I See People Ignoring This

Via Jeff Soyer, there is a potentially devastating SCOTUS case coming up, over which there ought to be much outcry. Odd to just hear about it now. But then, it’s odd it was upheld by the appellate court.

The case would block first sale doctrine on anything made, or with components made, in a foreign country. Imagine not being able to sell your used car! Or books, electronics, antiques… all without permission of the original manufacturer/IP owner.

I can see a textbook publisher being miffed by someone arbitraging the disparity between US and foreign prices, but arbitrage exists, it is economic lubricant, and it just points up what a racket textbooks are in the first place. Why was I spending $600 for a semester of college and having to pay $50 for textbooks in the early to mid eighties? A racket. It apparently hasn’t changed, except for tuitions going up even faster, and my college becoming a university and presumably costing more as a result of that as well.

Since we have learned over several years and changing composition that the Supreme Court cannot be trusted to make valid decisions, it may well be that they blow this one, perhaps not even nuancing it to allow personal/small scale transactions while making large scale arbitrage a no-no.

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