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USSC: Gray Market Sales Of Copyrighted Material OK  
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5427 posts, RR: 8
Posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1186 times:

The US supreme Court just decided 6-3 that gray market sales of copyrighted material (textbooks in this case) are OK and not violating the law. My question is do you think that the Congress will now pass a law (under the direction of the copyright holders/industry) to ban such sales and "protect the copyright holders industry" (from itself apparently)? Do you think it should or shouldn't?

I personally think it should not be illegal to resell legitimate material here that was bought oversees. The manufacturer properly got paid for its material at a price I assume it felt was OK. I personally hate that movies and DVD players etc. are designed to prevent playing product from other regions and that other material such as books cannot be bought by worldwide consumers. I think if the industry has the free market right to produce wherever costs best support them and sell where they wish, then the public should have the same right to buy from wherever they find the best value and use where they wish.

Of course the industry/copyright holder will fight this and will push Congress to revise the laws. And I am betting they will be changed to support the industry positions to the detriment of consumers.

Quote:
The justices, voting 6-3, today ruled in favor of a graduate student who imported John Wiley & Sons Inc. (A)’s textbooks from his native Thailand and sold them in the U.S. for a profit. A jury awarded Wiley $600,000 in its suit against the student.

The case was one of the top business and consumer cases in the court’s nine-month term, with the potential to affect sales through EBay Inc. (EBAY) and at stores owned by Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)
http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...-high-court-in-win-for-discounters

Tugg


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5360 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1143 times:

I haven't read the decision, nor do I know the particulars of the case in question, but I'll hazard that I agree with this opinion.

So long as the product enters the consumer chain legally, i.e. sold by the manufacturer to a distributor or retailer, I don't see where the manufacturer has a leg to stand on.

They can choose not to discount to foreign markets or not ask a premium in domestic markets (or vice-versa) as the case may be.

[Edited 2013-03-19 12:48:30]


When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21528 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1126 times:

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
Of course the industry/copyright holder will fight this and will push Congress to revise the laws. And I am betting they will be changed to support the industry positions to the detriment of consumers.

Except that now that this decision has been made, I don't think Congress could pass a law that would contradict it.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
So long as the product enters the consumer chain legally, i.e. sold by the manufacturer to a distributor or retailer, I don't see where the manufacturer has a leg to stand on.

They can choose not to discount to foreign markets or not ask a premium in domestic markets (or vice-versa) as the case may be.

   Wiley is quoted in the article as saying that copyright holders should be able to control where their products are sold and at what price. Which is true, and which they are - they decided to sell this particular product in Thailand for a certain price, and their control over that particular product ends at that point. If someone wants to sell it later on second-hand, they should be able to do so.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2330 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1114 times:

Copyright laws of most European countries also say that the copyright holder has the sole right of determining where his works shall appear and in which form, but somehow it has never ever led to problems with re-selling books, Audio CDs, films and whatnot.

But transporting a textbook to the U.S. which was bought in Thailand does not infringe on any copyright IMHO. No new textbook is printed by the act of bringing a foreign one into another country. It is the same and just has changed its location.

So I wholeheartedly agree with the U.S. Supreme Court in that case.


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1091 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
Except that now that this decision has been made, I don't think Congress could pass a law that would contradict it.

I don't think it has been ruled such that it can't be changed, just that per current laws it is not illegal and the lower judgement and award is invalid. Per the original article Elena Kagan noted in her opinion that it might be something the Congress wishes to address via new legislation:

Quote:
Kagan today joined the majority, writing separately to say that Congress might want to revisit the issue to give manufacturers and publishers more power to control sales of their products.
Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
Wiley is quoted in the article as saying that copyright holders should be able to control where their products are sold and at what price. Which is true, and which they are - they decided to sell this particular product in Thailand for a certain price, and their control over that particular product ends at that point. If someone wants to sell it later on second-hand, they should be able to do so.
Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 3):
But transporting a textbook to the U.S. which was bought in Thailand does not infringe on any copyright IMHO. No new textbook is printed by the act of bringing a foreign one into another country. It is the same and just has changed its location.

But would this not then also apply to other copyright material such as movies and DVD's?

The issue is does the copyright owner have rights that extend beyond the "first sale" the "official" sale of their work? Do I as the new owner of that object with the copyright holders work on it have the right to in general do what I wish with it? To resell it, to give it to someone else, etc.? I think I do, I think the copyright holder has been paid for their work (I am not copying it) and has made the original sale as they desired at the price they desired, so it is now mine, my object and I can take it where I wish. I am not talking about sampling or changing or copying the copyright holders work.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7832 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1020 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 4):
The issue is does the copyright owner have rights that extend beyond the "first sale" the "official" sale of their work? Do I as the new owner of that object with the copyright holders work on it have the right to in general do what I wish with it? To resell it, to give it to someone else, etc.? I think I do, I think the copyright holder has been paid for their work (I am not copying it) and has made the original sale as they desired at the price they desired, so it is now mine, my object and I can take it where I wish. I am not talking about sampling or changing or copying the copyright holders work.

   I agree, and if the opposite was true, could any copyrighted or patented item be resold? Could CDs or DVDs be resold? A laptop? etc

You are buying things, not renting them



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1013 times:

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
The US supreme Court just decided 6-3 that gray market sales of copyrighted material (textbooks in this case) are OK and not violating the law.

It's highly unfortunate, and also disgusting, that this ruling covers copyrighted material and does nothing to keep the DOT from messing with automotive fun.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 3):

Copyright laws of most European countries also say that the copyright holder has the sole right of determining where his works shall appear and in which form, but somehow it has never ever led to problems with re-selling books, Audio CDs, films and whatnot.

The book, DVD, or whatever is what constitutes the appearance. What the owners of said "appearance" does with it is based on the purchase contract however copyright holders can stop further appearances, like scanning a book and posting it on the internet.

Quoting tugger (Reply 4):
The issue is does the copyright owner have rights that extend beyond the "first sale" the "official" sale of their work?

Unless it's written into a contract no, and even then it would have to pass legal muster.

Lexus actually tried something like this with the LFA in that they never actually sold the cars initially and would only lease them (all paid up front though). This arrangement was scrapped and replaced with a purchase contract that gave Toyota a right of first refusal to buy the car back over two years.

It's hard enough to do that with a car where only 500 exist. To try a similar scheme with a book or other media would be lunacy and be swimming against the tsunami of people and companies in pushing open source material. Any publisher that tried something like that will find themselves drummed out of the market. Really the more they try to tighten their grip, the more of the market will slip through their fingers.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6534 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1001 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 3):
Copyright laws of most European countries also say that the copyright holder has the sole right of determining where his works shall appear and in which form, but somehow it has never ever led to problems with re-selling books, Audio CDs, films and whatnot.

Not entirely true, imported DVDs are illegal here for the first 6 months after the silver screen release (or maybe 4 months now that local DVDs appear after that length of time).



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2330 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 988 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 4):
The issue is does the copyright owner have rights that extend beyond the "first sale" the "official" sale of their work? Do I as the new owner of that object with the copyright holders work on it have the right to in general do what I wish with it? To resell it, to give it to someone else, etc.? I think I do, I think the copyright holder has been paid for their work (I am not copying it) and has made the original sale as they desired at the price they desired, so it is now mine, my object and I can take it where I wish. I am not talking about sampling or changing or copying the copyright holders work.

The copyright owner has the right to determine when and in what form his works will be *published*. For example, the heirs of the playwright Bertolt Brecht haven't allowed any "liberal" versions of his plays, they want the plays to be performed like Brecht originally wanted. (Brecht died in 1956.)

But in the realm of books, the work is published every time such a book is printed and sold - it's not comparable to a theatre version of a book which will be published every time a performance is held.

So, the textbooks bought in Thailand won't be "published" again when they enter the United States. The book was already printed and sold.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 6):
The book, DVD, or whatever is what constitutes the appearance. What the owners of said "appearance" does with it is based on the purchase contract however copyright holders can stop further appearances, like scanning a book and posting it on the internet.

Well, which purchase contract? The one sealed in Thailand? Did it expressly forbid bringing the book outside of the country, or inside of the United States?

Quoting Aesma (Reply 7):
Not entirely true, imported DVDs are illegal here for the first 6 months after the silver screen release (or maybe 4 months now that local DVDs appear after that length of time).

Thank you for the correction! Does that also count for DVDs which were made in China and then shipped to France where the American-made film is still shown in the cinémas?


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 943 times:

Quote:
A variety of companies in publishing, software, and related industries had warned the Supreme Court that a defeat for Wiley would limit their latitude to sell products at lower prices in developing markets. Such a constraint could also result in higher overall prices, these business interests predicted.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles...rt-gray-market-win-for-costco-ebay

The manufacturers already have the ability to manufacturer pretty much anywhere in the world, wherever costs are most advantageous and a best fit for what they are making. Why is the benefit supposed to only be a one way street? They get to choose where they sell and how much they sell their product. Why should the consumer not have the right to buy from anywhere in the world? Why should a copyright holder have is the right to dictate what they owner of that product does with it (provided they are not copying it etc, keeping the product "whole" etc.).

Quote:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissent, calling the majority's position a "bold departure from Congress' design." Justice Ginsburg emphasized that consumers in poorer countries could suffer if publishers and other makers of copyrighted goods cease to offer copies of their works at lower prices.

What does the US Supreme Court have to do with other countries than the USA? Those same nations also benefit from manufacturers choosing to build their product in those "poorer countries", taking advantage of the lower wages, cost of living, materials etc, and then sell the product in other countries. Why is one OK and the other not?

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 8):
The copyright owner has the right to determine when and in what form his works will be *published*. For example, the heirs of the playwright Bertolt Brecht haven't allowed any "liberal" versions of his plays, they want the plays to be performed like Brecht originally wanted. (Brecht died in 1956.)

But in the realm of books, the work is published every time such a book is printed and sold - it's not comparable to a theatre version of a book which will be published every time a performance is held.

So, the textbooks bought in Thailand won't be "published" again when they enter the United States. The book was already printed and sold.

  

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 8):
Thank you for the correction! Does that also count for DVDs which were made in China and then shipped to France where the American-made film is still shown in the cinémas?

Well that is just copying and counterfeiting and not dealing the with sale of a legal product where the originator received the value for their work that they determined to be appropriate at the time of the sale.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 10, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 930 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):
What does the US Supreme Court have to do with other countries than the USA? Those same nations also benefit from manufacturers choosing to build their product in those "poorer countries", taking advantage of the lower wages, cost of living, materials etc, and then sell the product in other countries. Why is one OK and the other not?

I own some engineering textbooks I bought in the Philippines in National Bookstore. These books are lowcost editions of reputable textbooks from the US and other countries, but published as paperbacks and printed on cheap recycling paper.
In their original edition these textbooks would cost $70 - 150 each, but the Filipino edition (marked with "For sale in the Philippines only") cost only about $10 each. I used the opportunity to buy some of the books for my own use when I was visiting there last year, but I have no intention to re-sell them in Europe for a profit.

Jan


User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2330 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 910 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):
What does the US Supreme Court have to do with other countries than the USA? Those same nations also benefit from manufacturers choosing to build their product in those "poorer countries", taking advantage of the lower wages, cost of living, materials etc, and then sell the product in other countries. Why is one OK and the other not?

This argument comes straight from the publisher. They said that if people would be allowed to buy textbooks for $10 in the Philippines and sell them for $100 in the U.S., they would start pricing the Filipino edition at $100, thus punishing the students abroad.

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):
Why is the benefit supposed to only be a one way street?

Yes. A true proponent of free markets and a minimalist government should sign this. But as soon as the idea of books or even people moving freely across the frontiers comes up, they balk.  


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6534 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 876 times:

I'm a member of the imdb.com website and discuss movies on their forums, and I don't understand why the success of a movie is counted in dollars when every country has different prices (and even in one country you can have many prices) for a movie ticket. Here we count entries not money (maybe also because money is a taboo, but still, knowing that 10 millions people saw the movie is more meaningful than knowing it made 100 millions in a currency that isn't even ours).

Also, since I'm in IT, software has all kinds of prices across the world, and companies like Microsoft offer very low prices in China to try to curtain piracy. It still makes them more money than 100% pirated software, but if everybody could buy the Chinese version (the highest end Windows for example, that allows you to change its language on the fly) then they would lose far more money than that and it wouldn't make sense.

I think the main idea is that if you buy the thing for you/family members/friends it's fine, but making a living out of it is another story.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 8):
Thank you for the correction! Does that also count for DVDs which were made in China and then shipped to France where the American-made film is still shown in the cinémas?

Yes, the idea is not to ban imports for the sake of it, but to protect cinema venues. It's also illegal to sell a French DVD before 6 (now 4) months, but producers didn't do that anyway, so I just mentioned imports.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13040 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 868 times:

What will probably happen is that Publishers will alter some features and language of the foreign market versions of the same books sold in the USA to make them useless in the USA. From cars to prescription drugs to textbooks, we in the USA have to pay the highest prices as we have the most money, so we get stuck with the costs to pay the research and development instead of passing it along to the world.

User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2330 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 854 times:

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 13):

There are already different versions of textbooks - I own the "International Version" of Campbell's "Biology", and a notice says that it cannot be sold in the U.S. (I suppose this refers to a commercial seller, not a private). Supposedly, this is due to licencing costs for pictures and the articles the book is made of.

However, I've used several U.S. textbooks during my studies, without any problems. This works so well because biology is international, while accounting is less so, while law can rarely be compared, even between neighboring nations like Switzerland and Germany.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 12):
Yes, the idea is not to ban imports for the sake of it, but to protect cinema venues. It's also illegal to sell a French DVD before 6 (now 4) months, but producers didn't do that anyway, so I just mentioned imports.

Strange. I'm not a friend of laws that intend to protect certain businesses, but that's my opinion.  


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
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