While the details are significant, the end-result is that the NY Federal Court, by crushing over 100 years of copyright disposition law history in the US, believes it is illegal for people to resell items they have purchased, simply if they contain virtually ANY foreign copyright*
. IMO, this ruling is an direct attack on the copyright doctrine of "first sale", and will
be inevitably used to try to influence future laws and court rulings on the resale of domestic copyrighted materials.
The consequences are staggering if the US Supreme Court upholds or refuses to hear this case. It would then require new legislation to over-ride the decision...and we already know how "consumer friendly" and anti-Fair Use recent DRM laws have been. And...that doesn't even cover foreign intellectual property TREATYS, which become new US law and unfortunately supercede any previously existing US law
This means no reselling your used computers, phones, entertainment devices, clothing, etc. It could be interpreted this would even include your CAR...and your HOME unless ALL foreign copyrighted items (e.g. the central air conditioner) were removed. Note that most cars contain foreign-copyrighted computer code and chips, and regular old car parts have copyrighted/trademarked logos. Some believe that it will ultimately mean you won't be able to even share
OR donate any
foreign copyrighted items (books, movies, cars, etc) without permission from all
the copyright holders. Donate a book without going through and paying a fee to the (soon to be created) "Copyright Clearinghouse"?...pay a fine (and court costs).
Selling A Used IPad May Be Criminal Pending Supreme Court Ruling
Breaking News | June 13, 2012
(Marvin Ammori) The Supreme Court will soon hear a case that will affect whether you can sell your iPad--or almost anything else--without needing to get permission from a dozen copyright holders. Here are some things you might have recently done that will be rendered illegal if the Supreme Court upholds the lower court decision
(Note: this dovetails with something I've said for over a decade now...that the ultimate goal of the entertainment industry (by changing laws and the courts) is to require the consumer to pay for EVERY BIT...EVERY TIME it is accessed by the user in any form or venue. Replay=Repay (my made up phrase). It should be noted that the increasing usage of streaming media, eBooks, and "the Cloud" does nothing but facilitate their efforts.)
Note: for the most part, I assume
the same will apply to trademarks as well, and I would not distinguish between the two. While legally not accurate, I think it's a reasonable jump.
edit: add comment about trademarks