U.S. Supreme Court decides in favor of student selling books on eBay

    About the lawsuit filed by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. against a student from Thailand named Supap Kirtsaeng, who sold literature published abroad on eBay, and why this business is so important for the entire e-commerce industry has already been written in Habré . In a nutshell: manufacturers often sell their goods at different prices in different countries, depending on the solvency of the population and the competitive situation in the market. The difference in price can be very noticeable . Thanks to this, a gaining popularity scheme using online auctions has become possible, when a foreign citizen buys goods in his country at a low price, and then resells it in the United States (or another country with overpriced prices) at a high price.

    In September 2008, John Wiley & Sons filed a lawsuit in the amount of $ 600,000 against the aforementioned student, accusing him of violating his copyright. Supap Kirtsaeng completely legally bought books in Thailand and sold them in the USA at an online auction. The trial court ruled in favor of the publisher, the student appealed, and in the end it came to the US Supreme Court. Today, March 19, the final verdict in this case is issued. It is of great importance, as it sets a precedent on which the global market for online auctions depends. The "First Sale Rule", which restricts the rights of the producer and copyright holder after the first sale of a copy of the work and allows a bona fide buyer to do whatever he wants with the purchased goods, conflicts with the interests of publishers.

    By a three-vote majority, the US Supreme Court affirmed the inviolability of the “first-sale rule” and refused to satisfy John Wiley & Sons. This is a big plus for the Internet community and a minus for manufacturers who overcharge their products in some countries. On the Internet, the concept of the state border is very blurry, and there is no way to profit from artificial restrictions. If the court sided with the publisher, it would create huge barriers to e-commerce. Fortunately, common sense won this time.

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