The SCOTUS will be deciding an appeal of a lower court ruling that could impact your ability to resell anything containing intellectual property created or manufactured outside of the United States. This could be anything from a book printed in China, to your Toyota Hybrid made in Japan, to your antique furniture or paintings made in Italy. It involves the “First Sale” doctrine. From MarketWatch:
Put simply, though Apple has the copyright on the iPhone and Mark Owen does on the book â€śNo Easy Day,â€ť you can still sell your copies to whomever you please whenever you want without retribution.
Thatâ€™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.
I suggest reading the entire article at the link to realize how important (and unnoticed) this case is.
One more point from the story:
In its friend-of-the-court brief, eBay noted that the Second Circuitâ€™s rule â€śaffords copyright owners the ability to control the downstream sales of goods for which they have already been paid.â€ť Whatâ€™s more, it â€śallows for significant adverse consequences for trade, e-commerce, secondary markets, small businesses, consumers and jobs in the United States.â€ť
For example, that Honda Civic of yours contains computer software written and (the chips) manufactured in Japan. Although unlikely to happen, Honda could - theoretically - demand a cut of any resale of a used Civic here in the U.S.
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