Tag Archives: Copyright

Supreme Court Hears Case Over Textbook Resale

5 Nov

The Cornell Daily Sun just posted an article on the Supreme Court case involving a textbook publisher vs a student who bought and resold textbooks he imported from his home country of Thailand. The case could have much broader implications than its ruling on Kirtsaeng’s lawsuit including the right to block the resale of any goods that were first purchased overseas. Under copyright law, if a book or other material is published in the U.S., whoever buys it can resell it for any price they can get. But what about copyrighted goods U.S. companies produce abroad with the intent that they stay there? Will resellers in the U.S. have to start tracking where things come from — or get sued?

Tracy Mitrano, director of IT law and policy at Cornell, said that the case could affect the resale of a variety of goods procured abroad that are protected by copyright laws. She also added that one of the more contentious aspects of the case is the application of U.S. copyright law on the international stage.

You might want to review the full article at: http://www.cornellsun.com/section/news/content/2012/11/02/supreme-court-hears-case-over-textbook-resale

My thoughts on the matter:

“If you buy a legitimate, authentic good, then you own it, plain and simple and you have a right to resell it, lend it, give it away or donate it.” Companies can import products to take advantage of off shore prices. I would bet some textbook publishers use off shore printing operations to cut their costs. But if a consumer wants to import something and resell it violates the publishers rights. If they can sell a low priced book offshore, don’t cry foul, sell it cheaper here also, oh Wait, then they can not gouge US students with all the big bucks.

What do you think?