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Your Right to Resell Your Own Stuff is in Peril

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posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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Market Watch reports:


CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Tucked into the U.S. Supreme Court’s 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.
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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.


As the article notes, an appellate court has already issued a ruling saying that it is illegal to resell items you have purchased from overseas. Obviously this is patently insane, pun intended.

Most people are unaware that free market economists unilaterally denounce copyright and patent protections as being destructive to the health of an economy. Copyrights and patents amount to a grant of monopoly privilege to specific producers, which undermines competitive forces, artificially raising prices through the restriction of supply. Consumers end up taking the loss in the chin, while a handful of major corporations, who have the resources to litigate intellectual property suits, make off with the lions share of the market.

Here's a lecture by Patent Attorney Stephan Kinsella on the subject:





posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 11:44 AM
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