Two And A Half Minute Video Explains How The Ability To Sell Stuff You Legally Purchased Is At Risk

from the you've-been-owned dept

As we wait patiently for the Supreme Court to decide the Kirtsaeng case, concerning whether or not you can resell goods that were made outside the US but that can be covered by copyright inside the US, the folks at Demand Progress have put together a nice two and a half minute video highlighting the possible consequences of a ruling that goes against first sale rights and limits your ability to freely sell items you legally purchased. While it may seem premature to be discussing this before the eventual ruling, having more people understand why this is a vitally important issue is helpful, so that we can either push for legislation to fix a bad ruling, or (hopefully) resist a push in the other direction by companies seeking to stomp out first sale rights.

Filed Under: copyright, first sale, kirtsaeng, supreme court

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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 6 Mar 2013 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I didn't say the company would be operating in a third world country. I'm saying these upstarts would happily supply to third world countries.

    You know, you don't even have to go this far to show that the A.C. is wrong. Producers can't increase prices arbitrarily, even in a perfectly monopolistic market.

    Wiley (and other publishers) don't lower their prices is foreign markets out of the goodness of their hearts. Those prices are already at the maximum that they can set to maximize their marginal revenue. If those prices were higher, fewer people would buy them, and the loss in marginal revenue from sales would be greater than the gain made from the higher price.

    If they increased the price of books in third-world countries to something even approaching the prices in the U.S., Wiley would price themselves out of the market entirely, even without any competition whatsoever.

    So, they have two choices. They can either leave the third-world market entirely, or they can lower the price of books in the U.S. Since lower U.S. prices would still result in marginal revenue - even if not optimal for a monopolist - they stand to make much more money overall from that second option.

    And that's not even considering competition. Not just from "upstarts," but from well-established first-world publishers. If Wiley chose to leave the market, or price themselves out of it, other publishers would do the math, take that second option, and make a killing. They'd outsell Wiley in the foreign market by default; and, due to their lower prices, they'd crush Wiley in the U.S. market as well.

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