Sedona AZ (June 26, 2012) – Sedona Arizona resident, Kristin Monday, asks the public to act now to preserve an American property right known as “first sale doctrine“:
Imagine an America where it was illegal to sell a copy of your old iPhone or trade in a used car. Your yard sale is illegal because you no longer have the right to sell your used goods.
Incredible as it sounds, copyright law has been interpreted by the courts to mean exactly that. If a product was manufactured overseas — as so many of them are — a recent Federal court ruling says you don’t have the right to sell it or dispose of it as you see fit!
The case is making its way up the Supreme Court, and many of us involved in the SOPA and PIPA battle are sounding the alarm. As someone who was also active in that fight, it’s important that you be informed as well. Yet again, broken copyright laws are being used to trample on our freedoms.
Sign the petition at www.YouveBeenOwned.org and tell Obama, Congress, and the courts not to step on our property rights.
For over a century, the “first sale doctrine” has enabled a vibrant market in used goods – including the good-old fashioned American yard sale.
It basically says that copyright owners get one bite at the apple, when they first sell a product. The buyer of that product is then free to sell it at any point — regardless of whether it was made here or abroad.
In the case of Kirtsaeng v. Wiley and Sons now making its way to the Supreme Court, a book publisher sued a college student for selling a cheaper version of a textbook legally acquired abroad here in the U.S. The publisher was awarded $600,000 — more than 15 times what the student made from the sale of the books.
The last time the Supreme Court decided a case like this, in 2011, the Court deadlocked 4-4. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself because she worked on the case as President Obama’s Solicitor General, and she sided with the copyright lobby — which included the MPAA and luxury goods makers who gave us SOPA and PIPA.
Act Now: Don’t Let Copyright Holders Steal Our Property Rights! Visit act.demandprogress.org and or www.YouveBeenOwned.org.