Say you buy a textbook in another country, where textbooks are cheap. Then you bring the book back to the U.S. and sell it at a profit. Did you break the law?
No, you didn’t. In a ruling that came down yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a student who had his friends and relatives buy textbooks in Thailand which he later re-sold in the U.S. on eBay.
The ruling was a key moment in something called the ‘first sale’ doctrine, which says that, if you buy something that’s copyrighted, you’re allowed to ‘sell or otherwise dispose’ of it without the permission of the copyright owner.
— So does that mean you can sell your old MP3s?