Supreme Court's Yard Sale Case
Oct. 29 (Bloomberg Law) — The Supreme Court is set to decide what you can sell on eBay, Craigslist, or in a yard sale.
In oral arguments today, the Court will consider conflicting parts of the federal copyright law. The first-sale doctrine says if you legally buy a book, record, or TV show, you can resell it. Another part says you can’t import a copyrighted work without the copyright owner’s permission.
The case involves a former college student who bought cheap textbooks in his native Thailand, and may have earned as much as $1.2 million reselling them to U.S. buyers on eBay.
In separate cases, the Second, Third and Ninth circuits have split three ways on the issue, finding foreign-made works can always, sometimes, or never be resold in the United States.
If the court finds imported goods can’t be resold, some observers wonder whether U.S. companies will move more production abroad in order to limit the resale of their goods.
A decision is expected early next year.
For more on the case:
SCOTUS Takes “Grey Market” Goods Resale Case (Audio)
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