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Supreme Court To Hear First Sale Doctrine Case

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the can't-wait-to-hear-what-thomas-has-to-say dept.

The Courts 242

Registered Coward v2 writes "The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case to determine how copyright law and the doctrine of first sale applies to copyrighted works bought overseas, then imported to the U.S. and then re-sold. The case involves a foreign student who imported textbooks from Asia and the resold them in the U.S. to help fund his education. He was sued by the publisher, lost, and was ordered to pay $600,000 in damages. Now SCOTUS gets to weigh in on the issue. 'The idea -- upheld by the Supreme Court since 1908 -- is that once a copyright holder legally sells a product initially, the ownership claim is then exhausted, giving the buyer the power to resell, destroy, donate, whatever. It's a limited idea -- involving only a buyer's distribution right, not the power to reproduce that DVD or designer dress for sale. ... The tricky part is whether that first-sale doctrine applies to material both manufactured and first purchased outside the United States. Federal law gives that authority to a purchaser's work "lawfully made under this title." Does "this title" apply to any copyrighted work — whether manufactured all or in part in the United States and around the world?"

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Great Cases and Bad Law (3, Interesting)

skywire (469351) | about 2 years ago | (#41788959)

"Great cases like hard cases make bad law. For great cases are called great, not by reason of their importance... but because of some accident of immediate overwhelming interest which appeals to the feelings and distorts the judgment."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The priests of the moldering document (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41788999)

Do they ever make great rulings or do they make rulings out of whim and perhaps tradition? Those quislings and they are if you consider them traitors to the people suck up to government and corporations and do so time and time again.

It is getting worse and the document is rotting further. There's such a weight of precedent and wheedling and interpretation that you cannot read the constitution and know what the court might yield.

We should be able to individually vote to dismiss those priests and if that happens they lose everything, health care, retirement, ability to every work for government or hold a position of public trust or profit or to work for any entity that takes government money.

Since this is not about that moldering document, it's about the living fiction then they should be hung by it at the displeasure of the citizen.

Re:The priests of the moldering document (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789137)

And on the flip side if the priests of the court are to be considered immutable then if they overturn a lower court dismiss the entire court, all of it, all priests, clerks, employees with the same damning restrictions, loss of retirement and blacklisting.

When or how will we remove this cancer?

Constitution is NOT a living document (3, Insightful)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about 2 years ago | (#41789145)

I firmly believe that the founding fathers intended for the constitution to be "as is". Black and White. It means what it says and trying to conjure up a ruling because times change a little bit doesn't give any court the right or power to use a personal interpretation to make a ruling. Why do I believe this? Well they also gave the power to add, remove, amend the constitution through a very lengthy process. This tells me that changing the constitution in any way was very important and it was not meant to be arbitrarily changed at a whim or misinterpreted by someones prejudice. Think about it - technically any judge on any court can say , "well i interpret this to mean that so I am ruling X". That gives too much power to judges and I think most of us here understand that the founders didn't want this..

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789199)

The Constituion contains the mechanism for amending it.
It's not supposed to be done by executive order, a simple majority vote in Congress, or judicial fiat.

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (5, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41789609)

The Constituion contains the mechanism for amending it. It's not supposed to be done by executive order, a simple majority vote in Congress, or judicial fiat.

This is not a piece of code, it's a law. Unfortunately it needs to be interpreted and it stops working when it is interpreted badly (maybe it is like interpreted code?)

You know, like 100 bajilion dollars for downloading 10 songs still has to be interpreted as "cruel and unusual" to be unconstitutional.

Or like current administration arguing that placing you on a "kill list" is fine because it is "due process", just not judicial, reviewed or in any way transparent. But still "due".

Or judges accepting that your "documents" can't be searched, but when they are sent by email or stored on your phone, suddenly that doesn't count as "papers" because they are electronic. Similarly, you cannot be search unless a police dog barks at you/your car. Once the dog barks, the constitutional limits are lifted for some reason.

Or successfully arguing that copyright limits are "limited" as long as they are finite (so "unlimited" is unconstitutional, but extend by 20 years every 20 years is fine)

Or court accepting that administration can wait a few years until the constitutional review of a detention (Jose Padilla) and then transfer that prisoner from military to civil confinement one day before review and claim that the case is now "moot" since the prisoner is no longer in military confinement.

I could go on.

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (3, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41789219)

I firmly believe that the founding fathers intended for the constitution to be "as is". Black and White. It means what it says and trying to conjure up a ruling because times change a little bit doesn't give any court the right or power to use a personal interpretation to make a ruling. Why do I believe this? Well they also gave the power to add, remove, amend the constitution through a very lengthy process. This tells me that changing the constitution in any way was very important and it was not meant to be arbitrarily changed at a whim or misinterpreted by someones prejudice. Think about it - technically any judge on any court can say , "well i interpret this to mean that so I am ruling X". That gives too much power to judges and I think most of us here understand that the founders didn't want this..

You can firmly believe that but you would be wrong. The intentionally made the words vague, ensuring that the courts and your legislators would have to interpret it according to their judgment.

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (3, Insightful)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about 2 years ago | (#41789283)

NO - if courts and legislators can interpret it to mean anything they want then thats a dangerous precedent. They can justify, change any law, new or old and that was not want the founders wanted. Currently if you want to change the constitution it requires 2/3 vote in both house and senate then 3/4 of the states must accept the bill before actually changing the constitution. What you are implying is that they would be ok with any court or single person in congress having the power of their own persuasion and personal conviction to arbitrarily make a ruling because of his own interpretation. Pretty soon every judge has their own interpretation and as you might imagine this can lead to overwhelming chaos.

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (4, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41789439)

What you are implying is that they would be ok with any court or single person in congress having the power of their own persuasion and personal conviction to arbitrarily make a ruling because of his own interpretation. Pretty soon every judge has their own interpretation and as you might imagine this can lead to overwhelming chaos.

And that's exactly right. I don't see the problem here. I do see your misunderstanding, though.

The founders saw that no single set of laws could apply actual justice to every case. Mitigating circumstances and changing technologies had caused "overwhelming chaos" even 200 years ago. When they laid out the framework for the American government, they separated interpretation from legislation intentionally, so the courts could decide how (or if) the slowly-changing laws could apply to each case. Ideally, every case would follow a completely independent interpretation of the rules. For efficiency, though, American courts often follow precedent if the judges feel the circumstances haven't significantly changed since the precedent was set.

Every court can have their own opinion, and they very often do. Each state, county, and municipality can have their own interpretations of the law, which should coincide with the community's collective morality. When there's a significant disagreement, the case can be taken to a higher court for a more authoritative judgement, ultimately even arriving at the Supreme Court Of The United States, whose interpretations can override everything else in the nation.

Despite today's global culture, it is important to remember that humans only naturally compare their behavior to those physically around them. Local groups develop their own morality, and their local laws and customs reflect that. Why should their courts reflect an arbitrary morality from some other group a thousand miles away? We may as well declare tomorrow that America is under strict Muslim rule, and all courts must refer to the Qu'ran for legal guidance.

Thousand miles - federalism, enumerated powers (4, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 years ago | (#41789553)

"why should ... a thousand miles away." The framers DID account for that, by making a FEDERAL government, not a national one. The people a thousand miles away have only the enumerated powers, with all other powers reserved to the states and the people. That's how the Constitution avoids having people a thousand miles away make your decisions for you, NOT by having judges make up the law as they go along.

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (4, Insightful)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#41789493)

"I firmly believe that the founding fathers intended for the constitution to be "as is". Black and White"

What the hell means "a is"? It is obvious that the text is not so clear that it only admits one interpretation, so what do you really mean?

Oh, I know: "I firmly believe that the founding fathers intended for the constitution to be as Cutting_Crew reads it".

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789933)

Means how it was interpreted, upheld, and practiced at the time of the writing, and not a re-imagining centuries later. Look, if you want to change the Constitution the means by which to rewrite it are included in the document itself.

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789985)

It admits very few interpretations, unless you have serious reading comprehension difficulties or an authoritarian agenda to push.

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789605)

I firmly believe that the founding fathers intended for the constitution to be "as is". Black and White.

You can believe that. I won't agree myself, but ok, so you believe that's the case.

But surely you can recognize that the Constitution is not an exhaustive document that covers everything in detail, nor does it provide a comprehensive guidance of principles? Surely you can also recognize that people will still read things into it as they will, people being people as they are, and that what one person believes or says it means may not be another. And I really hope you can see how adopting the position of putting the Constitution on a pedestal, and what you believe the Founding Fathers intended opens up a peril of dogmatic devotion used to excuse all kinds of injustice.

It means what it says and trying to conjure up a ruling because times change a little bit doesn't give any court the right or power to use a personal interpretation to make a ruling. Why do I believe this? Well they also gave the power to add, remove, amend the constitution through a very lengthy process. This tells me that changing the constitution in any way was very important and it was not meant to be arbitrarily changed at a whim or misinterpreted by someones prejudice. Think about it - technically any judge on any court can say , "well i interpret this to mean that so I am ruling X". That gives too much power to judges and I think most of us here understand that the founders didn't want this..

Actually, I believe they did exercise just that authority themselves, that's why they rose up in Rebellion and formed their OWN government.

I'm far more afraid of a judge who follows the law and has no room to exercise discretion or compassion than I am of a judge exercising it. I suppose I could go with the prohibition to making things worse, but I do also want judges to make things more lenient.

Personally, I think instead of a lengthy process to amend, we should be forcing ourselves to revise and improve the document. It's a 200 year old paper, it's full of flaws, and if we could revise it, I think we can do a little better.

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (4, Informative)

Kijori (897770) | about 2 years ago | (#41789697)

You have to understand that there is no way for the constitution to be "as is". No-one - including constitutional originalists - thinks that that is possible. The process of interpretation necessarily involves information that does not come from the constitutional document itself, and that is a role of judges - to interpret the statute in order to determine what it means in a limitless array of situations. Far from being a criticism your statement "well I interpret this to mean that so I am ruling X" is in fact the right and proper function of a judge.

The opposing view to the living document school of thought is not that no information external to the document can be used; that idea is intellectually moribund, as is apparent the moment you attempt the exercise. The opposing view is constitutional originalism, which looks outside the document just as much as do living-document jurists. The difference is where they look: instead of looking at the prevailing circumstances today and what the meaning of the words would be if enacted today they look at the circumstances at the time of enactment and what (in the judge's interpretation, for the judge is interpreting things just as much here) the words would have meant at the time. It is important to bear in mind that this does not normally have anything to do with what the authors of the constitution wanted the constitution to say or meant for it to say. The question is what it would generally have been understood to have meant at the time.

Personally I tend to lean toward a constitutional originalist view. It must be accepted, however, that there are considerable problems with it. The living document school grew up in large part because a constitution interpreted in line with the values that were held 200 years ago is often irrelevant or useless. Advances in technology mean that checks on privacy interpreted as they were understood in the 18th century can be completely impotent. Similarly a clause guaranteeing due process is of little comfort if all it guarantees is the quality of due process that was accepted in 1790. There is also to my mind a clear contradiction in the commonly held position that in relation to rights the constitution grants nothing that would not have been expected in the eighteenth century, but that the second amendment grants the right to own any weapon whenever devised.

Re:Constitution is NOT a living document (0)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about 2 years ago | (#41789981)

but judges are supposed to rule as the the current constitution states. It is NOT their job to say, "well this part of the constitution doesnt make sense now so lets make a ruling to interpret it that makes sense in this day and age". I repeat that is NOT their job. They are to rule on current law and constitutional basis - not to change or modify that basis based on their own personal interpretation. They are to rule on a law as is. Period. If you want them to rule on a law make a ruling on a constitutional problem then CHANGE THE LAW BY RATIFYING THE CONSTITUTION that reflects the day and age. Surely if 200 years later it is acceptable by most for X and Y because A and B really dont apply to this day and age then it shouldnt be any problem getts 2/3 of the house and senate and 3/4 of the states to sign off on the change. But this is not any judges job - even the supreme courts job, which are supposed to make a ruling on current statutes. Not make up their own interpretations and make rulings on those interpretations.

Re:Great Cases and Bad Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789015)

I understand why the corps want it to make a difference, and I understand why the purchasers want it not to, but what's the actual argument in favor of having different property rights just because something came from another country?

Re:Great Cases and Bad Law (5, Insightful)

DevConcepts (1194347) | about 2 years ago | (#41789073)

How much of what is purchased in the US is actually made in the US?
That should be 1/2 of the problem solved.
How far down the rabbit hole will this go?
Order a car part from Germany and then find out you don't need it, can you sell it? Legally?

Re:Great Cases and Bad Law (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41789207)

If you sell it, is it right to sell it at the German price you purchased it for (plus some markup for shipping), or the price that competing American manufacturers sell it for?

Re:Great Cases and Bad Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789229)

What does "is it right?" have to do with anything? This is about the law.

Re:Great Cases and Bad Law (1)

Roogna (9643) | about 2 years ago | (#41789505)

Well I -should- be able to sell it for any price I desire, even at great loss to myself. Because if I'm willing to say, take a loss on the part just to get it out of my garage. Why should -anyone- be able to tell me I can't make that choice?

Re:Great Cases and Bad Law (2)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#41789537)

It's neither right nor wrong. It's simply irrelevant.

Re:Great Cases and Bad Law (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41789097)

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court will probably uphold the lower court's judgment, not because they think the law is just, but because they will agree that the lower court was right about what the law IS. It's a stupid law and you might even see that expressed in the opinion, but they'll probably say that it's not their job to decide whether the law is stupid or unjust.

Re:Great Cases and Bad Law (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41789329)

...they'll probably say that it's not their job to decide whether the law is stupid or unjust.

And it isn't. The legislature makes the law, and the courts just figure out how it applies to each case.

Re:Great Cases and Bad Law (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789835)

...they'll probably say that it's not their job to decide whether the law is stupid or unjust.

And it isn't. The legislature makes the law, and the courts just figure out how it applies to each case.

Except in the case of the Supreme Courts of countries, where they must also decide whether the law is compatible with the principles of the country (i.e., the constitution).

Re:not their job to decide if the law is unjust (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#41789435)

Bang.

This is the point that is often overlooked.

Here's Conneticut vs Fourntin -
http://womenriseupnow.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/state-of-connecticut-v-fourtin/ [wordpress.com]

Everyone is screaming "travesty" - I am digging around trying to find the awful case that results if the ruling went the other way.

However Slashdot threads are only good for 2 days anyway so I won't find it before everyone leaves anyway.

Re: travesty of CT supreme court ruling (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about 2 years ago | (#41789735)

That is a sad, sad, story. I've got two replies to you. The first re your content: the ruling would then imply that necrophilia would not be illegal nothwithstanding any other laws regarding sex with the dead, and would also imply that sex with a drunk/drugged passed-out woman or man would also be legal as such a passed-out person also would not put up enough of a fight

.

re "However Slashdot threads are only good for 2 days anyway so I won't find it before everyone leaves anyway", I agree with you. It's annoying because I found (through a backlink from a reply to my comment to another comment to a fairly recent story) that I could not submit a response to a /. story that was just barely 2 weeks old because the article had already been "archived" and would not allow for any more postings.

.

WTF? So someone who cares enough to follow an interesting story and may have something very on-point to contribute can't add anything? If they're worried about spammers, they could limit additions to articles greater than a few days old to higher-karma posters or to logged in posters only (allowing them anonymity as needed), but just outright denying them access to post?

What if I'd missed reading /. for a few days and was just browsing back day by day and found something interesting? It's sad, but I have to agree with your conclusion that these threads are only good for a couple of days.

Re:not their job to decide if the law is unjust (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about 2 years ago | (#41789777)

Thanks for the pointer to the story. I can only hope, like you do, that there is some strange higher-level understanding that requires the law to be that way. I've read part of the dissent pdf file [ct.gov] and the first issue seems to be :

Therefore, although she was indeed physically helpless in the ordinary sense of the term, she was not physically helpless for purposes of the statute.), and State v. Bucknell, 144 Wn. App. 524, 529â"30, 183 P.3d 1078 (2008)

.

There also seems to be a bizarre point about whether or not the victim had been taught any sexual information in the sense that if they didn't know about it how could they deny consent for it? Would that be the break that would allow the rape of children who had not yet been taught the facts of life and/or were brought up to respect authority?

Re:Great Cases and Bad Law (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41789489)

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court will probably uphold the lower court's judgment,

Ah, between Citizen United, the binding arbitration clause (I forget the name) and this case, aren't we "the people" screwed?
Soon, we'll just receive pamphlets from corporations that have 51% shares in our local city and follow these instead of any government laws...

Threads That Bind (1)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | about 2 years ago | (#41788975)

As if EULA on software wasn't bad enough...

Re:Threads That Bind (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41789479)

Well for SW it's claimed it's a licence, thus you cannot resell the licence.

Of course it too has certain protections and if those are to the benefit to the consumer then it's switched around to say it's a normal purchase.

could mean the death of us manufacturing (4, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#41789009)

If first sale is held not to apply to goods manufactured outside the United States, every product we buy will be accompanied by a non transferable shrink wrap license,

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#41789057)

It's about being manufactured and sold outside the US. Whether a product licensed and sold in another country needs explicit permission to be resold in the US. Once it is legally sold in the US, first sale rights apply to the purchaser.

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (0)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 2 years ago | (#41789253)

If something - a book, cell phone, car - is manufactured outside the US for export to the US, is it being sold outside the US to the importer. Apple, for instance, has Foxconn manufacture its phones in China for export to the US. Does Apple buy the phones from Foxconn in China then import them to the US for sale here? Where does the first sale take place and who is the first owner?

It could be that Apple is in the same position as the student who imported books for resale in the US. Interesting...

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789309)

Only if apple doesn't have rights to distribute the IP in the phone. The real question at heart here is one of jurisdiction. If I sell a book to you in the Phillipines, under Phillipino law, and my agreement with you says not for export to the US, once the book is exported to the US, does 1st sale doctrine apply. This is an interesting question.

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#41789575)

Of course Apple owns the iPhone's intellectual property. If anything, FoxConn has to license IP from Apple for the purposes of manufacturing Apple's stuff. That license dictates, among other things, that no iPhones will exit the back door.

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789331)

> It could be that Apple is in the same position as the student who imported books for resale in the US. Interesting...

Apple is buying these phones with explicit licence to resell in the US. Reselling the textbooks isn't illegal. It's doing so without the rightsholder's permission.

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#41789619)

Apple isn't buying the phones from Foxconn with explicit licensing to resell. it's contracting with Foxconn to manufacture the phones according to Apple's design.

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 years ago | (#41789587)

Then comes the definition of "sold". Do the manufacturers "sell" the product to the distributors? Is that "sale" outside the US? It is about multinational companies creating local monopolies through licensing.

Another point to ponder is the question of legality. Is contravening a license breaking the law? I seem to remember a EULA case where breaking a license was a tort offence not a criminal one. They are two different things. It would seem that by law the books could be sold in the US but by contract they could not. Which leads to another point. Is a "no export" contract valid when there is a monopoly on the sale of an item required by the course of study? There is little choice involved; if one wants the credit one must buy the book therefore one is forced into the contract. That could be viewed as being under duress and contracts signed under duress are null and void.

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about 2 years ago | (#41789157)

everyone jsut stop buying hondas and watch the tides turn.

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (3, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 years ago | (#41789247)

Why Honda's are made in the USA. it is fords, GM's and such that are made in mexico and shipped here.

Honda, Toyota, Nissan all manufacture more cars in the USA than Ford or GM do.

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41789323)

If "First Sale" does not apply then how the hell can a Store who bought the property sell it to consumers? Hmm? Oh, sure some stores have direct permission from the manufacturers, but What about Amazon? What about the mom-and pop corner store that buys many of their goods from big-box stores and sells at a higher price in trade for convenience? Garage sales?

IMO, The "ownership" of any matter or idea or other energy configuration is terminated when it leaves your possession or head. If you don't want folks re-selling, don't sell. If you don't want folks using your idea, don't share it. If you don't want folks copying your movie, don't publish it. If you don't want folks using the repairs to the car, don't fix it. Don't work for free then extort money from us to recoup costs. Instead, only do the work (game, movie, car repair, home building, etc) after you've got a contract to be paid for it. Afterwards, the fruits of your labor belongs to those who paid you for it.

You can only control your own actions, not the actions of others. Everyone knows this, but we still let others control our actions while they do what we are forbidden? It's an essential misunderstanding of the Universe: Any fool can see that ownership does not extend beyond their immediate possession.

If you want to continue to own the thing I've purchased then I'm renting it, and the price should reflect this -- Also, I'd like a replacement for your item that I'm using breaks. Oh, you want me to deal with stuff like breakage and wear and tear? Then I guess it's mine to do with as I please.

If you outlaw sales, only outlaws will have sales!

Re:could mean the death of us manufacturing (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#41789709)

If "First Sale" does not apply then how the hell can a Store who bought the property sell it to consumers? Hmm? Oh, sure some stores have direct permission from the manufacturers, but What about Amazon? What about the mom-and pop corner store that buys many of their goods from big-box stores and sells at a higher price in trade for convenience? Garage sales?

The wholesaler grants a onetime non-transferable license to sell the product, and the included end user license. Violation of the terms of such license (including honoring the msrp, for instnce) mean that repeat orders will not be honored.

The mom and pop store might just be screwed.

Abolish private property! We need communism now! (5, Interesting)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 years ago | (#41789011)

All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions.

The French Revolution, for example, abolished feudal property in favour of bourgeois property.

The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few.

In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.

We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man’s own labour, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence.

Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily.

Or do you mean the modern bourgeois private property?

But does wage-labour create any property for the labourer? Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property which exploits wage-labour, and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage-labour for fresh exploitation. Property, in its present form, is based on the antagonism of capital and wage labour. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism.

To be a capitalist, is to have not only a purely personal, but a social status in production. Capital is a collective product, and only by the united action of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united action of all members of society, can it be set in motion.

Capital is therefore not only personal; it is a social power.

When, therefore, capital is converted into common property, into the property of all members of society, personal property is not thereby transformed into social property. It is only the social character of the property that is changed. It loses its class character.

Let us now take wage-labour.

The average price of wage-labour is the minimum wage, i.e., that quantum of the means of subsistence which is absolutely requisite to keep the labourer in bare existence as a labourer. What, therefore, the wage-labourer appropriates by means of his labour, merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence. We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the products of labour, an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life, and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the labour of others. All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital, and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it.

In bourgeois society, living labour is but a means to increase accumulated labour. In Communist society, accumulated labour is but a means to widen, to enrich, to promote the existence of the labourer.

In bourgeois society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past. In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality.

And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at.

By freedom is meant, under the present bourgeois conditions of production, free trade, free selling and buying.

But if selling and buying disappears, free selling and buying disappears also. This talk about free selling and buying, and all the other “brave words” of our bourgeois about freedom in general, have a meaning, if any, only in contrast with restricted selling and buying, with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages, but have no meaning when opposed to the Communistic abolition of buying and selling, of the bourgeois conditions of production, and of the bourgeoisie itself.

You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.

In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.

Re:Abolish private property! We need communism now (0, Troll)

James McGuigan (852772) | about 2 years ago | (#41789335)

Wish I had mod points now, mod parent insightful

Re:Abolish private property! We need communism now (0)

echucker (570962) | about 2 years ago | (#41789755)

Read poster's previous history - a shill. Communism has yet to work because those in a place of leadership corrupt the system, and the individual still gets screwed - pretty much the hallmark of all systems today.

Re:Abolish private property! We need communism now (1)

Gryle (933382) | about 2 years ago | (#41789759)

I can't tell if you're serious or just an exquisite troll.

Re:Abolish private property! We need communism now (4, Funny)

icebraining (1313345) | about 2 years ago | (#41789833)

Slashdot is upvoting the Communist Manifesto? That's unexpected.

(funnily enough, the marxists.org page, which hosts the Manifesto, claims copyright over the document! It's probably over the translation, but still hilariously hypocrite)

It would be a reason to buy American (2)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 2 years ago | (#41789029)

I think the case is ridiculous, but courts are famously lacking in common sense sometimes. If the defendant loses, I wonder if one of the unintended consequences would be to spur more sales of products 'Made In The USA'.

Re:It would be a reason to buy American (4, Insightful)

clemdoc (624639) | about 2 years ago | (#41789121)

No, I think it would rather lead to an increase of products 'made anywhere' but 'sold in the USA' by a company the copyright holder approves of, thereby leading to neither lower prices nor better availability.

Easy answer.. (5, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | about 2 years ago | (#41789075)

Yes, first sale doctrine applies in this case. It's a no-brainer. Nobody here or in the court will be thinking about whether or not the foreign student stole the textbooks - because he did not. Nobody is accusing him of copying. Nobody is saying the items are counterfeit. The whole point of this case will be to try to figure out a tricky legal way to accuse the student of stealing. That is the only reason for debate. The 'under this title' part of the reasoning for debate is moot anyway since the law is meant to be applied equally - and equal application would mean 'lawfully made under this title' when the law agrees in both governing states (which is not even being argued.)

The doctrine of first sale is a simple idea and concept - one that can apply easily in courts around the country and the world. The biggest problem we are all worried about is if our corrupt Surpreme Court will once again come up with complicated 'reasoning' to decide yet another case where the big corporation beats the young entrepreneur. If I want to copyright my apples and sell them for 1 penny in China and $3000 in Canada, why should I have any further control over the people in China realizing my ridiculous pricing? Free market capitalism and globalism needs to go both ways. If a corporation is free to charge different prices, the consumers or middle men should be free to resell them - until the price points meet market demands.

What the Supreme Court should do is morally, lawfully, and reasonably easy to decide. What they will do is a big fucking can of worms because of the current move toward corporatism.

Re:Easy answer.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789261)

I believe your worst fears will come true, given this story [slashdot.org] .

Re:Easy answer.. (3, Interesting)

popo (107611) | about 2 years ago | (#41789297)

> " If I want to copyright my apples and sell them for 1 penny in China and $3000 in Canada, why should I have any further control over the people in China realizing my ridiculous pricing?"

Actually, the more compelling question is: Why would citizens of Canada continue to stay in Canada (or any other top-tier priced nation) where they are clearly being en-serfed under such policies.

The evidence is growing that the so-called "First World" is for suckers.

China.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789645)

because it's hard to compete against a nation where piracy is commonplace. The best they can do is come near $0 - $0.01 as you state. I doubt piracy/ knock-offs was part of the free-market/ capitalism.

Re:China.. (1)

brxndxn (461473) | about 2 years ago | (#41789811)

This case is not arguing piracy one bit. That is introducing a new scope into the discussion.

Re:Easy answer.. (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41789669)

Actually, the more compelling question is: Why would citizens of Canada continue to stay in Canada (or any other top-tier priced nation)

Not sure what exactly the question states
Because you _cannot_ make a first-tier salary while living in a third-tier country? Leave Canada for China and you will be downgraded to an average Chinese salary. Corporations are able to get labor in the third-tier poor countries and sell you stuff at the first-tier prices, since that's where you live.

But good luck trying to get the reverse and make US salary living in China (or even UK Salary in british pounds while living in US). Globalization was not meant to benefit peons like us. Hell, good luck importing a DVD from the US to Europe or to Australia.

Re:Easy answer.. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 2 years ago | (#41789865)

Globalization has enabled hundreds of millions to people to rise from poverty and many into middle-class, but since those are Chinese and Indonesians and not privileged Americans, they don't count, right?

The hypocrisy and selfishness disguised as anti-corporativism is disgusting.

Re:Easy answer.. (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41790031)

Globalization has enabled hundreds of millions to people to rise from poverty and many into middle-class, but since those are Chinese and Indonesians and not privileged Americans, they don't count, right?

hm...? I am not saying "down with globalization" - I am happy for any non-American that rose out of poverty (just as I would be for an American that rose out of poverty) .

But none of this explains why Australians can't buy a DVD or a game from US at US prices. Let _everyone_ benefit from globalization.

Re:Easy answer.. (4, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#41789299)

It's not so simple as you make it out to be. the law states:

(a) Infringing Importation or Exportation.— [cornell.edu]
(1) Importation.—
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.

Re:Easy answer.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789673)

What defines an import? What if I were to purchase it whilst on holiday then bring it with me on my return? Will CBP now be confiscating any copyrighted work brought into the US?

Oh it is simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789771)

That is a shitty law allows unfair price discrimination. Why should different people get different prices on mass produced items like books solely based on what country they live in?

According to that law what he did is piracy, but any sane person would say it's not. Of course, I'm sure some economist or businessman could give a very convincing yet convoluted logic that would justify this type of price discrimination.

Re:Easy answer.. (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#41789345)

Well, I can sort of see why the law doesn't want to let you go jurisdiction shopping. If US law says any copy legally made under foreign law is equal to one made under US law then you can pick any one of 165+ copyright laws (Berne convention, more if any country) that is most favorable to you. Like in this case, I'm sure what they're worried about is that you can make an online shop and say the manufacture and sale happens outside the US, it is only delivered to the US which circumvents any local law.

Re:Easy answer.. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 2 years ago | (#41789589)

It seems to me the First Sale doctrine is about consumer rights. When you buy something, it is yours to dispose of any way you like, including reselling. Where you actually bought it should be irrelevant, and this claim that it is seems to me like a perversion of the law.

Of course you'll want some laws to govern parallel imports and such, but they should be separate laws, like they are in Europe. Here, we have restrictions on importing goods to govern that. You can bring a few copies of a book into the country at most, anything more is the prerogative of the copyright holder. But those few copies should by rights be yours to dispose of as you please.

Re:Easy answer.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789351)

How do you apply the law under which the first sale occurs? What if that law includes no such first sale doctrine, or if it allows the non-exportability clause to be enforced?

Easy answer, but not what you're thinking (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789379)

The First Sale doctrine is irrelevant to this case due to Congress's control of the borders. If these imports fall under Congress's authority to regulate imports, the appeal ends there just like Roberts's decision on the health care mandate falling under the Congressional power to lay taxes.

  * Are the books being imported into the US? Yes.
  * Can Congress regulate what may be imported into the US, and in what circumstances? Yes.

I predict a short decision along that line by the court's right wing, with the court's left wing writing a separate and contradictory concurrence about how these laws help the copyright industry and therefore are constitutional. One or two neoconfederates in the right wing may write a dissent about property rights.

Re:Easy answer, but not what you're thinking (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 2 years ago | (#41789911)

I think there are treaties preventing the government from prohibiting import, if those same items are legal to sell in the US.

Re:Easy answer.. (4, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 years ago | (#41789671)

Free market capitalism and globalism needs to go both ways. If a corporation is free to charge different prices, the consumers or middle men should be free to resell them - until the price points meet market demands.

I would abstract that principle even further. If a corporation is free to move manufacturing overseas where it's cheaper, then likewise people should be free to buy products overseas for cheaper and import them into the U.S. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Re:Easy answer.. (1)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | about 2 years ago | (#41790033)

I should also be free to live in any country I want. Corporations get to exploit labor in all countries but I'm trapped in the US labor market.

Economic consequences (1)

poity (465672) | about 2 years ago | (#41789743)

Purely looking at the law, I'd likely agree with you, but reimportation is more complicated than it appears on the surface.
Let's establish some givens:
1. Publishers are out to maximize profits, and
2. Regional pricing gives greater access to consumers in poorer countries.

If reimportation were to be fully legal, these US companies, whose greatest profit comes from domestic sales, would be far more likely to raise export prices to match domestic prices and cope with decreased export sales than to depress what is their most lucrative stream of revenue by lowering domestic prices to compete with reimported goods. The consequence then is that the poorest consumers would find themselves priced out of the market, and because this case deals with books it has the secondary effect of limiting the availability of education and empowerment which the poorest people most need.

Unless the government is prepared to intervene dramatically in how companies operate and implement price ceilings to equalize all prices across regions, the most likely result we'll see from this is that prices of export US goods will increase, making them less competitive globally, resulting in less choice for international consumers and less export revenue for the US, and all this in a time when the US can least afford a decrease in economic influence or an expansion of trade deficit.

It won't be an easy decision for the Supreme Court to make, there will be a great fight between moralists and pragmatists, and rest assured the White House and Congress will be on the side of maintaining illegality.

Re:Easy answer.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789953)

There may be a good reason for different pricing in different market segments, and we absolutely protect companies that wish to do so against people that try to hedge the market by re-selling goods bought in one segment to people in another segment. I'll give two examples:
    * Movie theatres don't care if you give your movie ticket to another person. It's transferable. But a senior's movie ticket, bought at a discounted price in order to encourage seniors to go to the movies, is not transferable to a non-senior.
    * Big pharma spends ridiculous amounts of money on R&D. An anti-AIDS drug can cost billions of dollars to produce. However, the majority of that cost is borne by those in the west who can afford (maybe through insurance) $100 / week in drugs. Africans are given the drug, virtually at cost, usually so the company can drum up good PR. This is a win-win for everybody. However, you can see what would happen if people start importing and re-selling these drugs into western markets: the company would stop selling the drug in Africa, and there'd be a whole lot of dead people that could otherwise be saved.

YUO FAIL2 IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789087)

personal rivalries progress. In 1992, rotting corpse co8ducted at MIT any parting shot, distended. All I surveys show that is dying. Fact: would take about 2 and Michael Smith

Gaming US (0)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | about 2 years ago | (#41789101)

Corporatism can't enjoy tax-free offshore AND onshore exceptionalism to in-situ laws native where their products may roam regardless if Kryptonite, Muscovite or Israelite in composition. To do otherwise, reduces a set of laws to mere rules. Rules define play. Playing the legal system is just gaming it. SCOTUS decides Robert's court or Kangaroo court for Globalism sake.

Raises Many Questions (1)

cob666 (656740) | about 2 years ago | (#41789103)

The first is, if copyright doesn't apply in the US then the copyright holder has no right to prohibit resale.
If copyright DOES apply in the US and the product was legally obtained (regardless of location) then the original copyright holder should again have NO right to prohibit resale, applying the first sale doctrine.

Where this gets interesting is, will this ruling apply to ANYTHING manufactured overseas that has any type of copyright, such as computing devices and automobiles? Imagine not being able to sell your 4-5 year old car to buy a newer model. How will this ruling apply to things such as the secondary market for used CDs (many of which are imported)?

I'm very curious as to how this is going to play out.

Re:Raises Many Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789291)

The publisher will also have their trademark on the book, so they can simply use this [slashdot.org] - you have been f'd over a long time ago. But you know what the WORST part is? That I had to remind you of it.

Re:Raises Many Questions (2)

rnturn (11092) | about 2 years ago | (#41789357)

"Imagine not being able to sell your 4-5 year old car to buy a newer model. How will this ruling apply to things such as the secondary market for used CDs (many of which are imported)?"

There is a possibility that can SCOTUS rules that individuals have no rights to sell anything used. Think that won't happen? Well, the Citizen's United case was much more narrowly defined than what eventually came out of the Roberts court. One can only hope that, if they rule that way, Congress will wake up and set things straight though, personally, I wouldn't hold my breath of that happening. The money involved will prevent the little guy from seeing the right thing being done.

Sig Solves it all (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#41789883)

"Do what thou wilt"

So they can do whatever they want. Thread over.

600,000 reasons (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 2 years ago | (#41789107)

Crap like this, no wonder we have angry armed mobs in front of our embassies. This was not only a wrongheaded suit but obnoxious in application. If the publishers want to discriminate regionally, then they should bear the burden of regional versions (less desirable in US, at least for textbooks). Trampling our US first sale rights isn't going to be acceptable. Crucifying some little entrepreneur like that with bogus double dipping "corporate rights", no wonder the US has endless enemies.

This has happened everyday (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | about 2 years ago | (#41789111)

Throughout history from the very first time a product was sold for differing prices a middleman has bought them up in one place and sold them in another where he can make a profit. I will lose what little faith I have left in our legal system if they convict this kid.

Re:This has happened everyday (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789209)

They already did, with a fine of $600000. This went to the Supreme Court through appeals. The fact that it got that is more than distressing.

Re:This has happened everyday (0)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41789281)

They already did, with a fine of $600000. This went to the Supreme Court through appeals. The fact that it got that is more than distressing.

$600000 for EIGHT BOOKS.

Re:This has happened everyday (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41789403)

EIGHT BOOKS.

That's one hell of a markup considering he made $1,200,000.

Specifically he sold dozens of copies of eight textbooks

Ah, there we go - presumably that's "dozens" in the sense of "thousands." Not that the whole thing isn't utterly ridiculous, of course.

Re:This has happened everyday (1)

SylvesterTheCat (321686) | about 2 years ago | (#41789453)

The Supreme Court does not "convict."
They will either uphold or overturn a lower court's ruling.

I think I know what you meant to say, but words have meaning.

textbooks are about profit and changing them very (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41789215)

textbooks are about profit and changing them very fast

They want to have their cake and eat it too (1, Insightful)

Pluvius (734915) | about 2 years ago | (#41789239)

You can't declare that ownership laws in another country apply to you when they protect you (e.g. copyright law) and at the same time declare that they don't apply to you when they protect someone else. This would be a slam-dunk case if not for certain Supreme Court Justices who can't help but give big slobbery kisses to any corporation that gives them the time of day.

Rob

Re:They want to have their cake and eat it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789753)

This would be a slam-dunk case if not for certain Supreme Court Justices who can't help but give big slobbery kisses to any corporation that gives them the time of day.

I do wonder why are they doing this?
They cannot be removed or replaced or re-elected, so there are no lobbyists here. Are some justices just being bribed directly?

What about foreign language publications? (1)

BobK65 (2541842) | about 2 years ago | (#41789249)

First sale doctrine should certainly apply. What if someone writes a book in swedish produced and sold only in Sweden. To say a purchaser can't sell the book after moving to the US defies common sense.

College costs aren't high enough I guess. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789255)

When I went to grad school for EE, I think about 3/4 of my textbooks had a "can only purchse in India, Bangladesh, Singapore, etc" note on them. They were often paperback, with poor paper and ink quality, but thery had all the information that the $300 book at the campus bookstore had, for around $20. I look at this kind of like the presceiption drug thing, we design or write) the product here in the US, and make the US market pay for nearly all the r&d costs, as well as all the marketing and profiteering costs

ban professors from ripping pages out of books to (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41789273)

ban professors from ripping pages out of books to get a grade or forcing you to buy the book + online tests. make that you only can pay a small fee to cover the costs of on line testing / homework system with a price cap.

also force professors to let you use old editions as most of them are the same other then moving stuff around and different questions. And some classes don't even need the books at all.

Note that the question before the Court... (2)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#41789287)

...is not "Should the first sale doctrine apply to imported books". It is "Does the first sale doctrine apply to imported books". I think that we can all agree that it should, but the Court will have to try to figure out whether or not the Congress intended that it should. To do this they will (among other things) inquire into the legislative history of the copyright statute.

Re:Note that the question before the Court... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789361)

It's also not "is there an inherent property right to sell one's property, without interference from other people". It's sad and depressing that our freedoms have fallen so low that we have to beg the government kindly to permit us to sell our property.

Re:Note that the question before the Court... (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41789707)

It's sad and depressing that our freedoms have fallen so low that we have to beg the government kindly to permit us to sell our property.

Our "property" slowly mutates into "temporary leased and highly restricted item".
Have you tried to sell a DVD in a different country? (region encoding)
How about reselling a software license?
A used game? (special one-time use codes)

Copyright is not a license to gouge. (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 years ago | (#41789327)

I love this quote:

The whole idea of the copyright laws is to provide people with an incentive to create books, movies, or other works of art. If you take away that incentive, you're not going to have creators out there doing things that give us pleasure or educate us.

There is always an issue with absolutes like "take away". There is still incentive but perhaps less. Maybe there will be less incentive to make new editions that consist of a few page changes and different examples.

It would seem that the publisher is quite happy with the cut they get from foreign distribution at lower prices and seem to be making a profit or they would not be doing it. The re-sale restriction just gives local monopolies to licensed publishers so they can demand the maximum possible price. It has nothing to do with supplying lower cost books where needed but maximizing profit where possible. Profit is not bad but gouging on required text books is.

Re:Copyright is not a license to gouge. (2)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41789877)

I always hate that part. some of the biggest names in history produced all their work without any form of copyright. Why do people think that if we gave "only" a measly lifetime of protection people would suddenly stop creating?

It's time to abolish copyright completely. We did fine without it before, we'll do fine without it again.

If there is a tricky part, fix the law. (1)

fox171171 (1425329) | about 2 years ago | (#41789427)

The tricky part is whether that first-sale doctrine applies to material both manufactured and first purchased outside the United States.
Does "this title" apply to any copyrighted work — whether manufactured all or in part in the United States and around the world?

The "tricky part" is that maybe it doesn't. The straightforward part is that it should. If it doesn't, fix the law so that it works as it should.

Several questions (1)

barv (1382797) | about 2 years ago | (#41789445)

1. How is this different to having an agent buy the books second hand overseas and having an agent bring them into the US? Because if it is different, then the point of sale must be proven.
2. If point 1 is found not to be different, then this would be a major rewrite of internet sales laws.
3. What about patented pharmaceuticals? I could imagine that big pharma might want some input into reselling of their patented drugs back into the US.
4. Isn't it time we started a political movement to shorten copyright & patent terms, and to reduce rights?

is maybe not so simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41789509)

prices are set at what the market can bare, so in poor countries the profit margin maybe lower than in rich countries
so the rich and poor both get books and the producer gets a decent average profit, each paying to their ability

when that is bypassed by someone parallel importing, the price set to the same worldwide it need to got up to get
the same profit, thus the rich countries get it cheaper, the poor countries more expensive maybe to point of not buying at all

that is of course depending on the naive assumption that the the profit is set at a resonable level required to make
producing books worth while

same issue for medicine, is it bad that some medicine is sold at close to cost in poor countries and the profit and development
cost made up by charging more in rich countries?

Re:is maybe not so simple (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41789893)

Why do we reserve the right to game international markets exclusively for corporations? If they can set the prices in different parts of the world however they like, why can't I choose to buy in different parts of the world wherever I like?
Why protect corporations while refusing to protect individuals? I thought we ruled that corporations are people, if so it's time we scaled their rights back to the same level as individual people.

Re:is maybe not so simple (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41789905)

Hate to respond to myself, but I want to clarify. I have no problem whatsoever with them charging whatever they want in different locations. That is their perogative. I just think that we should have the same right to buy wherever we want.

Re:is maybe not so simple (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 2 years ago | (#41789963)

Well we have to ask ourselves what we want. A single world market, or separate markets for each continent/state/region.
The answer for the rich is simple : A single market for workforce and separate markets for everything else - they can afford to buy things where they are chap, if they feel like it.
Now the answer for everyone else is not quite so clear, but either choice has benefits and drawbacks.

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