Originally Posted by Japes
The issue at hand here is simply the fact that this person bought product legally (albeit overseas) and sold it legally. To me, honestly, it's completely absurd. If this ruling is upheld, not only would it likely kill all manufacturing here domestically, but, it would kill alot of the import/export trade. It would also hurt the consumer in that, for example, you might no longer be able to find discounts on just about anything (perfumes, in my specific case...my business).
No, that's not the issue at hand. If it were that simple, the court of appeals wouldn't have ruled the way it did and the supreme court wouldn't have agreed to hear the case.
The relevant provision provides: "Importation into the United States, without the authority of the owner of copyright under this title, of copies or phonorecords of a work that have been acquired outside the United States is an infringement of the exclusive right to distribute copies or phonorecords under section 106, actionable under section 501."
IOW, under this statute, a distributor who imports copies of copyrighted works into the US without the authorization of the copyright holder is infringing. And because the distributor is infringing - according to the court opinions - the first sale doctrine does not apply, since it only applies to items that were "lawfully" bought.
I don't know to what extent this will affect manufactured goods, since they are not - I don't think - "copies...of a work."