Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril

It could become illegal to resell your iPhone 4, car or family antiques

October 04, 2012|Jennifer Waters, MarketWatch

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

Under the 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.

Put simply, though Apple has the copyright on the iPhone and Mark Owen does on the book “No Easy Day,” you can still sell your copies to whomever you please whenever you want without retribution.

That’s 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.

“It means that it’s harder for consumers to buy used products and harder for them to sell them,” said Jonathan Bland, 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.”



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Comment by DTOM on October 23, 2012 at 4:29am

Where is your line in the sand?

Comment by Nikki on October 17, 2012 at 1:44am

That didn't make sense to me either, Sweettina. And many antiques are from here anyway.

Comment by Sweettina2 on October 17, 2012 at 1:31am

I am an antique dealer and do know this: most antiques are not covered by copyright, they ran out long ago.

Comment by Freedomrox on October 17, 2012 at 1:19am

Not, YOU are private Property and owned by USA, Inc., or did President Clinton not make that perfectly clear to you when he stole all SS benefits to pay off the National Deficit? Everything you use is the property of USA, Inc. a Corporation registered in the State of Delaware, Secretary of State's Office. Look it up. 

Only repudiating the "ODIOUS DEBT" will bring down USA, Inc. and put it into default! Then we can start again with a new governance if that is what we want. Otherwise, everyone gripes about the actions and reactions that are doomed by USA, Inc., striking at the branches, and never strike at the root!


Comment by Nikki on October 17, 2012 at 1:03am

If we pay tax on it every year, we don't really own it.  So I can take the iphone out and use it for target practice but I can't sell it? Crazy!

Comment by Nota Khan on October 16, 2012 at 11:58pm

Well it will be no surprise if Supreme Court rules in favor of Apple (and I bet you agreed to such a thing when you accepted the license/user-agreement when you bought the thing). And I am sure no one here is unfamiliar with DRM....

BTW: How many things that we think we own we really do own? Here I am thinking one's home that one slaved for 30 years or more to 'pay off'. Isn't the land under it on a "99-year lease" (that can be cancelled anytime)?

In the near future, SC or no SC, Agenda 21 will take away your right to any "private property" ;-)

Comment by truth on October 16, 2012 at 11:12pm

Tax and tax and more tax, we won't take much more- I hope!

Comment by noblsht on October 16, 2012 at 10:51pm

Thinking there might be too many lawyers with two little to do

Comment by Justin A Horne on October 9, 2012 at 8:37pm

I cannot say that I am flabbergasted by this. The pervasive espionage contingency is augmenting at speed the of sound and only those who are not socially, culturally, economically, politically, and spiritually conscious are astonished by these aversions of our civil liberties. Just a thought: Barter is eventually going to replace fiat commerce, wouldn't they want to obviate this practice to further engender the masses to pledge allegiance to "legal tender?"

Comment by Nikki on October 9, 2012 at 6:31pm

They've built all these fusion centers and perhaps they are in need of more things to spy on such as Pennysaver and Craigslist and of course garage sales, flea markets and used car lots. Selling your stuff is deeply ingrained in our society, like apple pie and football. And you bet they want to destroy our way of life.

"Destroying the New World Order"


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