eBay has launched a “grass roots” campaign to defend America’s first sale doctrine, as a Supreme Court hearing approaches that could subject second-hand and resale trades to the approval of rights-holders.
The online auctioneer is lobbying in defense of the first sale doctrine, and has launched “eBay Main Street” to mobilize its merchants.
The first sale doctrine – in essence, your right to sell your property – will be put under the spotlight in a case sparked by a student reselling textbooks bought outside the USA.
At issue is a decision by a lower court that as far as books are concerned, the doctrine only applies to copies made in America – a decision that forbids what Australians would recognize as parallel imports.
Rather than being confined to books, however, the Appeals Court ruling in the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons soon to be examined by the Supreme Court covers all copyright works.