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Technorati is indexing me again! They had to make a code change to fix the problem with my blog getting stuck in their queue. Kudos to Eric M. and the guys at GetSatisfaction.com where they have "community powered support for Technorati".
Well, they're "sorta, kinda" indexing me anyway. It's on a 24 hour tape delay or something. So I never get picked up by Memeorandum because they pull from Technorati and Technorati has stuff I posted yesterday listed as my latest blog entry. And that's old news to Memeorandum.
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It's a sunny Saturday morning. Your garage sale items are all lined up, neatly arranged on tables waiting for the first customer. And then the black Suburbans pull up. Federal Copyright Agents swoop in, confiscating everything made outside the USA, and slapping handcuffs on you and your children.
Sound farfetched? It isn't. A case headed for the Supreme Court later this month could make it illegal for you to resell pretty much anything you own, unless it is 100% made-in-the-USA.
At issue in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons is the first-sale doctrine in copyright law, which allows you to buy and then sell things like electronics, books, artwork and furniture, as well as CDs and DVDs, without getting permission from the copyright holder of those products.
Under the doctrine, which the Supreme Court has recognized since 1908, you can resell your stuff without worry because the copyright holder only had control over the first sale.
Put simply, though Apple Inc. has the copyright on the iPhone and Mark Owen has it on the book "No Easy Day," you can still sell your copies to whomever you please whenever you want without retribution.
That's being challenged now for products that are made abroad, and if the Supreme Court upholds an appellate court ruling, it would mean that the copyright holders of anything you own that has been made in China, Japan or Europe, for example, would have to give you permission to sell it.
Since virtually nothing is made entirely in the US these days this case has the potential to kill secondhand sales nationwide. No more used cars. No iPods on EBay. No used books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, or computers.
The greed of the publishing / entertainment / electronics industry is breathtaking in its audacity. The thing is though, lower courts have already ruled in favor of the copyright police. See, it's "not fair" that they could lose out on an additional sale. The guy who can't buy your used copy of Das Kapital will almost certainly drive on over to Barnes & Noble to purchase a brand new edition. Honest.
Will SCOTUS see reason? Don't count on it. Chief Justice John Roberts pulled Obamatax out of his ass. There's no telling what he might do with his newfound power to fuck over American citizens with the stroke of a pen. No one sells used SCOTUS opinions, right? What does he care if he makes garage sales illegal?
Freedom. It was fun while it lasted.
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