No More Garage Sales Or Ebay For Things Made Overseas?

By Corinne Rose

October 9, 2012 Updated Oct 9, 2012 at 6:19 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case could determine whether you'll be allowed to resell anything you own that was made overseas.

A foreign student in college in America had his family back home buy his textbooks, which he then sold online here for significantly more money.

The publisher sued, claiming saying the student didn't have the company's permission to sell something it had copyrighted.

The student said America's first-sale doctrine covered him, because the copyright holder only controls the first time the item is purchased.

Any ruling from the high court could have broad implications, especially for the bookstore chain Half Price Books, which buys and sells used books, movies and CDs.

"Knowing that based on this decision it could possibly impact the way we do business. We'd have to contact every single copyright holder for these items. It could potentially delay sales of these items by weeks, months, maybe even years depending on how long it takes us to reach these people," says Jeremy Weiks, manager at Half Price Books.

The high court's decision could impact anyone who wants to sell something made overseas. So if the Supreme Court rules that you must get permission from the copyright holder, that could affect jewelry, electronics, furniture, even art produced in Asia or Europe. We'll keep you posted.

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