In the latest example of individual rights being blatantly disregarded by the United States federal government, the United States Supreme Court is set to hear arguments debating whether everyday Americans have the right to re-sell their personal property.
MarketWatch’s Jennifer Waters recently published an article titled, “Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril”
In the article, Waters tells how the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case regarding individual’s rights to resell copyrighted items originally made in Europe, Japan or China:
Put simply, though Apple has the copyright on the iPhone and Mark Owen does 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.
“It means that it’s harder for consumers to buy used products and harder for them to sell them,” said Jonathan Band, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Association for Research Libraries. “This has huge consumer impact on all consumer groups.”
Property rights advocates are outraged, arguing that if the Supreme Court upholds the ruling, individuals wouldn’t really own most of their possessions – they simply would have purchased the right to use these copyrighted items – not resell them in yard sales, on Amazon or Ebay.
One commentator posts – “This is even bigger than people are implying. Do I own my home, or does the architect and designer have rights that prohibit me from selling it? What about my car, which is chock-full of patents and copyrights? Used appliances? Even the real estate my house is on is treated with patented chemicals, masonry boarders and walls, and even designer plants. This goes to the fabric of a free society; property ownership.”
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