Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Will the Supremes Outlaw the Secondhand Market?

Back in 2009, I wrote about the CPSIA, a so-called consumer protection law that, if taken literally, would effectively outlaw any secondhand or small-scale sales of children's toys, books or clothing. I admitted to being an inveterate thrift-store shopper myself -- there's surely symbolic meaning in the fact that almost all of my books, clothes and home furnishings started out as someone else's unwanted discards -- but a ban on flea markets, thrift shops, used bookstores, eBay and other secondhand markets would probably hurt my standard of living even more than would cutting my household income in half.

And a ban on secondhand markets might just be coming to America, depending on how the Supreme Court rules in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley. I discussed the case and its legal and financial implications today at the Daily Dot:
Even if you don’t usually monitor political news, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the upcoming Supreme Court case Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley and Sons; the court will start hearing oral arguments on Oct. 29. Depending how the court rules, it’s possible almost the entire U.S. secondhand market will be outlawed: no more buying or selling used stuff on eBay or Craigslist, at yard sales or thrift stores – and maybe no more lending or borrowing in public libraries, either.

Read the rest here.


Blogger Charles Pergiel said...

No byline on the Daily Dot?

10:12 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

Huh? My name and a photo are there; maybe you've got overzealous script-blockers preventing your seeing them?

11:33 PM  
Blogger Charles Pergiel said...

It's there now, but I swear it wasn't last night. Honest!

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Nullifier said...

The Feral Genius asks, "Will the Supremes Outlaw the Secondhand Market"? Seriously, do you really have to ask? I mean, you know.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

I have a hard time believing things will really get that bad, Nullifier, though a few years ago I never would've believed stories about the TSA in 2012, either. So, no -- right now, I don't know.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Master Doh-San said...

"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself." -- Milton Friedman

12:47 PM  

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