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This may sound to some like an abstruse legal diary, and, admittedly, it's not about "electing more and better Democrats".  It is, instead, about a fundamental threat to the intellectual world as we know it.

Perhaps that sounds like it's overstating the case.  But consider:  the Supreme Court's upcoming review of a case called Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Co. threatens to wreak havoc on libraries, secondhand bookstores, video rental, and even your ability to buy copies of a book, magazine, or video and give them to other people.

The Supreme Court's statement of "questions presented" can be found here.  More of my non-lawyer commentary can be found below the orange squiggly thing.

"First sale" is the legal doctrine which says that copyright holders in the United States only have the right to control the "first sale" of a physical book, magazine, DVD, etc., and that they have no right to control what you, the buyer, do with it after you buy it.  Once you've purchased it, as far as the law is concerned, you can keep it on a shelf, sell it, rent it out (like Netflix/Blockbuster), loan it to your friends or to the general public (like a library), or give it away to Goodwill, your cousin Timmy, or some random person on the street.  This is not considered to infringe on the copyright holder's legal monopoly over their intellectual property because they are deemed to have received their just profit from the "first sale" of the item.  There are a few things the buyer can't do, such as make additional copies and distribute them, or put on shows for the general public.  But as long as there's only one copy and it's only being used for private reading or viewing, it's all good, no matter how many people may have owned it and read it or viewed it serially.

Without this rule, it would be impossible for libraries, secondhand bookstores, or video-rental businesses to exist.  Copyright holders could ban secondhand sales, rental, or even private borrowing or gifting of their products by asserting that such activities infringed on their protected monopoly over the sale of their intellectual property.

The case at hand involves an international college student, Supap Kirtsaeng, who noticed that the very same textbooks were simultaneously being sold cheap in Thailand while they were exorbitantly expensive in US college bookstores.  Being an enterprising fellow, he started buying them cheap in Thailand and selling them at a profit to other students in the US.

John Wiley & Co., the publisher involved in this case, mischieviously parses the structure of a sentence in the US copyright law in order to assert that "first sale" only applies to items manufactured in the United States, not to items lawfully manufactured in other countries.  Therefore, says Wiley, buyers of books/DVDs/etc. manufactured overseas are guilty of copyright infringement if they resell those items in the US.  

Wiley's immediate goal appears to be to defend their ability to price-discriminate between customers in different countries, price-gouging US college students with exorbitant textbook prices while selling the same books much more cheaply in overseas markets, and prohibit small-business entrepreneurs like Mr. Kirtsaeng from arbitraging the difference between the two.  (You know, just like big companies are prohibited from arbitraging the difference between wage levels in different countries, using cheap overseas workers to make products which are then sold in the US at high prices made possible only by the higher US wage scale.  Oh, wait.  They aren't?)  

Beyond that rather ugly goal looms an even uglier potential precedent.  A ruling for Wiley in this case could establish, instead of a single standard of law, a two-tiered system in which publishers are given preferential legal treatment, and the ability to prohibit secondhand sale or rental of their products, if they manufacture them outside the US.

The predictable result would be to prompt publishers to outsource production of physical books and other media, killing US manufacturing jobs, in order to get the preferential legal status which would allow them to outlaw secondhand sale, rental or borrowing of those products.  This in turn would jack up prices and reduce selection for US customers who would no longer have the options to buy those products secondhand, rent them, or borrow them from a library.  Nor would customers be able to acquire a legal copy, at any price, of a book or DVD that was not marketed in the US, such as the many movies and TV shows from England, Japan, and other foreign countries that are never given an official US release.  This would also, obviously, wreak havoc on libraries, secondhand book and video sellers, video rental businesses, and all of their customers and users.

Is the world "flat" only when it boosts the profit margins of large companies?  Or is the global marketplace also "flat" when it allows individuals to get a better price on something they need, or to buy something which is not readily available in their home country?

Let's just hope that at least five Justices aren't wholly owned by the media companies and are able to see how radical and unwise such a change in US copyright law would be.

No time right now to hunt down lots o' links other than the Supreme Court links at the top, but a quick Google News search for (Kirtsaeng AND Wiley) should bring up lots of food for thought for the interested reader.

Originally posted to Felix on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 02:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Gamers, Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm off... (234+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, Gooserock, owlbear1, T Maysle, hubcap, BachFan, triplepoint, Marie, Angie in WA State, quill, Yasuragi, JamieG from Md, Lorikeet, G2geek, jayden, peptabysmal, IndieGuy, Karl Rover, Cassandra Waites, Cartoon Peril, trivium, martini, Dumbo, weck, Ageing Hippie, jabney, Armando, Magnifico, mconvente, Iberian, dmhlt 66, PBnJ, fixxit, Nebraskablue, sebastianguy99, WI Deadhead, copymark, Statusquomustgo, merrily1000, lcs, plankbob, statsone, psnyder, Celtic Pugilist, TracieLynn, Panacea Paola, fcvaguy, Loudoun County Dem, linkage, bnasley, markdd, lineatus, Aaa T Tudeattack, akeitz, tle, Hedwig, white blitz, dsb, Brown Thrasher, Simplify, notdarkyet, greycat, Chrisfs, Matilda, roses, antirove, Ignacio Magaloni, mattc129, zaka1, Alumbrados, ogre, bloomer 101, notrouble, WheninRome, Dr Colossus, mikeconwell, myrealname, ARS, WisePiper, science nerd, dotsright, jennifree2bme, Miggles, basquebob, raster44, deha, Lefty Coaster, blueoregon, concernedamerican, soros, niaman, Joe Bob, caul, zedaker, bluicebank, bluesheep, Creosote, bakeneko, Youffraita, Marko the Werelynx, Regina in a Sears Kit House, MichaelNY, defluxion10, Kathy S, Carlo, rmonroe, pgm 01, gerrilea, George Hier, Sandino, riverlover, Seneca Doane, mofembot, Executive Odor, blueoasis, rmx2630, Clues, rb608, yaque, spacejam, emmasnacker, sunny skies, stevenwag, marleycat, skyounkin, coppercelt, The House, Crazycab214, Otteray Scribe, Crashing Vor, DuzT, Caddis Fly, Moody Loner, Nowhere Man, AmericanAnt, xgy2, elengul, Mirele, No one gets out alive, GeorgeXVIII, DarkestHour, JesseCW, Ice Blue, Sun Tzu, BlackBandFedora, tapestry, expatjourno, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, FloridaSNMOM, Robynhood too, OregonMon, tobendaro, Nicci August, Bob Duck, mungley, chimpy, cocinero, enufisenuf, semiot, annan, PeterHug, elfling, Shakludanto, sostos, Unit Zero, Amber6541, Nina Katarina, skwimmer, ChemBob, sfbob, confitesprit, Superskepticalman, StrayCat, enhydra lutris, Trotskyrepublican, cybersaur, zerelda, Cedwyn, IL clb, prettygirlxoxoxo, redlum jak, technomage, BobBlueMass, ColoTim, progressivevoice, jediwashuu, socal altvibe, Aramis Wyler, TBug, pimutant, Stwriley, GoGoGoEverton, avsp, vahana, Thutmose V, Softlanded, fuzzyguy, buckstop, Jim P, kharma, lexington50, 420 forever, Lujane, wsexson, old wobbly, DreamyAJ, luckydog, Brooke In Seattle, sb, Odysseus, Spoc42, millwood, Laughing Vergil, young voter, salmo, Flying Goat, greengemini, helpImdrowning, SquirmyRooter, dsteffen, SanFernandoValleyMom, Spirit of Life, clananderson, freelunch, Native Light, eeff, fatbeagle, FarWestGirl, Mr Robert, terabytes, john07801, lryer, ferment, SoCaliana

    ... to enjoy the rest of Earth Day outdoors, but I'll be back later to see what others think about this.

  •  Gee if We Had Tariffs the Kid Couldn't Have (34+ / 0-)

    profited or only much less from reimporting the books.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 02:11:00 PM PDT

  •  Sorry to break the news to you (49+ / 0-)
    Let's just hope that at least five Justices aren't wholly owned by the media companies
    They are corporate lapdogs.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 02:11:08 PM PDT

  •  In deciding cases between a corporation and (54+ / 0-)

    a real person, this court almost always rules for the corporation.  

    The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats

    by deepsouthdoug on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 02:17:56 PM PDT

  •  The company was sloppy (19+ / 0-)

    In the old days, there were "Taiwan editions" of texts and reference works that were only licensed as legal for sale in Taiwan. (We had to cut the title pages out so that customs could be "ignorant" if we brought one home.) Someone forgot the restriction. Or maybe it fell in another legal action?

    "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

    by sagesource on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:18:01 PM PDT

  •  Oh man. I don't want to look. ... this could be (14+ / 0-)

    really, really ugly.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:45:02 PM PDT

  •  stopping secondary sale of everything: (39+ / 0-)

    "Additionally, nearly any goods can have copies of copyrighted works affixed to them or incorporated into the goods’
    packaging, making the consequences of the Second Circuit’s interpretation difficult to understate."

    http://publicknowledge.org/...
    pages 11 - 12.

    In other words, any ordinary physical product could have copyrighted works attached to it in some manner, and thereby give the original producer of the product permanent control over all secondary sale of the product.

    For example a manufacturer of consumer electronics could etch meaningless "poetry" (composed by random word search algorithms) on circuit boards and thereby claim that you may not re-sell the products.  

    This is hardly as far-fetched as it seems, and a relatively minor effort on the part of a manufacturer in order to gain permanent control of the goods.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:17:48 PM PDT

    •  Of course, any item with an embedded (26+ / 0-)

      microprocessor (and even a toaster or coffeemaker usually has one) contains copyrighted software. Say goodbye to the second- or third-hand market for consumer electronics and appliances if this goes through.

      If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse. --Mark Crislip

      by ebohlman on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:39:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  about which I'll say: I thoroughly detest... (23+ / 0-)

        ... the proliferation of microprocessors into every little niche, every nook and cranny of technology.

        Coffee makers and toasters, much less clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc. etc., have as much need for microprocessors as a fish has for a bicycle.   All of their control and feedback functions can be performed by discrete components, often very simple ones.  

        But yes, in the ever-increasing spiral of growthism to seek out new avenues of IP protection for absurd purposes, manufacturers will embed IP into mundane products along with "end-user license agreements" that forbid removing the IP in order to sell the product.  

        Meanwhile we're destroying the capacity of our planet to sustain human life.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:34:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Microprocessors are not introduced into (38+ / 0-)

          coffee pots so they can gat some form of IP involved.

          The use of processors in mundane appliances is very simple.  It is cheaper to use a processor and a few cheap buttons than it is to maike a mechanical controller.

          I have been working as an embedded engineer in coin-op for over 40 years.  When I designed some of the first processor controls for automated vending these controls revolutionized our industry, making it more convenient for the customer and way more reliable for the operator.  Old mechanical coin switches, vending select, jukebox selectors and timers in coffee machines were all replaced with processor control by the late 1970's and early 1980's and the old mechanical controls abandoned for good.

          Not only were the updates from mechanical to electronic less expensive but easier to maintenance.

          This has been seen in home appliances from dishwashers to coffee pots and the consumer likes what he/she sees.  A more attractive control with more features without a dime more exoense than a lousy on-off switch.

          As far as adding internet to your coffee pot, now this is where we agree.  Stupid idea and serves no real purpose.

          As far as a coffee pot having so-called "copyrighted software", this is not exactly true.  Not all software is copyrightable.  Certain functions which are considered to be common are not.  Just because it is a written piece of code does not always mean it is something that can be copyrighted.  In the electronics industry a microcontroller may be an integral component doing simple tasks that are no more than maintenance tasks (the on-off of the heater in a coffee pot; the upkeep of time on the display) and unless those tasks have to be handled in a unique and special way there may be no claim to ownership of the code that makes these things happen.  Oftentimes code like this is written from "canned" code - in other words there are hundreds of service routines contained in 2nd level embedded compilers (think above C++) that can be dragged and dropped into the target code that handle display update, reading switches, counting time, on-off of relays, etc. where the microcode is pre-written and no claim to ownership is implied nor is extended to the end user.  Most companies could care less about such things as the code controling their coffee pot as long as they have a controller for their coffee pot.  And these control programs are often written by folks like myself in a third-party form where I personally could care less if someone copied it or not.   It is only utility code anyway, big deal.

          O-ne-i-nis-to - Oh-no-mis-ta [Lakota]

          WolfmanSpike

          Howlin' at the World from the Left Side of the Planet

          by WolfmanSpike on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:09:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  from one fellow smarty-pants to another... (25+ / 0-)

            ... I'm a PBX engineer, and even though I lament the passing of electromechanical telephone switching, the development of stored program control has enabled things in our industry that were either not possible or prohibitively expensive otherwise.

            There's a difference between something that improves functionality and something that merely adds fluff.  For example the proliferation of clocks on every damn thing in the kitchen, is way beyond stupid, particularly in light of daylight savings time (one or the other has go G-O).  

            Vending machines are a special case because they are exposed to the depredations of idiots, thieves, and vandals.  I could go on at length about payphones, though the original Gray mechanism from the early 1900s, or some variant of it with electrical coin signaling to the central office (as used in England and other places), still wins in terms of simplicity and reliability.  But the unique aspect of payphones is that the complex bits can be kept in the central office and maintained by the priesthood, whereas other types of coin-operated devices are entirely self-contained.

            Good to hear that functional code can't be subverted as a means of IP fascism.  

            Internet-connected appliances not only serve little to no purpose, they can be exploited mercilessly for cyberattacks, or even physical attacks:  

            For example consider a virus delivered to internet-connected fridges that cycles the power to them during hours when they are not being watched.  This causes food to go bad before its expiration date, leading to outbreaks of obviously food-borne illnesses without any clear attribution.  Something similar could be done to microwave ovens, to cause them to cook foods "hot enough" for the people eating them but not hot enough to kill dangerous microorganisms such as salmonella.  I call those things "remote-control bioterrorism."  

            As for internet-connected coffee pots, a virus could cause them to cycle on while unattended, override the thermal shutoffs, and thereby start house fires.  Think of a highrise apartment building with a bunch of apartments catching on fire at the same time.

            I've run these scenarios and others by people in cybersecurity and their reply was "I can't talk about that..." so this is not idle speculation.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:36:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And the jackasses are more concerned about (22+ / 0-)

              some kid copying a song than actually protecting the system.  But, then again, unless it affects their bottom line they don't give a shit.

            •  I get into this with people (20+ / 0-)

              who either have nothing more to do than argue or view the world as one big "network".  I mean, really....why would anyone want their coffee pot on the internet?  What purpose would it serve?  I have heard answers such as..."You can load the settings for every brand of coffee you use and the pot takes over..." My answer, "sometimes it's best to brew your own damn coffee than to let someone on the internet tell you what your coffee should taste like."

              Embedded control is the future but there must be a human touch to all of it.  Nice to see certain features but I just cannot see ever a reason for my blender being on the internet.

              I get contracted to do controls like this all the time - from appliances to power tools, most of which are no more than fluff features but sometimes real useful functions are added.  Mainly safety features.  But I do not accept work doing anythng such as wireless network access by a drill so you can download drilling control from the manufacturer of the bit you are using for a particular material.  Idiotic.  If you need such assistance, please put down the drill and walk away before you get hurt or you hurt someone else!!

              Cool to hear you work with phone equipment.  Done enough of that for a lifetime.  Started out working with crossbar exchanges.  Sad to see such a marvelous piece of engineering thrown in a scrap metal yard.

              Another thing I cannot stand is people who cannot take a crap without their phone.  There must be an app for that too!  These are the folks who want network appliances so they can play with them from the office or while on vacation - as if doing so is somehow impressive.  I just want to slap that damn phone out of their hands and bust it all to pieces!  How annoying in a restaurant or in a queue at the grocery store.  Technology gone too far folks and most who do these things do not realize how they are ruining their lives becoming so dependent upon it.  Each of the "apps" are copyrightable for the most part and the IP fascism you mention is rampant amongst these apps and their creators.  The more dependent people become, the more control someone else has on their lives.  And sad to say, those who depend on these phones to rule their lives do not realize it is someone else in control - they think they are the one who is holding the phone and using the features.  But try to get someone to put down that phone for a day -- you will be more successful getting a 2-pack a day smoker to go without a cigarette for a day!

              O-ne-i-nis-to - Oh-no-mis-ta [Lakota]

              WolfmanSpike

              Howlin' at the World from the Left Side of the Planet

              by WolfmanSpike on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:55:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  woot! Crossbar! (19+ / 0-)

                Ericsson ARD and AKD machines in my distant background.  Here's me regretting I never managed to save one for the historic collection, even a small one.   (Though I did save a small rotary selector PAX, an English one oddly enough.  And interestingly, AC mains power consumption when idle is zero, as in, so low I can't even measure it on a digital meter.)  

                Well darn, we have something rare in common there!  See the last part of this comment for more: how'd you like to help build something ferociously progressive?

                Good analogy between cellphones and cigarettes.  I use a landline and smoke a pipe, no cellphones or cigarettes here.  

                What I find thoroughly amazing about cellphones is this:  the audio quality is pre-1928.  Compare the audio of G.729 compression to a 1929 dial phone, and the ancient dial phone wins.  People have come to tolerate atrocious audio that, when anything remotely similar happens on a landline, causes them to howl for repair.  

                Not only that, but G.729 is the reason for dangerous driving while using a cellphone.  The brain has to devote sufficiently more effort to deciphering cellphone speech than to filtering analog noise.  And I've designed a controlled experiment to test this hypothesis.  But also, consider there was never a driving hazard associated with analog mobile phones over the approx. 50 years they were in use, or with Citizens' Band Radio which was enormously popular in the 1970s.  G.729 is the culprit.  

                And then there's the whole spying & stalking thing.  Software-driven devices with microphones and cameras that you can't turn off for sure.  It used to be that a wireless microphone was called a "bug," but now it's a "feature," so you aren't being "bugged," you're being "featured"!

                So when someone asks why I don't have a cellphone, I always tell them, "I get all the surveillance I want for my tax dollars, and when I want 1920s audio I have real antique phones for that."  

                On the subject of power tools....

                There are some embedded controls I would like to see, that are actually useful.

                One, a constant RPM control for power saws and electric drills.  You would be able to set the maximum speed of the device by turning a knob ("up" and "down" arrows suck, and "menus" suck even worse) and seeing it on a display.  Then you squeeze the trigger and the tool speeds up to that point and holds the speed.  

                Another variant on that theme would be an automatic down-speed control for when the tool reached the end of the material it was working.  So when the saw gets to the end of the sheet of plywood, it automatically slows down or even stops.  And when the drill gets through the material you're drilling, it does likewise.

                This would be incredibly useful for any application where you don't want the tool to suddenly speed up and keep going through some other material after it's done with the material you're working on.  For example you're drilling through material that's covering up an air space with some other more fragile materials inside or under it.  How many times have you had to be very very careful to release the trigger on a drill or saw to avoid damaging adjacent material, right?  This would solve that entirely.  

                Another embedded control that would be useful, is a speed control and revolution counter on portable electric concrete mixers.  Thus you could slow down the drum speed to handle low-slump (stronger) concrete, and the counter would ensure sufficient revolutions to mix it properly (e.g. 40 revolutions).  With this, you could work on a masonry project without having to keep checking the concrete mixer: it would beep at you when each batch is ready.  

                Agreed, anyone who has to download coffee settings, much less electric drill settings, needs to be kept in a plastic bubble far away from anything that plugs into a wall.  But the problem is, our culture is devolving in exactly that direction, with products that can't be repaired, and with everything computrified to the point where thinking isn't necessary.  For a real lesson in how far we've fallen, look up early to mid 20th century back-issues of Popular Mechanics online.  It used to be that people built their own houses, automobiles, tools, appliances, even airplanes, as a matter of routine.  Nowadays there's almost a pervasive fear of doing so.  

                So I gotta' question:  How'd you like to get involved in a telephone & data project that involves powerfully subversive technology?   Yes this is paid work, not volunteer stuff.  I'm working on something right now that has ferocious potential in that direction.  I can't discuss it in public because I'd out myself and tip my hand, but if this interests you, write to my public email address:
                g2g-public01 (at) att (period) net
                and I'll be in touch.  Any time I'm at my desk I get email in realtime so I'll reply quickly.  

                "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:27:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  It terrifies me to see today's kids (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                avsp, sb, millwood

                unable to function or travel without a phone. Honest: we used to do it all the time.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:24:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Keep in mind though (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FarWestGirl

                  that when you were a kid you probably had pretty good access to pay phones. Nowadays, there are plenty of places where they're scarce to non-existent.

                  If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse. --Mark Crislip

                  by ebohlman on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 02:18:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Why on earth anyone would want an internet Fridge (10+ / 0-)

              is beyond me. As such, I hate my electronic washing machine in my hot garage. It turns on by itself sometimes. Indeed, I want my old reliable electromechanical washer back. By the way, I still use a 15 year old electromechanical dryer, having only to replace a thermal-fuse in all this time.

              "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General.

              by Mr SeeMore on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 08:58:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  you can still find electromechanical washers. (10+ / 0-)

                Not easily, but none the less.  The usual source would be used appliance stores.  

                But even more subversive, "semi-automatic" washers that require you to select each function with a switch and wind up a timer for each part of the cycle.  These are or were popular in places where water conservation is a must, because there are ways to use them to significantly boost water efficiency, for example Australia.  You can modify any conventional washer with a plain AC motor, to semi-automatic control, though it definitely takes having electrical skills to do it.  

                I've got a Danby DTT-420 twin-tub, which uses mechanical timers & switches.  These are still available and not that expensive (a few hundred bucks), though they're designed for apartment-sized laundry needs rather than large capacity.  However, since twin-tubs use a separate agitate compartment and spin compartment (yes, you have to move the load back and forth), you can do a large bunch of laundry fairly quickly by overlapping the cycles as you go.  

                Another advantage of this system is that the spinner is much higher speed than on a conventional washer, so clothes come out barely damp compared to a regular washer.  The result is that I can hang my clothes on an indoor clothes line and only need to use my tumble dryer a few times a year.  That saves a nice chunk on the electric bill.  

                BTW, if your washer misbehaves by starting spontaneously, I'd suggest putting it on a power strip with sufficient capacity for the load, so you can turn off the power strip when it's not in use.  Otherwise just unplug when not in use.  Also turn off the water lines to it when not in use, because maintaining pressure on the hoses to the washer is a common cause of household floods (when the hoses leak or burst) that can cost five figures to remediate.  

                "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:38:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the preset electronic settings on my washer (0+ / 0-)

                  none of which allows me to do a simple spin-only cycle, drive me batty. I wish this had been evident in the store.

                  For purposes of calculating the CPI, it's deemed a "valuable improvement" that I would pay more money for. Hmpf.

                  Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                  by elfling on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:28:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I've had ours sixteen years (5+ / 0-)

                Both the washer and dryer are electromechanical. My late husband Bob and I bought them in 1996, third-hand. I don't actually know how old they are. The dryer's a Whirlpool and the washer's a Kenmore, and both are likely old enough to have been made in the US. They just keep on going. Bob had to replace a belt on the dryer eleven or twelve years ago; that's been all it's ever needed. The washer hasn't ever needed anything. They may last me the rest of my life.

                Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

                Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

                by Kitsap River on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:53:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  from back when we USED to make great things (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  greengemini, Kitsap River

                  in the USA...

                  Sad that, for the most part, those days are behind us.

                  For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

                  by dagnome on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:13:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Whirlpool still mostly made here (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kitsap River

                    Thought you should know that most WP and Maytag appliances are still made in US. Can't promise that they'll last as long as old ones though.

                    I know that their bottom freezer and basic SxS refrigerators, dishwashers, and most washers and dryers are made in the US of A

                    •  Good to hear! Thanks for that info ;-) (0+ / 0-)

                      I guess that makes up for computers all being made abroad now... (IBM laptops now made by Lenovo in China!)

                      yes, that's kinda snarky...

                      For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

                      by dagnome on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:45:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I think they're looking towards the fridge being (0+ / 0-)

                able to do inventory and reorder at some point.

                Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

                by FarWestGirl on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 05:27:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Worth examining more closely (0+ / 0-)

              In general, I agree with you.  It's easy to catch a monkey with a shiny object.

              The functions that are exposed to devices that are connected to the internet are mostly reporting.  There is little or no control authority.  The circuits simply aren't there.  

              This is a blessing.

              I agree that the ability to change settings is risky, and should be examined closely.

              Myself, I have nothing like this, but I do like microcontrollers, and have even caught the bug myself ( Arduino's are very handy ).

              The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

              by No one gets out alive on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:39:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Bye-Bye Ebay. n/t (13+ / 0-)

      Regulated capital serves the people, unregulated capital serves itself.

      by Alumbrados on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:00:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Costco v Omega (16+ / 0-)
      "Additionally, nearly any goods can have copies of copyrighted works affixed to them or incorporated into the goods’
      As you may know, this is very similar to what the Omega watch co. did to keep Costco from buying their products cheap overseas and reselling them in the US.  

      http://www.wired.com/...

      In this 2010 case, the court held (as I understand it) that the presence of a company stamp on the back of the watch was sufficient to invoke IP protection.

      Unfortunately, in that case, the outcome was 4-4, and the missing vote was Justice Kagan, who had recused herself because she had argued, on behalf of the Obama administration, in favor of Omega.  

      •  yeah i'm familiar with that one. (11+ / 0-)

        Utterly detestable.  

        Arbitrary market segmentation enforced by law is disgusting.  It logically leads to a situation where the "news" you get in each country is tailored in such a manner as to reinforce the status quo there, and access to foreign news sources is forbidden not by official censors but by their private-sector equivalent.  

        The answer to these types of cases is to just boycott the bastards.  Stop feeding them our money.  

        (That said, there are cases where country/sale limits make sense, such as where real technical differences are involved.  For example the PBXs I work on are country-specific due to the differences in national telecoms such as line characteristics and numbering plans.  But the manufacturer does not attempt to stop cross-border sales, they just won't support warranty outside the designated countries, which IMHO is perfectly fair.  Omega would have been reasonable to make it known that it will not provide warranty support on cross-border watches, and that would have been the end of the controversy, but instead they got greedy and created a problem where there wasn't one before.)

        Back in the day, John Barlow came up with "information wants to be free" and I came up with "intellectual property is an oxymoron."  Even though it appears we may have lost a few rounds, it's also true that information doesn't care about the laws of thermodynamics, so where there's a will, there is always a way.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:54:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "information doesn't care about the laws..." (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StrayCat, greengemini

          "... of thermodynamics".

          I too have contemplated this.

          I think the implications of this are simply stunning.

          So much is possible.

          The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

          by No one gets out alive on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:50:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The harder they squeeze the banana (0+ / 0-)

          The harder they make it to get their hand out of the trap.

          If they keep making it impossible to legitimately exchange those green pieces of paper in your wallet for entertainment, people will either close their wallets or use illegitimate means of obtaining their entertainment.

          We already have death panels. They're called insurance companies.

          by aztecraingod on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:33:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It would be a massive overreach, given the case (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, JesseCW, StrayCat, avsp

      That doesn't make it impossible, or even that improbable, for the Court.

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 02:09:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the way to fight this shit is to go on the ATTACK. (40+ / 0-)

    What we need to do is introduce legislation that rolls back copyright from the present 90 years to the original 25 years.  

    Push that legislation every year and eventually it will pass, or some variation on it will pass.  

    This will scare the intellectual property fascists sufficiently to tie up a significant chunk of their efforts to defeat it every season until they finally lose.  

    It will also put the issues in front of the public in a way that wouldn't happen otherwise.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:22:41 PM PDT

    •  Excuse me? Roll back copyright to 25 years? (16+ / 0-)

      I'm a writer. Working on my 30th novel right now. My first book came out in 1992, so I'm getting close to that 25 years.

      Why in the world should I lose the rights to my work after 25 years? They're my books, and I assure you, I wasn't that well-paid for them to begin with.

      People take published works and put them up on free sites all the time, giving my hard work away, and it pisses me off. It's mine.

      How would you feel if someone came and took your house after 25 years? And said your ownership rights had expired?

      •  So how long should copy write be? The current (16+ / 0-)

        120 years?

        And comparing intellectual property to physical isn't necessarily a great comparison.

        Lots of people labor to make all sorts of stuff they don't own, why should a writer be any different?  A construction worker builds houses he doesn't own....

        Should intellectual property never fall into the public domain?

        •  Yes, but not in the lifetime of the creator, and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brooke In Seattle

          maybe his or her direct descendants for ten years after the creator dies.  We may need a new copyright classification for corporations where they get to have control no more than 25 years, after which the right reverts to the creator.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:03:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I create this book entirely on my own. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brooke In Seattle

          It comes out of my head and goes down on the page with my hands. People are paid to edit it, to create a cover for it. People make money selling it.
          But the product is mine.
          Copyright for my lifetime, at least, is what I deserve.

          •  Did you create the alphabet? If not, then your (0+ / 0-)

            book did not come entirely out of your own head in the same way that life was created wholly out of godess' head.

            You borrowed the alphabet, sentence structure, every book you've ever read, especially those that have most inspired you.  You borrowed the roads society built to take you to school, the life saving polio vaccine that dr. Salt freely gave to both you hand I.

            So when you claim that you have brought forth a completely unique item completely by yourself, what exactly do you mean?

      •  life of the author (18+ / 0-)

        or 20 years if the author dies before 10 years from copyright date. That is my idea of fair

        •  I like it (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, chimpy, StrayCat, Bach50b3

          In the music world, living composers should receive (or waive) performance royalties.

          Any change would have to be prospective,many way.  I also think we should bring back the requirements of formalities -- if copyright is going to be super long, it shouldn't also be automatic.

          The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

          by Loge on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:15:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Some fixed limited time with extensions (5+ / 0-)

          A key problem with copyright at present is that one frequently cannot even find the copyright owner for older works. If there were a fixed time limit, with the ability to extend copyright (for free at first & for increasing fees as time lengthens) -- and if the database of extended works & who owns them were public -- that would solve one of the key conflicts here.

          Let Disney keep Steamboat Willie in copyright forever, if they pay increasing yearly fees. Or anyone else who is still profiting from an old work. Let works that are abandoned pass into the public domain.

          •  Claims on land, even recorded ones lapse after a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus

            period of time, so as to preserve the merchantability of title.  There is no reason why copyright matters should not follow this rule.  If no correction are made, corporations will own everything.  Remember, we can't even sing "Happy Birthday" at a restaurant because of some copyright claim.  Of course, there are aesthetic virtues in that particular case.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:08:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  People are routinely living to be 100. (8+ / 0-)

          I don't think that's at all "fair".

          The purpose of copyright law is to encourage the production of new works.  

          The question isn't "what provides the most wealth for authors" but rather "what is the sweet spot that maximizes the benefit for the overall economy".

          25 years served that purpose perfectly adequately until lobbyists started buying Representatives and convincing them to sacrifice our interests in favor of the interests of publishers and film distributors.

          Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

          by JesseCW on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:42:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  SUre (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GoGoGoEverton

            But hardly anyone produces copyright material at birth. To own what you have created while you are alive seems fair to me. Anyhow I think life is covered always in the 5 and now in the 95.

            •  Life was no part of the original copyright (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              StrayCat, aztecraingod, xgy2, wsexson

              laws passed by Congress.

              One 14 year term, renewable for 14.

              You cannot own an idea.  "Ownership" is something Ayn Rand and her followers grafted on to Copyright.

              Copyright is a temporary exclusive right to the profits from a work, not ownership of that work.  That's no quibble - it's the difference between owning Yosemite, and getting the hotel concession at Yosemite for a limited time.

              Copyright is a privilege we extend to an individual in order to serve the greater good.  

              Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

              by JesseCW on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:47:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Why? Why would intellectual property (0+ / 0-)

            be any different from other property?

            The book is a new story to anyone who buys it for the first time and reads it. If people still want to buy and read my work after 20 years, why shouldn't I benefit from it?

            I am in no way rich, have never been from my writing. I think the top-earning book I have made about $22,000. Publishers and booksellers make a much higher percentage than I do.

            •  Reproducibility. (0+ / 0-)

              If I built a bridge, it's there, it's done.  My work was not the idea of the bridge, it was the labor of building the bridge.  Even if I designed the bridge rather than buy the design from an architect, then the IP would be the design of the bridge and the product would be the bridge itself.

              The difference is that one can be reproduced and one can't.  I could build another bridge with the same design, but that's not a duplication of the original bridge, it is a reproduction from the original design.

              If I designed a bridge and sold it to a couple people and they produced bridges from my designs (and maybe I do too) then they probably own the bridge or sold it to whoever, but that doesn't mean they can claim the design of the bridge as their own.

              The way the laws are written, it is almost like they are made to provoke questions like yours.  It's a good question, especially when it comes to software (like Microsoft office, for example) which isn't really 'produced' at all, it exists more or less in it's designed essence.  Our manufacturing world and the natural development of laws has not evolved completely enough to deal with this problem correctly, and so we have growing pains such as those described in these threads that are pasted over with 'solutions' like copyright law.  It's not a perfect or even correct solution, but it will stay in place for as long as the people creating content that is regulated by it are satisfied.

              I've already rambled away from the initial point (there's a difference between producing an item from a design, and producing a design itself) into a related topic (laws evolve and are imperfect) but I'm going to take it one bridge further and suggest that someday we may be able to reproduce items themselves, like the aforementioned bridge, and in those days law suits will abound and maybe the relevant laws will actually be made in the proper context.  We are getting there with 3d printing, so maybe those days will come soon.

              "Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right." - Isaac Asimov

              by Aramis Wyler on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:15:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  This goes here (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              We already have death panels. They're called insurance companies.

              by aztecraingod on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:37:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And how much do you expect to make (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus

              from your books 20 years from now?

              Why do you expect that anyone will still be publishing your work in 20 years, or that anyone would prefer paying for a new copy to buying a used one?

              I don't, by the way, care if you're capable of negotiating a good contract with a publisher - it's got nothing at all to do with the issues at hand.

              "Intellectual Property" is a Randroid fiction.  It does not exist.  It is as fictional as a corporate person.

              Nothing is taken from you when someone makes a copy of one of your books, except what you imagine would have otherwise been a sale that put money in your pocket.  

              Nothing is removed from your possession.  All that is lost is a potential profit you feel you're entitled too.

              You've been misled into believing that a privilege is a right.

              Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

              by JesseCW on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:53:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Because they're different... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              "Intellectual property" is a term of propaganda popularized by corporate lobbyists and special interest groups fairly recently. It's a misleading term that distorts the whole discussion. "Other property" like a house is a finite thing of limited use. You own that specific thing and nothing else. Everyone can make "copies" of your house on their property all they like. They just can't use your specific house. A claim of ownership over "Intellectual property" is, on the other hand, a claim over an infinite class of properties, an infinite phylum of goods, or hypothetical goods than anyone else in the world might make that involves the copyrighted ideas in some way. It's a claim over what everyone else in the world can make with their property and ideas. "Other property" makes no such claim over the rights of everyone else in the world.

              Moreover, copyright does not create your ability to benefit from selling your books. It may expand it, but doesn't create it from scratch. So nobody's saying you shouldn't benefit from it.

            •  Natural Property vs. Artificial Creation (0+ / 0-)

              Physical property is a concept that derives from nature -- if you dig something out of the ground or pick it off a tree or whatever, it's yours. Copyrights, patents, etc are a creation of government for a public policy purpose -- obviously there's no reason found in nature that would prevent Joe Blow from copying what he sees John Doe do, but society has decided that there's a public interest in giving John Doe some reward for originating the technique.

              It's like the difference between "teresahill is a person" and "Monsanto is a person" -- same words, but two different concepts that cause problems if they're confused (either inadvertently or deliberately to serve an agenda).

              On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

              by stevemb on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 06:52:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  false equivalence and other logic fails. (17+ / 0-)

        Frist of all, creatives typically don't benefit from copyright fascism: middle-men do.  That kills off most of your arguement.

        Second, the harm to you from a time-limited copyright is hardly significant compared to the harm to society at-large from unlimited copyright.  So, do you want to make the same arguements about that, that the plutocracy makes about its own very special cozy financial dealings?  

        Third, most of us have to work for a living all our adult lives.  If you want to cry a river over not being able to retire early, be my guest.  You bring the whine, we'll bring the cheese.  

        Fourth, even David Brin (who is on dKos) doesn't flatter himself to imagine that his works (many of which have won awards) will become magically immortal.  What makes you think that yours will?

        Sorry, but arguements for special economic privileges don't get much weight around here.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:30:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fascism? (8+ / 0-)

          Lost me there -- quite the false equivalence itself.

          The interesting thing is she made the moral case for copyright (that a limited monopoly is ok because one's work is one's own), you made the economic one (that granting a limited monopoly is ok because it incentivizes creation). U.S. law officially follows the latter, but many people (and arguably a few cases in spite of that) think of it as the former.  The economic arguments are better if we like the infringer, the moral ones if we don't in other words.  

          In the case at bar, I don't like either.  The 9th Circuit proposed splitting the baby, and that seems right.  Sometimes importation can be infringement, sometimes not, really depending on whether there's already a legal domestic market for the same copyrighted content in that work.  Just based on e statute, mind.  The policy judgment seems less about scope of copyright (it's a means to an end) and more of how we feel about price discrimination. The diarist is against, I'm willing to pull a Sandy O and go case by case.

          The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

          by Loge on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:24:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  heh, well said. (13+ / 0-)

            The moral arguement for limited copyright is straightforward under any philosophical system:

            Deontology:  Permanent copyright violates the principle under which IP was originally established (to promote innovation), thus it violates the categorical imperative.  (Act only according to those rules that you would will to be universal.)  The exception does not itself provide its own categorical imperative as a rationale (e.g. by analogy, "speeding is permissible to take an injured person to an emergency room"), it's merely a special pleading for a privilege, so it fails.  

            Consequentialism:  The consequence of permanent copyright is to lock down information, thereby holding the entirety of a culture hostage to the middlemen who control the information.  That produces an unacceptable form of tyranny, so it can't be allowed.

            Utilitarianism:  Clearly it's the case that permanent copyright sacrifices the good of the vast majority for the sake of the benefit of a very few, so it's unacceptable on those grounds.

            Personally I tend strongly toward deontological ethics, but this is a case where the consequentialist and utilitarian arguements are in some ways stronger and more easily grasped.  For that matter the deontological basis of IP is actually rooted in consequentialist and utilitarian rationales.

            And to be very clear I am not arguing that creators of IP should not be compensated.  Though I am arguing that middlemen should not be allowed to become the center of the entire system as they have so far.  

            In purely psychological terms what we see here is a kind of "abusive partner problem" where content creators defend their middlemen even though the middlemen are screwing them.

            Ultimately I'm arguing for something radically different to capitalism, in which labor is equity and capital is a rented factor of production, rather than the other way 'round.  This would take middlemen mostly out of the equation and benefit content creators as well as benefiting the public.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:13:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is great, thanks! Also, the argument, "I (0+ / 0-)

              made it, therefor it's mine" depends upon the assumption of making it out of thin air, therefor it's ALL mine.  But since no creative object is made out of thin air by us near mortals, but heavily relies upon utilizing our inherited cultural wealth, and so is partly made of the commons and partly made of my unique addition, it's partly mine and partly the commons'.

              But it's nice to think I'm a little god bringing forth something from nothing.

        •  So I owe it to society at large to give (0+ / 0-)

          them my work? I don't think so.

          And yes, it's mostly big corporations that have benefited from copyright law to this point. But publishing is changing as we speak. Authors are fighting for the rights to their work and cutting out the publishers, for the first time being paid a percentage that's more fair of the work we do.

      •  What would you consider adequate time to be (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, Felix, gerrilea, blueoasis

        compensated for your work??

        •  Why would I ever not be compensated for my work? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brouski

          That's my question.

          A story is new to anyone who reads it. It doesn't matter if I wrote it today or 20 years ago. The product -- the story -- is brand new to that person. They get the same enjoyment from it that someone did reading it 20 years ago.

          Why would I deserve less after a certain period of time than in the beginning?

          •  Because the purpose of copyright (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wsexson, Odysseus, katiec, nchristine

            is to promote the creation of arts, not so that you or the Disney corporation can get rich.

            The world wouldn't be a better place if the Shakespeare estate was busy suing anyone who tried to produce A Westside Story.

            We already have death panels. They're called insurance companies.

            by aztecraingod on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:44:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You're not asking to be compensated for your work (0+ / 0-)

            What you're asking is to be automatically compensated for is other peoples' work, anytime anyone uses something having to do with ideas in your work. Not the same thing.

            You wrote a book. Your work is over and done. Unless you signed a contract for remuneration for your writing you do not have any natural right to receive anything for the work of writing your book. You might convince people to buy copies of your book after you wrote it, fine, or you might not. So let's say you sold a bunch of copies of your book after you wrote it. Then let's say some years later someone makes copies of that book, or makes derivative works based on that book. You expect another bit of payment, as if you are entitled, but you did no more work than you already did, no matter how many or how few people make such uses of it. You didn't do anything other than you already did writing. Thus, you are not asking to be paid for your work. You are asking to be paid for other people's work that have something to do with ideas you wrote. If the other people never made those copies you have no claim. It all depends on other peoples' work.

            You did the same "work" if everyone copies it, or if nobody copies it. So you are not asking for compensation for your work. You are asking for something else entirely: an unbounded rent fee on everyone else's hypothetical work, no matter how large or small their work might be, or how far into the future.

      •  Why in the world... (15+ / 0-)

        25 years is too long anyway. 10 years would be plenty. But to answer your question, because the point of copyright is to benefit the public, not to benefit authors. When copyright length benefits certain authors but harms the public, it should be rolled back until a balance is restored in favor of public benefit.

        The rights you are granted by copyright are the rights to forbid everyone else in the world from making various uses of ideas, uses that are themselves beneficial to the public (such as making and sharing copies, making derivative works, etc.). The argument for copyright is that giving you these powers over the public will create an additional incentive for you to write more books: not because you deserve these powers, but because more books will ultimately benefit the public. But those forbidden uses are also beneficial to the public, so it is ultimately harmful for the balance to be skewed so heavily toward excessive copyright powers. You wind up taking away something clearly beneficial for the hypothetical benefit of something else. And there's very little public benefit to be had from copyright beyond a pretty short duration.

        •  copyright is a tradeoff (7+ / 0-)

          why should our government be used to protect an author's works at all?  Because we want to encourage people to write.  The trade is that they don't keep the rights to it forever.  If you put a picture of mickey mouse on something, it's not Disney that comes and gets you, it's the police.  They should be paying something for this, but they aren't.  We have somehow lost sight of the fact that there are costs to protecting copyrighted works, and there needs to be concessions from the copyright owners.

          •  Disney's lawyers would be surprised to learn (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, Aramis Wyler

            that Disney doesn't pay to enforce copyright.  Drawing Mickey on something is likely civil, not criminal liability.

            The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

            by Loge on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:27:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's the police? (0+ / 0-)

            I'd like to hear when that happened...

            "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

            by auron renouille on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:54:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ever heard of MegaUpload? (6+ / 0-)

              Did you think that was Disney's Pinkertons raiding the place and arresting the guy?

              It's always the police. All Disney does is pay for its own lawyers, and they only do that when they think doing so will result in financial gain for themselves. The public pays the price of copyright enforcement, in court costs, policing costs, etc. Not to mention the more fundamental costs like freedom.

      •  You don't understand Copyright (18+ / 0-)

        Copyright was intended to provide authors like yourself a government-approved monopoly on your work for a limited period of time. After that time, works would pass into the public domain. The idea was that the arrangement would benefit THE PUBLIC in the long run. Not you forever.

        25 years is long enough.

      •  Couple things... (6+ / 0-)

        I no longer work at the grocery store.  They stopped paying me fifteen years ago when I quit.  Most people don't continue to get paid for work they did decades ago, nor would they expect to be.  Also, your house metaphor is incorrect, it would be more like if someone built an exact copy of your house on another lot and lived in that.

        Poor people look for work. Middle class people find a job. Rich people seek employment.

        by k4pacific on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 08:44:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would that be a Pennsy K4? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AmericanAnt

          If so, it's good to hear from another steam fan.  (I still prefer the Frisco's 1500 class Mountains, though.)

        •  But you got paid while you worked... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marleycat, elengul, Aramis Wyler, brouski

          Writers don't (generally) get paid while they work, so your analogy doesn't quite hold up. A writer hopes that, over time, they will earn some money in exchange for the time they put into writing. For most writers, it never approaches minimum wage.

          Imagine if the grocery store only paid you when the items you stocked on the shelf got sold, and they decided that after an arbitrary amount of time, they'd stop paying you. They still get the fruit of your labour, no matter what happens. You only have a limited time to hope to earn something from your effort. And now someone says the time over which you get paid is too long. After you've already done the work stocking the shelf.

          •  You're right. A better analogy would be (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xgy2, k4pacific, Miggles, wsexson

            a luthier who creates a great guitar.

            She gets to sell it once.  Unless she came up with some amazing and truly new process or new part like some unique kind of fret or something, anyone can immediately make copies of it and sell them, as long as they don't falsely use her trademark.

            But she still got paid when she sold it.

            Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

            by JesseCW on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:47:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and note that if she did create a new process (5+ / 0-)

              The patent would expire after 20 years.  Also note that the patent would not affect resale rights on the actual product.

            •  But she got paid (0+ / 0-)

              The luthier makes a guitar, she sells it, she gets paid. She hopes to charge a price that compensates for the time she took to make it. Until she sells it, it's her guitar. It could sit in her shop for 20 years, unsold, and it's still her guitar.

              A writer writes a book. She doesn't get paid when she 'sells it' to the publisher (ok, some people still get advances, but advances are advances against future royalties. They aren't "payment" for your work.) She then earns about $1 for each copy that gets sold. A book is doing pretty well if it sells 5-10k copies in the first year. After that, sales fall of sharply. So 6 months work earns her $5-10,000 if she's lucky. If you consider $50k a decent salary, the writer has only earned half her money after one year. Now you wait to earn the rest, a few hundred or thousand dollars a year. If you're lucky. If someone decides to arbitrarily shorten the amount of time you can get paid, they cut your income. Which makes writing books (already a risky way to make a living) even more risky.

              We complain when corporations arbitrarily cut workers wages and benefits to make more money. How is this different? Sure, people would still write if they didn't get paid. But people would also still serve food who don't get paid. Neither the existence of volunteer-run soup kitchens, nor the existence of highly paid waiters is a very good argument to cut the salaries of all waiters.

              •  And the copyright law was written (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                katiec

                to address your concern. And it was nowhere near a lifetime plus until the corps sunk their claws into it during the 20th century.

                "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

                by davewill on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 02:17:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  But this is a product of copyright law (0+ / 0-)

            Copyright law tells writers that they don't have to convince anyone to pay them to do the work of writing something. They can do the work on their own accord, without ever convincing anyone to pay them for it, and with no agreement from anyone to pay them anything, and then wait and see if someone likes or uses it later, in the form of copies or whatever, and then the government will force those people to pay them.

            If you work at a grocery store you have to actually convince the owner of the store to pay you for your work before you do it. You can't just wander into a store off the street, stock the shelves, and then if the owner somehow benefits from your spontaneous voluntary work, demand payment.

            Copyright is unrelated to regular work payment, and unrelated to regular property. It is a social construct apart from these things.

      •  Sorry, but you're wrong. (15+ / 0-)

        When the copyright period expires, it is no longer your work.

        Read that again.  When the copyright on your work expires, that work is no longer yours.  You already sold it.

        When the copyright period expires, it belongs to the public -- it is, literally, in the public domain.  

        The public bought it.  
        The public paid for it.  
        The public owns it.
        Not you.  Not anymore.

        The public paid for it by paying for the enforcement of your copyright.  
        The public paid for it by allowing you to have a limited monopoly on control of your work while the copyright period lasts.
        The public paid for it by artificially keeping the sale prices of your work higher than it would if you didn't.  Money that already went in your pocket.

        When you publish a work under the protections of copyright, you are entering into a contract with the public.  You get the benefits of copyright protection of your work.  IN EXCHANGE for that protection, you cede ownership of your work to the public when the period expires.

        Don't like that contract?  Don't want to give up control of your work?  The answer is very, very simple -- don't publish it., and don't take advantage of copyright.  Then, it will be all yours, exclusively, forever.

        You ask about someone coming along and taking the house I've lived in for 25 years.  Well, if I sold the house, and was paid for the house, then it seems perfectly fair to me that I should get the hell out of the house.  I mean, I sold it, so why should I get to stay living there, right?

        This issue -- of restoring copyright after 25 years -- is simply  a question of how much of a benefit you are receiving for the sale of your work.  It is an issue that is totally different from people downloading your works; that is a violation of your copyright protections, and it wouldn't matter if copyright was 25 years or 25 centuries.

        If copyright was only 25 years, would people really stop creating new works? Maybe a few might, but that kind artist probably wasn't motivated by their passion for creating great art that they loved.

        Which means they were creating absolute rubbish anyway.

        Which means they will not be missed.

        •  Or sell it in a more tailor-made way (0+ / 0-)

          If copyright holders want something on top of copyright, they should sell my signed contract rather than anonymous generic transaction.

          But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

          by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:16:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Why? It says so in the Constitution. (14+ / 0-)

        Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution:

        To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
        Note that it says limited times. When the Constitution was enacted, the length of copyright was 14 years, and the copyright holder could apply for one additional 14 year period. So, 28 years total. After that, the work entered the public domain.

        The intent of the copyright clause is to balance "progress" with the right of an individual to profit from their work. Current copyright term for new works is Life + 70 years. One could reasonably argue that the present terms have shifted dramatically in favor from the public domain to copyright holders.

        After all, how can one profit from their work when they're dead? Their heirs can. A corporation can. But the creator cannot. Current copyright law serves the interests of inherited wealth and corporations (who can live on indefinitely) as much as or more than the creators themselves.

        Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

        by Joe Bob on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:57:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's really to balance the economic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joe Bob

          boon that comes from encouraging the creation of new works with the economic boon that comes from making those works more cheaply and widely available.

          No "right to profit" really comes into it.  It's a privilege we grant, for a purpose.

          Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

          by JesseCW on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:49:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  do YOU really still personally own your original (0+ / 0-)

        copyrights, or have they been sold off to some corporation?

        how about ... as in the recent past, living persons, original intellectual content creators -- lifetime of the author plus 35 years, the end. if the additional 35 years of "free" income isn't sufficient for heirs, too bad.

        woo hoo, i've got a socialist here... a "work for hire" -- corp. hires a creator to make a work (i.e., an instruction manual) then corp. gets 25 years copyright.  

        HOWEVER any work-copyright a corp. BUYS, they only get 3 years' rights! -- plenty of time to publish it ONCE, then copyright reverts to the actual creator.

        and any 3-year contract can NOT be made exclusive. told ya' SOCIALIST, he he.

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:12:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How would I feel ? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Unit Zero

        Well, that's what happens when one of my patents expires. How do I feel ?  Like it's the right thing to do.  

      •  i think 'or life of the author' is assumed nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  WHAT!!! You're suggesting something that might (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aramis Wyler

        cost me MONEY!?!?!

        You do not own your work, and never have under US law.  I'm sorry that people have lied to you and given you the impression that you do.

        All Congress has been empowered to do is to grant you and exclusive right to profit from your work for a limited time.  This is not ownership.

        Ideas are not things.   They are impossible to own.

        Nuclear weapons don't kill people, Harry Trumans kill people.

        by JesseCW on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:39:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not excused (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xgy2

        I'm an author too, and 25 years sounds perfectly reasonable to me. This eternal copyright bullshit is getting ridiculous, and it's absolutely destroying our common culture. We're only able to share past memories at the behest of corporations.

        How would you feel if someone came and took your house after 25 years?
        How would you feel if 25 years from now, the architect of your house (which you bought from a previous owner) came and demanded royalty payments?

        Proud supporter of nuclear power!

        by zegota on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:25:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I thought it was now 120 years.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea
      •  I find stuff on Google Books dated back to... (5+ / 0-)

        .... 1922, which is 90 years.  

        120 years would be even more outrageous.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:19:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If I'm not mistaken, it's the life of the author (7+ / 0-)

          plus 70 years, depending upon the medium upon which it's produced.  Look to Disney for length of copyrights as they're the ones that have been major drivers of extending the laws in their favor.

          •  It varies for medium (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, Cassandra Waites, gerrilea

            and for when changes in the law happened. What I'm thinking of in particular is sound recordings, or, in the law "phonorecords".  This comment is from the top of my head, so it is possible that this date is wrong, but recordings made prior to 1973 (at least sometime in the early 70's) are not subject to federal copyright law. Rather, they are subject to state copyright protection. Usually that is stricter than federal law, and, in some cases, does not expire. Ever.

            "Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?" - Elie Wiesel

            by HugoDog on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:03:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  and boycott Disney accordingly. (5+ / 0-)

            Ultimately they all feed off our money, and that's all they want.

            So the simple solution is to deny them our money by not buying their products.

            There's enough indie music & film & writing etc. to add up to a lifetime of listening, watching, and reading pleasure for anyone.

            And if your kids beg for Disney products, educate them about how those products are created to appeal to them for purely cynical reasons, and offer them something else.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:16:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let telling them your own bedtime story! n/t (0+ / 0-)

              -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

              by gerrilea on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 01:10:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Disney is the last company I have a problem with (0+ / 0-)

              Most of what they've produced over 70 years has been decent quality, and there's no Disney product (movies, physical goods, theme parks) that costs appreciably more than its non-Disney corporate-made alternatives, which generally aren't as good.

              But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

              by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:15:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Yep. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nchristine, Felix, katiec, marleycat, elfling

            Basic rule of thumb: if the creator has been dead longer than Disney and/or the piece predates Steamboat Willie, it may be out of copyright.

            Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

            by Cassandra Waites on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:22:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yep.... It's also my understanding that when (0+ / 0-)

              Disney 'releases' a movie in a new format the copyright for the title gets extended.  For example, copyright was extended on 'Cinderella' when it came out on VCR, yet again when it came out on 'standard' dvd, and yet again when it came out on blue-ray and finally again when released in 3-d format, and will again when technology changes yet again.

              •  Close, but not exactly (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dsb, Felix, Ignacio Magaloni, Deep Texan

                It isn't a new copyright when it comes out in a new medium. It is a new copyright when they add in "new material," i.e., extras.

                For example, here's the records for Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" from http://cocatalog.loc.gov/. First, the cinematic release in 1991:

                Type of Work: Motion Picture
                Registration Number / Date: PA0000542647 / 1991-11-20
                Title:     Beauty and the beast / directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise.
                Description: 5 film reels.
                Notes: Animation.
                Copyright Claimant: the Walt Disney Company
                Date of Creation: 1991
                Date of Publication: 1991-11-13
                Authorship on Application: Walt Disney Pictures and Television, employer for hire.
                Previous Registration: Character artwork & music prev. reg.
                Basis of Claim: New Matter: "all other cinematographic material."
                Names: Trousdale, Gary
                     Wise, Kirk
                     Walt Disney Company
                     Walt Disney Pictures and Television

                Then, the "IMax" version:

                Type of Work: Motion Picture
                Registration Number / Date: PA0001081640 / 2002-01-30
                Title: Beauty and the beast / directed by Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise.
                Description: 2 videocassettes (Betacam SP)
                Notes: Imax version.
                Animated.
                Copyright Claimant: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
                Date of Creation: 2002
                Date of Publication: 2002-01-01
                Authorship on Application: Walt Disney Pictures and Television, employer for hire.
                Previous Registration: Prev. reg. 1991, PA 542-647.
                Basis of Claim: New Matter: cinematographic materials incl. newly animated scenes.
                Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.
                Names: Trousdale, Gary
                     Wise, Kirk
                     Disney Enterprises, Inc.
                     Walt Disney Pictures and Television

                Note the line "basis of claim".

                ----
                Q. Why is Obama like a stalagmite?
                A. One is always in a cave and the other always caves in.

                by Simolean on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 08:07:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  May is accurate since, for example, (4+ / 0-)

              Fritz Lang's Metropolis  from 1927

              The American copyright had lapsed in 1953, which eventually led to a proliferation of versions being released on video. Along with other foreign-made works, the film's U.S. copyright was restored in 1998,[22] but the constitutionality of this copyright extension was challenged in Golan v. Gonzales and as Golan v. Holder it was ruled that "In the United States, that body of law includes the bedrock principle that works in the public domain remain in the public domain. Removing works from the public domain violated Plaintiffs' vested First Amendment interests."[23] This only applied to the rights of so-called reliance parties, i.e. parties who had previously relied on the public domain status of restored works. The case was overturned on appeal to the Tenth Circuit[24] and that decision was upheld by the US Supreme Court on January 18, 2012. This had the effect of restoring the copyright in the work as of January 1, 1996. Under current US copyright law, it remains copyrighted until January 1, 2023.
              Metropolis

              A movie whose original print has been missing for decades won't get into the public domain until 2023 giving it a copyright of 96 years with it being held for 47 years after the death of the writer/director of the film.  Absolutely ridiculous.

        •  "I Want To Hold Your Hand," will phase out of copy (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, Odysseus, Losty, Deep Texan

          right in England in 2013. The "Beatles" and Rolling Stones have songs that will no longer be covered under Britains 50 year rule.

          Sound Recordings and broadcasts

          50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was created, or,

          if the work is released within that time: 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first released.

          Source...

          "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General.

          by Mr SeeMore on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:40:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Cornell U. copyright chart (6+ / 0-)

        Cornell University has a chart which explains copyright terms and the public domain about as concisely as possible:

        http://copyright.cornell.edu/...

    •  What problem does this fix? (0+ / 0-)

      I know there's a lot of derision for the Mickey Mouse extensions just because of the appearance of impropriety, that Disney can buy extensions, but I'm not quite sure what problem this solves.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:51:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, Recc'd for visibility. Just add CISPA (10+ / 0-)

    for a complete assault on the exchange of ideas, squash the threat of critical thinking... a twofer. TPTB have been slavering for absolute control over the flow of ideas and information forever.

    Too bad we can't do anything, for now about the court case..

    This needs more attention.

  •  Very important info. Thanks! nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck, Brown Thrasher, gerrilea
  •  Wouldn't the way around this be (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck, Iberian, Brown Thrasher, Miggles

    for Kirtsaeng to set up a website selling the once-bought second-hand books directly from overseas to the US consumer?  The price in postage would be higher for individual shipments, but students could chip in and buy a box full of the same books without running into the same problem.

    In a way then, ruling against Kirtsaeng would do nothing to benefit the publishers, and only drives secondhand sales off shore.

  •  Once upon a time, some white guys sat around and (0+ / 0-)

    hammered out some compromises into a document.  Let me quote from it.

    All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
    ...by now, it seems that everyone else in the government serves at the pleasure of the courts.  Every single major piece of legislation for the past 70 years has needed their imprimatur; in many cases, new legislation on issues that drive political parties has originated in the courts.

    Well, maybe it's better to have an unelected council that doesn't have to take money to seek reelection deciding things.

    •  well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arroganceisstrength, ozsea1
      Well, maybe it's better to have an unelected council that doesn't have to take money to seek reelection deciding things.
      Except those judges are put into their positions by politicians who have to take money to seek reelection , and then, if they are Scalia, Thomas etc. go off on junkets with lobbyists and law firms who have cases before the court, or have a wife employed by an organization that produces propaganda on matters that may go before the court.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:07:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, Gilmore
  •  Oh lord (7+ / 0-)

    "The 2nd Circuit agreed that the first sale doctrine does not apply to goods manufactured outside the United States."

    So they are talking about 85% of the things we buy.

    What about thing produced here in the USA and then resold in other countries? or if you buy a Toyota or some Ikea stuff made in Mississippi and you resell them in Mexico or Canada?

    •  Question of Canadian law (0+ / 0-)

      We already have laws against importing products violating patent or trademark, and a good once imported into the U.S. can be freely resold no matter what the decision in this case.

      The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

      by Loge on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:36:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thank Dog! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marleycat, Losty, Iberian

        Did somebody really say, way up above, that US citizens would no longer be able to buy books and movies FROM NON-US publishers/distributors, CREATED OUTSIDE OF THE US, of titles that ARE NOT AVAILABLE FROM ANY US SOURCE?

        so... if nobody in the US is producing ANY edition of academic title X from Oxford, or Denmark, or whatever, I would not be ALLOWED to buy one for Amazon.uk or Amazon.de or some such?

        what could possibly be the justification for this?

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:20:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cash money, pal. They want more of it. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:53:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, but what I thought was said wouldn't get (0+ / 0-)

            ANYBODY any of my money? manufacturers who have decided NOT to produce what I'm interested in, can STOP me from buying it from someone else?

            sorry, that's just crazy.

            "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

            by chimene on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:15:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No; they will still produce it. (0+ / 0-)

              They will simply produce it elsewhere and import it, making it illegal for libraries to buy it, or for you to get it used (legally) or from any other vendor more cheaply.

              "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

              by bryduck on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 08:45:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  People have been doing this with Mercedes.... (5+ / 0-)

    automobiles for fifty years.

    If they couldn't shut down automobile second sales, how can they do it for books? That the suit has made it to the SCOTUS shows how corrupt our legal system has become.

    •  I thought they did the opposite with luxury cars (0+ / 0-)

      In other words, they bought them in wealthy countries and circumvented the tariff and non-tariff barriers that made them even more expensive in poor countries.

      But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

      by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:12:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mercedes jacks the price in the US... (0+ / 0-)

        by about $15-30k per car, depending on model, as opposed to the price in Germany. Its a pure rake-off.

        Buyers have been trying all kinds of ways to purchase the car in Europe and then put it on a boat to the US.

        But its legal cat and mouse. Mercedes got a law passed making it illegal to ship a car within 90 days of purchase. So the arbitragers simply warehoused the cars for 90 days. Etc. Etc.

        The free market - unless it infringes on some corporations right to make a monopoly profit.

  •  This sounds much like an issue (10+ / 0-)

    my business went through back in the 1980's.

    I am in the coin-operated amusement industry.

    I do not remember the exact case by name but this has been visited before.  Here are the issues:

    Video games (coin-operated) sold in the United States often are manufactured overseas (Japan) and shipped in the form of the computer game printed circuit to the USA for assembly into the game cabinet here by a US manufacturer (games  like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Bad Dudes have Japanese game boards but the cabinet was made in the USA).  Sometimes games come to the USA in software form and an American company engineers the game board to run that software (games like Pac-Man and Galaga are of this type).

    What happens often is a new game title would appear in Japan months before its arrival in the USA, and by the time the game is released in the USA the game has run its course (been mastered) by players in Japan.  Many of these Japanese games would be "converted", or the boards removed and a new game installed, leaving the boards from the original game to be more--or-less junked (this was often the case in coin-op during the mod-late 1980's).

    Some of these old Japanese boards would wind up being sold in the USA, usually on the cheap (the newly releaased game "kit" (board and graphics set to be installed in a cabinet the operator provided) would sell for $600-$1200 depending on manufacturer and/or title whilst the imported old Japanese board and used graphics would sell commonly for less than $500.  In the late 1980's the coin-op industry was not as well to do as most people thought, and every time a few bucks could be saved, well those steps were taken.  Soon there were these old Japanese boards competing with newly released boards in the USA.

    Are these Japanese boards legal?  They were made by the original copyright owner; they had original licensed software....but the manufacturers claimed these boards violated copyright law because they were not specifically licensed for use in the USA..

    This went to court in the mid late 1980's and was settled.  The imported old Japanese boards were called "parallels" and were deemed legal as long as they were genuine (not bootleg or bastard) and were operated in the same manner as the boards designated for the USA.  The decision was based on First Sale, and the original Japanese owner could sell his old used game boards to anyone he wanted.

    If anyone knows how to search for court cases I hope this gives you enough to go on...

    O-ne-i-nis-to - Oh-no-mis-ta [Lakota]

    WolfmanSpike

    Howlin' at the World from the Left Side of the Planet

    by WolfmanSpike on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:52:29 PM PDT

    •  OT... what does you sig line mean? (0+ / 0-)

      I live on Rosebud... the Lakota rez, could you translate it for me?

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:09:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The ALA I'm sure is going to filing a (6+ / 0-)

    significant friend of the court brief, as will several other significant library organizations.

    A few months ago the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) published a code of best practices for fair use.

    http://www.arl.org/...

    IN fact, recently, in the Golan decision, the Supreme found that fair use is protected by the first amendment.

    Fair use is different than first sale, but it may give some hint as to how the winds in the court are blowing...

    "Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?" - Elie Wiesel

    by HugoDog on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:13:55 PM PDT

  •  Recent Supreme Court decision doesn't give hope (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Felix, ozsea1, gerrilea, Losty, JesseCW

    A not-to-dissimilar case was decided in favor of the copyright holders a couple of years ago.

    http://news.wolterskluwerlb.com/...

    It was decided 4-4, because Kagan recused herself having argued the case for Omega (the copyright holder).  Assuming that she'd be consistent in this, it really doesn't look good.

    •  Kagan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, Losty

      I wonder whether she might take a different position when following her own judgment instead of acting as solicitor general.  Anyone know offhand if she has any track record in her own writings on the subject?  (I can try researching that, but not immediately.)

  •  Great diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan
  •  Is there even a glimmer of hope (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zaka1, basquebob, Losty, peptabysmal

    that such a review would look at ebooks and let me actually OWN AND LEND THE DAMN THINGS THAT I BOUGHT? You know, since I paid pretty much the same price as I would for a hard cover?

    So why doesn't first sale cover ebooks?

    •  If I understand (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher, basquebob, gerrilea

      the point your making it is probably because they are trying to create a market for electronic books and get you to have to buy a electronic gadget that is expensive in order to read a book.  

      Just like AT&T is lobbying to get rid of some landlines and force people to have to buy cell phones even if they don't want to because they cost more than land-line phone and AT&T can then force you into buying a bundle package all for their profit and your empty pockets.  We have to support the corporation needs above of own anymore.

      Forcing people into buying technology is the new bubble.

      "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

      by zaka1 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:20:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No one can force you to buy anything (0+ / 0-)

        Well unless it's health insurance.  But no, AT&T can't force you to buy a phone.  You may not like their prices, but they can't steal your money and give you something you don't want.  Don't like AT&T?  Don't use their services.  What you want is competition to keep them honest.

        But please, no one is forcing you to buy a smart phone, to send text messages, to download internet content, to use Facebook.

        If you don't like the technology or the price, then don't buy it.  That's your power as a consumer.  Don't consume.

        •  I'm sure they're working on this as we speak. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peptabysmal, zaka1

          Within a generation all Americans will probably be forced to subsidize the Dominionist Christian music industry.

          (Just to assure you that this IS germane to the discussion, the Christian pop licensing is the most mercenary about DRM of any in the business.)

          Tell Congress: DON'T BREAK THE INTERNET! Fight CISPA! Stop Cyber Spying!

          by Brown Thrasher on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:14:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You say this with such (0+ / 0-)

          ease, yet you are forced into making purchases in an insidous way.  Cell phones came in mode and all the pay phones started to be removed.  If you travel in a car you almost need a cell phone in case you break down.  TV was free, but now you have to buy a converter box, or pay for TV.  This goes on and on.

          I was not saying that I have ever been forced into buy a smart phone, but the problem become that old technology gets eliminated rapidly and in order to do certain things you almost always end up having to invest in the newest techology.

          I think you must have missed the diary that AT&T is cutting off landline service and forcing people to purchase bundles.  AT&T still is the major owner of the landlines, and other companies still use those original lines for their service, so you can switch, but you'll still run into the same problem of landline being ditched for new technology.  The whole point is many people can't afford cell phone, cable, and computer, plus the cost is continuing to rise and the bundles are giving all companies the opportunity to make a bigger profit.

          They are forcing people to purchase three services in a bundle or nothing.  

          "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

          by zaka1 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 01:08:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  voice over IP (0+ / 0-)

            There are ways to keep a standard phone and not use AT&T.

            •  Your missing my point (0+ / 0-)

              and it isn't just AT&T

              The phone company notified customers this week that the new bundling requirement, which comes as Verizon loses land-line business as more consumers cut the cord and go mobile, will start May 6. The change will add about $5 to the $25 monthly cost for basic DSL.

              "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

              by zaka1 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 02:52:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  The (ludicrous) argument is, (5+ / 0-)

      You're not buying a copy of the book/game/other electronic product, you're only buying a (highly limited) license to view/play/use that product.  That's what all those lengthy, unreadable EULAs everyone clicks through are saying.

      •  ROFL, Microsoft....Windows....your fracking (0+ / 0-)

        computer you are currently using to connect to the interwebs...and of course...your phone....

        UGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 01:16:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because digital copies are perfect and free (0+ / 0-)

      If you buy an actual book, to copy it and give it to a friend requires photocopying and binding every single page.  It's not fast, cheap or easy.

      But a digital copy?  Push one button and a million of your closest friends have the exact same thing you do.  Fast, easy and free.

      We have a serious problem now where people expect information - research, movies, music, everything, to just be free on the internet 24/7.  Well if the content is provided free, who wants to work to create it?  For what?

      I would love to write a sci-fi novel, but I'm not going to if the second I'm done everyone has a free copy.

  •  There's a delicious irony here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea, Miggles

    Will the purported free traders regulate trade to benefit the 1%?

    Of course they will.  They're neo-liberals, not libertarians.

    "A Republic, if you can keep it."

    by Publius2008 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 08:27:01 PM PDT

    •  "Free trade" is only to benefit the megacorporatio (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, Losty, AmericanAnt, Miggles

      If NAFTA was designed to benefit ordinary people, you could legally buy prescription drugs from Canada and Mexico.

      "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

      by jfern on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:42:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The term free trade/market has never been (0+ / 0-)

      about an open market on a level playing field to the GOP, just like the term small business never really applied to mom and pop businesses.    In GOP speak, free trade refers to crony capitalism, less competition, and the support of monopolistic practices.

  •  Republished to Progressive Friends of the Library. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ignacio Magaloni, Felix, gerrilea, wsexson
  •  This will hurt college (8+ / 0-)

    students even more because students can save money by buying used books in the University book stores, and students won't be able to return their books to get money back at the end of the term.

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:07:28 PM PDT

  •  There are policy elements, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auron renouille, ozsea1

    But the first issue is whether the language of the statute answers the question.  I read the two provisions to say that resale of a physical good is not infringement, wherever that happens, but importation without permission is.  (so, a sale in France of the book to an American who imports it would leave recourse against the American, not the French seller.  Possibly not the best policy, but I didn't write the statute -- section 609 might read instead "sale for importation.".)  The two sections are in tension, but this seems like the right way to balance Congress's intent:  "Can such a foreign-made product sometimes be resold within the United States without permission, but only after the owner approves an earlier sale in this country, as the Ninth Circuit held in Costco?".

    I would want to know whether there is a first sale doctrine under the copyright laws where the product was made or sold abroad, which would moot the issue, and as the second of the three possibilities suggests, whether there's a U.S. market.  If some copyrighted products aren't sold in the U.S. at all, the case for treating importation as infringement is stronger than if there is.  

    Either way, the Court for good or bad is supposed to figure out what Congress would have wanted, not what they would do, or even what the copyleft would do.  Whether it allows price discrimination among countries should probably be case by case -- a publisher relying on different national editions seems a stronger legal case for copyright protection from importation than whether they just sell the same thing everywhere.  That's down to the scope of "approves an earlier sale."

    The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

    by Loge on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:10:43 PM PDT

  •  Why is it (7+ / 0-)

    That as crummy as our copyright and patent laws are, I only ever hear about the possibility that they'll get worse. It's time to declare all out war on Big Copyright and Big Patents.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:58:22 PM PDT

  •  Patent trolls have cost defendents $500 billion (5+ / 0-)

    The cost to the economy of crippled innovation is probably even higher. The all sue in the patent troll friendly courts of East Texas.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:00:59 PM PDT

  •  --==>> REQUIRED READING <<==-- (8+ / 0-)

    Anyone hoping to express an opinion on copyright policy, how it should be conceptualized, and its purpose and role in society, should regard this speech by Thomas Babington Macaulay as REQUIRED READING.

    He hits all the major points, describes what copyright is and why it must be handled so delicately, touches on all the major arguments proffered by "content owners" and handily demolishes them, and elucidates a conceptual framework in which to think about copyright and consider its pros and cons.

    But what makes Macaulay's speech so amazing, so insightful, and so utterly riveting, is that it was delivered in England's House of Commons over 170 years ago!

    Read it.  It will be among the most rewarding 40 minutes of your life.

  •  This would also effect used videogame sales as (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea, blueoasis, wsexson

    well. So keeping my eye on this decision.

    Check out the group Daily Kos Gamers. We need more diarists interested in gaming!

    by pot on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:07:10 AM PDT

  •  Where's the Copy? (6+ / 0-)

    Copyright violates the 1st Amendment, but is allowed by the Constitution (to accommodate ancient commerce quirks) only in restricting whether or not a copy can be made. That is the only power it legitimately has.

    Where is the copy being made that is being restricted in this first sale argument? Nowhere. There is no new copy. The exclusive right to copy is not being enforced. A "right" to profit at every turn, regardless of our free press rights, regardless of the "progress in science and the useful arts" in a 21st Century economy, is being invented.

    "Capitalists" believe in capital: property. They're not interested in anything else. And so everything looks like property to them. Their property. Even when it's not.

    Like the Supreme Court. Their property. We'll see when they decide. Because this is an obvious gift to capitalists. And a theft from the righteous.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 04:39:42 AM PDT

    •  Exactly. Even if a book says on the cover page, (0+ / 0-)

      "not for resale" that carries no more legal weight than the paper that it's written on.  Sure, maybe a publisher could enforce contractually that a book store in Taiwan not sell a certain edition to non-Taiwanese customers, but that requirement can't be passed down to 2nd/3rd/etc owners.

      Long term, Pandora's Box is already open.  The Supreme Court making the worst possible ruling on this won't change anything.  Publishers can't restrict access to information the way they could before the Internet became so widespread.  And they can't pick and choose pricing in different markets, now that pretty much anyone has easy access to one giant, integrated global market.  People intent on getting cheap (or free) copies of books will keep on doing so, no matter what the law says.  Instead of trying to control user behavior, the publishers should adapt to the 21st century and **actually compete** for customers instead of resting on their laurels and trying to bring back the 1980's.

      Message to the big publishers: adapt or perish.  This court ruling won't make a difference.

  •  Much as we dislike differential pricing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    ...it's what permits a market for US intellectual and physical products in poor countries.  So I don't have a strong opinion either way about this issue.  

    I think print will be obsolete for mass- or semi-mass-market stuff very soon, so in that sense this case may not be very important.  

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:09:54 AM PDT

    •  I would say in the past tense, (0+ / 0-)

      "It's what permitted a market...".  This is a consequence of today's global, integrated market, and as a result that old philosophy cannot be applied or enforced any longer.  Besides, if Walmart is allowed to buy on the cheap from China, then why can't individual consumers do the same from overseas booksellers?

      •  The technical reason for that, I suppose... (0+ / 0-)

        ...is that in Wal Mart's case every participant in the chain agrees with it, while in the bookseller case one key participant, the orginal producer of the intellectual property, does object.  

        But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

        by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:42:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think/hope Wiley will lose (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Brown Thrasher

    Scalia and Kennedy both might go the right way on this one. On the other hand, I can see Breyer and Kagan going the wrong way, so it might be close. But there's at least a chance that they're hearing this because they think it's obvious and that most or all the court will vote it down. I hope.

    This comment is uninformed speculation as a way of managing my fears, mostly.

  •  Non sequitur (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles
    A ruling for Wiley in this case could establish, instead of a single standard of law, a two-tiered system in which publishers are given preferential legal treatment, and the ability to prohibit secondhand sale or rental of their products, if they manufacture them outside the US.

    The predictable result would be to prompt publishers to outsource production of physical books and other media, killing US manufacturing jobs, in order to get the preferential legal status which would allow them to outlaw secondhand sale, rental or borrowing of those products.  This in turn would jack up prices and reduce selection for US customers who would no longer have the options to buy those products secondhand, rent them, or borrow them from a library.

    I don't see how. It would ban private import and resale. That's bad, of course. But how does the place it was printed make any difference? And as long as the "first sale" took place in the U.S., how would secondhand sale, rental or borrowing be affected one way or the other?

    Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers and pot smokers, though.

    by expatjourno on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:39:22 AM PDT

    •  Never mind.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles, StrayCat
      The Second Circuit has held that foreign- manufactured goods that contain copies of copyright- protected works – from textbooks to hair care products with copyrighted labels – are immune from the limi- tations of the first sale doctrine of Section 109(a) of the Copyright Act. Under this interpretation, those goods can never be resold, lent, or given away without the permission of the copyright owner, even if that copyright owner sold the product within the United States.

      Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers and pot smokers, though.

      by expatjourno on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:41:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  your instincts were right initially (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        expatjourno

        if the first sale doctrine doesn't apply by its own terms, then the two statutory sections wouldn't come in conflict.  The question on which the court granted cert depends on the first sale being a defense to a claim of copyright infringement, otherwise there's nothing to decide.  Since this is a textbook case, it's possible that there are other arguments that the first sale doctrine wouldn't apply to the respondent, but this won't be the lawsuit that addresses those.  (truce?)

        The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

        by Loge on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:42:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Truce. I'm sorry that we got into the insults... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Loge

          ...in the other thread.

          When I reread, I thought what a superb back-and-forth it would have been without them. A good fencing match.

          Let's do this again sometime without the insults. I got carried away with scoring points and forgot there's a perfectly OK person on the other side.

          And thanks for the explanation on copyright!

          Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers and pot smokers, though.

          by expatjourno on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:59:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It would also end Toys for Tots. (5+ / 0-)

    If the supreme court upholds this:

    For example, the very popular and successful Marine Toys for Tots Founda- tion collects presents for economically disadvantaged children in the weeks surrounding Christmas. For sixty-three years, Toys for Tots has collected donated toys from the public and distributed more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million children. Origin and Evolution of Toys for Tots, MARINE TOYS FOR TOTS FOUNDATION (last visited Jan. 3, 2012),
    16
    http://www.toysfortots.org/..._ tots_program/origin_and_evolution.asp. Under the Second Circuit’s interpretation of Section 109(a), both Toys for Tots and the individuals donating toys to Toys for Tots are liable for copyright infringement for all copyrightable toys or toy packages that were manufactured outside of the United States.2
    Scalia as Scrooge.

    Also, museums would have to close.

    Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers and pot smokers, though.

    by expatjourno on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:56:18 AM PDT

  •  How much ya wanna bet... (6+ / 0-)

    That when an author sues a corporation for not giving them the profit from the "secondary sales" they make from the overseas products sales...

    The Supreme court suddenly remembers that whole "First Sale" thing.

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:02:39 AM PDT

  •  Relevant case (5+ / 0-)

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/...

    Note the sentence in Ginsburg's concurrence:

    "Copyright protection is territorial. The rights granted by the United States Copyright Act extend no farther than the nation's borders."
  •  I look forward to violating (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peptabysmal, bacchae1999

    the living shit out of their corporatist ruling.

    Obama is at war with radical anti-American terrorists. The radical GOP is at war with American women. Take that and run with it DNC, you inept fucking pikers.

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:19:19 AM PDT

  •  Wiley trying to PROTECT us, doncha know? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    Those books coming in across the border could be unsafe.

    We really don't know what middlemen they've been through and they could be tainted, adulterated, or just plain out of date even if they appear to be in the original shrink wrap.  There could be serious public health consequences from widespread and indiscriminate reading of them.

    That's why the FDA works so hard to protect us against American-manufactured medications coming back from dangerous countries like Canada.  We probably need a Federal Textbook Administration to provide the same assurance of a safe supply of college textbooks.

    ------
    Ideology is when you know the answers before you know the questions.
    It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:06:58 AM PDT

  •  Why should the creators of the works (0+ / 0-)

    ...sign them over to publishers in that case?  Why wouldn't they skip the "producers, publishers" and self-publish with their own license terms?

    It looks like media companies have become so greedy that they are about to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:12:05 AM PDT

  •  I bought one of these overseas editions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    Don't do it! I had to leave it in the garage because the glue smelled toxic.

    Those who ignore the future are condemned to repeat it.

    by enigmamf on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 03:17:26 PM PDT

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