copyright

If you sell your used iPad, you may be a copyright criminal, says U.S. Supreme Court

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: iPad, copyright, Supreme Court

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
Ben and Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women
Cannabis kicks Lyme disease to the curb
Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)
Harvard research links fluoridated water to ADHD, mental disorders
Right to farm being stripped from Americans: Michigan to criminalize small family farms with chickens, goats, honey bees and more
Monsanto's seed imperialism halted in Canada thanks to massive protests
Delicious
(NaturalNews) There is another copyright battle emerging over intellectual property, and this time you, John or Jane Q. Citizen, could be smack-dab in the middle of it, for one of the most innocuous acts you could imagine - selling your used iPad.

At present the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to rule on a case that will affect whether you can sell that iPad of yours, or any of dozens of other products, without first getting permission from scores of "copyright holders," The Atlantic magazine reported.

If the nation's highest court upholds rulings from lower federal courts on the matter, here are a few of the things that you have possibly done recently but will no longer be permissible:

-- Sold a first-generation iPad to someone on Craigslist, even if you initially bought it from a licensed Apple dealer;

-- Sold a used Omega watch on eBay so you could buy a better (new or used) Rolex at a local jewelry store;

-- Sold an "import CD" of a band whose album was only released overseas but was purchased legally there; ditto for a copy of a foreign novel that wasn't released in the U.S.;

-- "Sold your house to a willing buyer, so long as you sell your house along with the fixtures manufactured in China, a chandelier made in Thailand or Paris, support beams produced in Canada that carry the imprint of a copyrighted logo, or a bricks or a marble countertop made in Italy with any copyrighted features or insignia," The Atlantic reported.

What in the world...?

Designed here, but made overseas - that's the issue

According to reports, the Supreme Court case centers around the "first-sale doctrine" in copyright law. The doctrine simply means that you are allowed to buy and sell the things you purchase - even if your things have a copyright holder, you can still sell them because the copyright holder's control extends only to the "first-sale," a concept that the high court has observed for over a century.

Think of it like this. You buy a book by an author; the author owns the copyright so you can't legally make copies of the book without that author's permission. But, under the first-sale doctrine, you bought a copy of the book and sell your copy to someone else - a friend, co-worker or a willing buyer online.

In 1998, the first-sale doctrine was challenged by some copyright holders, but the Supreme Court held that it applied to all products made and sold in the U.S. The current case, however, stems from products manufactured abroad; in particular, it involved textbooks.

John Wiley & Sons sells two versions of its textbooks - an expensive version in the United States and a less-expensive version overseas. Supap Kirtsaeng, a foreign graduate student at University of Southern California (USC), wanted to help pay for his education so he asked relatives overseas to purchase copies of his textbooks and then ship them to him, which he then sold. He made money and fellow students saved money, but a U.S. district court in New York agreed with Wiley that the practice harmed the company because it resulted in fewer domestic sales of its pricier versions.

Extrapolate that to other products sold in the U.S. but manufactured abroad, like your iPad. You may have seen the statement on it which says, "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China." The same is true for your iPods, Mac computers, and your iPhones.

An absurd interpretation that has dire implications for U.S. products

Because the products were manufactured abroad, the first-sale doctrine does not apply, so to sell them, you would need the copyright holders' permission.

"That means, you need to ask Apple for permission, and probably Google, whose Maps software comes bundled with the iPad, and includes Google copyrights," The Atlantic said.

Get the picture? Before you sell anything (an old couch, books, your favorite toaster, a poster of an 80's hair band) you would have to look to see if it contained a copyrighted logo anywhere on it, and whether or not the product was "Made in the U.S.A." or abroad.

The lower court did acknowledge "the force of concern" that its ruling could force more companies to move their operations overseas, and that the law in particular was not clear.

No matter. The Second Circuit essentially said that if its ruling leads to such a bizarre conclusion, Congress could work out the details at a later date - an absurd assumption on its face, given the workload Congress already has and its reliance on federal courts not to reach such absurd conclusions when ruling on U.S law.

Despite the apparent confusion in the lower courts about what the first-sale doctrine genuinely means, the Supreme Court can put an end to the foolishness by exercising basic common sense in its ruling. After all, courts are supposed to interpret laws to avoid "absurd results" and constitutional conflicts. In this case, upholding the lower courts would certainly affect Americans' first amendment rights to buy and sell their own products at home and abroad, as well strip them of property rights without compensation.

We'll keep an eye on this one.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.theatlantic.com

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/04/scotus-first-sale-revisted/

http://www.copyright.gov/reports/studies/dmca/dmca_executive.html

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.