writes: "In a scary 4-4 non-decision, the U.S. Supreme court let
stand the Ninth Circuit's decision that
the First-Sale Doctrine (which says once you buy something, the maker
gets no say in what you do with it) only applies to goods
made in the U.S. That Omega watch you bought in Switzerland last
year? It's yours now—forever. You can't sell
it without Omega's permission.
Omega sued Costco for selling its watches for prices below
suggested retail, citing a tiny Omega logo on the goods that
it said gave it the copyright holders power to control how
creative works are distributed. Costco cited the first sale
doctrine, which says copyright holders are only entitled to
such protection on the first sale of a work. Without such
protection, libraries and book resellers couldn't function.
Suppose they filed off the logo?"