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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » Yet more irrefutable proof that we Americans are ruled by cretins

   
Author Topic: Yet more irrefutable proof that we Americans are ruled by cretins
rcmann
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I bid you good people to peruse the following:

www.marketwatch.com/story/your-right-to-resell-your-own-stuff-is-in-peril-2012-10-04

I offer no further comment.

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Robert Nowall
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I'd post a lengthy diatribe about the role the courts play in the life of the USA, but I fear greatly it would veer off into substantial discourse about politics.

I'll just note in passing that, no matter what rights are involved, be it one's right to resell one's property or something else, the courts will often disregard and discard it.

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redux
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quote:
In August 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling that anything that was manufactured overseas is not subject to the first-sale principle. Only American-made products or “copies manufactured domestically” were.
So, first-sale doctrine will apply to ..... nothing? I think I once owned some cotton towels that were made in the USA.
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rcmann
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quote:

“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.”

― John Adams
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Robert Nowall
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I feel the need to diatribe by putting up this adlibbed condescending commentary:

Say you buy a book. Now, the rights of publication rest with the writer and publisher---till copyright lapses, nobody can republish without express permission to do so. (There are lengthy disputes about this going on right now.)

But a book is also an artifact---and, you, the purchaser, have the right to do as you please with it---destroy it, read it---but, in particular, you can re-sell it, at a profit.

This case is an attempt to shift this profit from the purchaser of the book to the creator of it. This is law in several other parts of the world, but it is not in the United States.

Property rights in the United States have been held to be inviolable, damn near sacred, in fact---but there have been several court decisions that have attempted to weaken this. You may recall hearing of the case of Kelo vs. the City of New London [CT], where the city was granted the right, under the rules of eminent domain, to take property and hand it over to just about anyone they wish to.

This is another grab. It could crop up in any number of ways. For instance, I said "book"---I could've said "CD"---and a favorable ruling in this case could, say, prevent someone from taking a CD they've bought and putting the tracks on an iPod or even a mix tape.

In effect, it can be summarized as "your property isn't yours." (Or "you didn't build that.") It's something that goes deep, that could affect thousands of things, that could be misused. There's no way to know how the US Supreme Court will rule on this---if you've followed the news from the court, you may be aware there were several shockers just this year---but be prepared for trouble, just in case.

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rcmann
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One of the mroe intriguing aspects of this, to me, is the timing. It is coming at the start of the ebook revolution. Relative to college textbooks, my son is currently starting his college journey and a good half of his assignments are passed out via the teacher's email and/or web page. They do use printed text books, but I get the distinct impression that these serve more as a source of revenue for the school than as actual tools for learning. Almost all of their assignments that have to do with anything besides pure mathematics are tied into public media somehow (internet usually).

It seems possible that even if the ruling goes along with modern idiocy, it might become a moot point for books. Just like the DMCA is a moot point. Who pays attention to the DMCA, besides the recording companies?

As far as resale of other items, I doubt that it will happen. Every used car lot and thrift store in the country would have to close. Congress would be lynched en masse. Idiots they certainly are. Suicidal idiots they are not. Even the craziest of the Roman emperors had sense enough not to piss off the mob.

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