Oral Arguments in First-Sale Doctrine Case

Oral Arguments in First-Sale Doctrine Case Play

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The Supreme Court is set to decide what you can sell on eBay, Craigslist, or in a yard sale. In oral arguments today, the Court will consider conflicting parts of the federal copyright law. The first-sale doctrine says if you legally buy a book, record, or TV show, you can resell it. Another part says you can't import a copyrighted work without the copyright owner's permission. The case involves a former college student who bought cheap textbooks in his native Thailand, and may have earned as much as $1.2 million reselling them to U.S. buyers on eBay. In separate cases, the Second, Third and Ninth circuits have split three ways on the issue, finding foreign-made works can always, sometimes, or never be resold in the United States. (Source: Bloomberg)

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