The Supreme Court will hear a case before the end of the month that could force garage sales and thrift stores out of business, according to Northern Colorado Gazette.
The first-sale doctrine, which allows consumers to sell used products they originally bought, could be in jeopardy, according to MarketWatch.
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The case that could determine it all stems from a college student shipping textbooks from his home country, Thailand, where the publisher sold them for a fraction of the price. The student would then sell them himself for a profit of $1.2 million in the U.S.
Companies with copyrights of foreign-made goods may be able to require permission to sell their goods if the Supreme Court backs up the appellate court’s decision — permissions that may come with a demand for a portion of the profit.
Such a decision could affect libraries, museums and Internet companies that are fueled by resold items like eBay or Craigslist, according to MarketWatch.
Used car sales could also take a hit since they have parts made by several different companies. This could potentially require a dealer to obtain permission from every manufacturer to sell the car, according to Northern Colorado Gazette.
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