- You walk into a record store and buy the new UK import CD of 2NE1’s new record 2nd, (because you are in the mood for some k-Pop and glitter).
- You listen to it a few times and move on.
- You have a yard sale and put out a few CDs for sale.
- A kid buys it from you.
- You’ve got a bit of money you can use to buy more CDs.
- The kid gets started on a whole new trajectory of glitter-pop and hipness
Sounds like a pretty normal day-to-day transaction, no? Well, yes, but it relies upon a legal notion called “the doctrine of first sale”.
And that is now under consideration at the Supreme Court. Which might well tell us that we are not allowed to re-sell something which is made outside the US but can be covered by copyright inside the US (like a CD).
The folks at Demmand Progress have made a very lucid (and short) video explaining it: