Editor’s note: This article was originally published on FOSS Force. Reprinted with permission.
The internet activist group Demand Progress has released a short 2 1/2 minute video on YouTube that explains the implications of the legal wranglings between student Supap Kirtsaeng and textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons in a case that’s already gone before the U.S. Supreme Court and is now awaiting a ruling.
At issue is the reselling of new textbooks purchased cheaply abroad in the United States. Kirtsaeng, a Thai graduate student in the U.S., sold textbooks published by John Wiley & Sons on eBay that had been purchased by relatives in Thailand. The publisher is claiming copyright infringement, and so far has won all rulings in the Federal courts.
The Demand Progress video, which we have posted below this article, points out that a ruling in favor of the textbook publisher could have implications beyond the mere selling of textbooks purchased abroad, especially in a world where hardly anything is manufactured wholly within the U.S. anymore. In other words, it could soon be illegal to sell used books or CDs that you no longer like.
For a quick overview of this case, The Chronicle of Higher Education has posted a short interview written in the form of a FAQ.