is that we are sitting here considering whether he broke the law or not and what he would have to do to be legal or what his defense should be to say that it was legal.
What we are failing to discuss in any depth is whether this is a good law or a bad one that should be repealed.
I’m not in favor of anything goes anarchy, but it does seem that we have too many crippling laws and regulations. The question we need to be asking is: Does this law benefit our country? If it only benefits a few existing businesses by protecting them from competition, or if it benefits foreign countries at our expense, then we need to repeal it.
Put it on CL. there are a TON of IH collectors that will want it to rebuild.
Quoting Jacquerie If we win Congress and the Presidency, I intend to weekly remind my fellow Freepers to spend less time ranting to the choir, and instead become a penpal, wanted or not, with our congressional delegations.
We stomped on Bush over Amnesty, and if bolstered with more Tea Party Congressmen/Senators next month, there is no reason we cannot tidal wave them with demands for conservative reform.
It's really our only hope. With some momentum in our direction maybe we can influence the squeeshie middle men like Roberts and Kennedy and restore some hope of a higher court that adheres to written law beholden to the Constitution.
Unenforceable laws are just the beginning of what you and I know is a slippery slope. FIGHT like your freedom depends on it because it does.
“Every book manufactured or sold abroad that is intended to be imported into the United States would have a unique identifier number (equivalent to a VIN)”
But but but, aren’t those books for the Asian market printed so that you have to read them from right to left ? -sarc
That would curtail the re-sale market in the USA.
“this only applies to foreign goods sold in foreign countries.”
Does this mean I can’t cash in on my aunt’s Hummel figurine collection? I’m Doomed Doomed I tell you.
There's a lot for a free market advocate to chew on here. On the one hand I think the textbook racket is pretty cruel, and on the other hand the market hasn't demanded a change with enough force.
Now here is this enterprising fellow who understands some basic economic principles which have allowed him to make some money. In a vacuum there is certainly nothing wrong with that, but copyright law is hardly a vacuum.
Assuming there is a bona-fide geographic restriction on the Thai editions (that is, knowingly agreed to by buyer and seller), what is the proper role of government in policing that? Utilizing a court system pursuant to civil matters seems proper, but is it to engage in prior restraint?
IMO copyright holders are not serving themselves with their present approach to piracy. IF they delivered what the market wanted, it would not be so pervasive. Plain. And. Simple.
This is the most convoluted article.
I really wish I knew an international law expert.
Thinking about a necklace I received from my mother in law that belonged to her grandmother, who’s father had it made for her in England, does that mean if my granddaughter who may not want the necklace goes to sell it, she’ll be rounded up put in resale jail?
Hummels...cute dust catchers.