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Supreme Court To Decide Whether Or Not You Own What You Own 543

Jafafa Hots writes "The Supreme Court is set to decide, in the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, whether or not First Sale Doctrine applies to products made with parts sourced from outside the United States. If the Supreme Court upholds an appellate ruling, it would mean that the IP holders of anything you own that has been made in China, Japan or Europe, for example, would have to give you permission to sell it. Your old used CDs, cell phone, books, or that Ford truck with foreign parts? It may not be yours to sell unless you get explicit permission and presumably pay royalties. 'It would be absurd to say anything manufactured abroad can't be bought or sold here,' said Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment lawyer and Schwartz Fellow at the New American Foundation who specializes in technology issues."
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Supreme Court To Decide Whether Or Not You Own What You Own

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  • by gorfie ( 700458 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:07AM (#41594891)
    That would certainly deter me from buying products that were manufactured or contained parts that were manufactured abroad. People would be determined to buy domestic products (assuming they even exist these days). That said, it was clear that I could sell my car without permission when I bought it - changing the terms after the sale seems very wrong. If they implement this rule, they should specify that it applies to sales after a point in time in the future.
  • by AlabamaCajun ( 2710177 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:08AM (#41594895)
    Almost any electronic device and all autos made after the 50s or 60s that has an imported part of some sort. Do we take it to the next level with minerals and metals imported too? I think this has about as much chance of standing as a two legged stool.
  • That's crazy talk. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:11AM (#41594905)

    When something is sold, it is no longer the sellers, it's the buyers.
    This rediculous IP notion has gotten out of hand.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:12AM (#41594913)

    That would certainly deter me from buying products that were manufactured or contained parts that were manufactured abroad.

    But it would incentivize companies to build stuff abroad. Once they've imported it they can voluntarily give purchasers control over it anyway if that helps build sales, but it's something they can turn on and off to their own benefit. If they build in the US then they don't have the option. So why build in the US?

  • Re:Let them do it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:12AM (#41594919)
    Actually no, it will be the opposite.
  • by pesho ( 843750 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:13AM (#41594923)

    That would certainly deter me from buying products that were manufactured or contained parts that were manufactured abroad.

    Name one such product.

  • by usuallylost ( 2468686 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:17AM (#41594945)
    It sounds like they are gouging the hell out of their US customers if this guy can buy the same book abroad, pay international shipping on it, probably import duties etc. and still make $1.2 million dollars. Instead we have another case where a "rights holder" is trying to assert insane terms on the rest of country to preserve their business model. Let us hope that the Supreme Court hears this on one of its "non-crazy" days.
  • by cvtan ( 752695 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:17AM (#41594951)
    It's not just a problem with electronics. I might have Chinese light fixtures, or Mexican light switches, plumbing etc. in my home. Will I have to get permission from 50 different companies before I can sell it?
  • by 109 97 116 116 ( 191581 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:17AM (#41594963) Homepage

    I predict an obvious but subtle castigation of lower courts for it getting there at all.

    But when did we lose common sense? Can't a corporation think it's way out of a wet paper sack?
    Clearly the solution for them would be to raise prices abroad.

    This parallels drug importing I suppose as well. Same solution imho.

    Oh wait...nobody abroad would pay that much for a book? Then maybe you're gouging the US market and as a judge I'd say you've made your profit here via gouging and abroad by what you were willing to sell for under no choice but your own and what the market will bear.

    Tough Shiite.

  • by Coisiche ( 2000870 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:19AM (#41594975)

    So if upheld then Apple (or indeed any American corporation that utilizes offshore manufacture of products of their own design) could forbid resale of their products so that you could only ever buy new from them.

    Seems like a win for them.

  • by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:20AM (#41594989) Homepage Journal
    The Fuji vs. Jazz Camera, Lexmark vs. Arizona Cartridge Remanufacturers, and other cases have been rare examples of unanimous rulings by the Supreme Court vs. similar appellate court rulings on patent extension. I work in the re-manufacturing industry and am not too worried about the USA courts (though the Terminator-like persistence of foreign companies bringing the case that resale = patent or trademark infringement is frightening, and the Mickey Mouse rulings on Trademark are depressing). What's more troubling is the direction ownership law goes when the USA Supreme Court and European Courts no longer oversee 80% of all product sales. Chinese consumers purchase more computer products than the USA today, and if they take a Japanese turn in their court rulings, these corporations may become godlike, and the USA may be tempted to try to give our own companies (like Apple) similar power. See links to the cases above at []
  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:21AM (#41594997)

    Before yesterday I would have nominated "PETA Condemns Pokemon For Promoting Animal Abuse" as the batshit crazy story of the year. Now I think it has competition.

  • by P-niiice ( 1703362 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:25AM (#41595019)
    Exactly, and anything that benefits companies is good to go with this court. Thomas would snore in agreement.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:29AM (#41595035) Journal

    It will, unless very cautiously written, soon enough be supplying precedent for shutdowns on individual ebayers and whatnot.

    Also, isn't 'illegal importing' more usually what we call "Arbitrage" or "Trade", unless the goods imported are themselves illegal or relevant laws concerning customs duties and declarations were not adhered to?

  • by pesho ( 843750 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:30AM (#41595039)
    Do any of these products contain plastic, fibers, pigments, metal, rubber or electronic components? if so more likely than not they contain parts not made in the US.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:32AM (#41595051) Journal
    If we don't have an explicit treaty with the Goblins, everything made by Goblins would be exempted from the First Sale doctrine. Citation provided:

    From The Deathly Hallows by JKRowling:

    "You don't understand, Harry, nobody could understand unless they have lived with the goblins. To a goblin, the rightful and true master of any object is its maker, not the purchaser. All goblin-made objects are, in goblin eyes, rightfully theirs."

    "But if it was bought — "

    " — then they would consider it rented by one who had paid the money. They have, however, great difficulty with the idea of goblin-made objects passing from wizard to wizard. [snip] I believe he thinks, as do the fiercest of his kind, that it ought to have been returned to the goblins once the original purchaser died. They consider our habit of keeping goblin-made objects, passing them from wizard to wizard without further payment, little more than theft."

  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:46AM (#41595133) Homepage Journal

    the books are legal.

    it's reselling them that you need permission for, hence the stupidity of this case.

    I repeat, the books weren't unauthorized pirate copies...

  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:49AM (#41595171) Homepage Journal

    which is equally silly. essentially I shouldn't be able to take my jeans to a flea market because I bought them during a trip to USA? (levi's can be had ~33% of the price there vs. here locally, not kidding).

    legally the case is is sadly about who has the right for resale. global markets and all, consumers should benefit from it. if we can find a cheaper way to ship the products into our hands in whatever country we are in, then we should be allowed to do so.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:50AM (#41595187) Homepage

    Did the contract you signed to purchase the car explicitly say you have the right to resell the car and all of its components?

    But since we already have right of first sale, the presumption has always been that it is our property, and that we are free to sell it.

    This would literally change it so that everything is essentially licensed, and you don't own it.

    And, I'm sorry, but given what people pay for their cars, the idea that we would need permission to sell it (or almost anything else) is kind of scary.

    This kind of thing is truly getting ridiculous, and IP law will have fully jumped the shark.

  • by The Rizz ( 1319 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:52AM (#41595199)

    The 99% will not care, because they'll be too busy saying "well it doesn't hurt me directly, and therefore I don't care"

    Actually, since it kills every thrift store, second-hand shop, pawn shop, etc. I'm pretty sure "the 99%" are going to notice the problem pretty damn quick.

  • by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:54AM (#41595211) Homepage

    The lower court directly addressed that question and said that authorized importation of a work manufactured abroad would not be sufficient for the first sale statute to apply. Perhaps they went further than they needed to to decide the case that was before them, but the case is not really being misrepresented.

    While the Ninth Circuit in Omega held that 109(a) also applies to foreign-produced copies of works sold in the United States with the permission of the copyright holder, that holding relied on Ninth Circuit precedents not adopted by other courts of appeals. Accordingly, while perhaps a close call, we think that, in light of its necessary interplay with 602(a)(1), 109(a) is best interpreted as applying only to copies manufactured domestically.

  • by The Rizz ( 1319 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:55AM (#41595219)

    ... you honestly think corporations would limit themselves to that interpretation?

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:08AM (#41595345) Homepage Journal

    ...and yet a lot of people, on Slashdot, don't agree with you.

    I remember when Real Networks reverse engineered the iPod's DRM and shipped a program that copied Rhapsody (then owned by Real) music to the iPod. How people howled.

    Some, rightly, complained that Real's actions were simply propping up DRM and DRM is wrong (although Rhapsody is a fairly good example of a "good" use of DRM if DRM is going to exist anyway, but that's another issue...) But a lot of people were furious that Real had hacked "Apple's" iPod and that Real was being unethical for copying music to "Apple's" devices and it was quite right that Real would need permission from Apple to do that.

    The notion that, actually, an iPod belonged to the buyer, not Apple, and that it was the buyer's decision what to do with it was generally considered flamebait...

    The world is complex. Technology is complicated. I shouldn't have to bring my lawyer into Best Buy with me when I buy a fucking MP3 player. If I buy one, it should be mine, end of story, and I should be able to do whatever I want with it as long as I don't break the law doing so. You want me not to copy the firmware? That's fine, because I can't legally copy it anyway. You want me to not install my own firmware, or reverse engineer what's on it, or sell content I've recorded on the device using the audio recording feature (contianing no third party content), or paint it blue? F you, that's not your decision.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:09AM (#41595349) Homepage

    Oh goody! No more first sale doctrine! No more used games/CDs/cars/android-phones-tablets and on and on and on. You want a new one? Fine. Just don't think you can get away with selling your old one. Garage sales are the new black market.

    I think NO OBJECT should be exempt from the first-sale doctrine. It's an object. A thing. The patents associated with the things were exhausted with the first sale. Nothing else was manufactured. I think they're out of their minds. But there would be enough big-money interest in the US wanting to see this happen so they can justify similar protection in the US to "fight back" in the most patriotic way imaginable.

    The things I own, I don't own... I hoped I would die before that happened.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:10AM (#41595357)

    They can sell at different prices and deal with importation or they can somehow add some value to the more expensive sales. Maybe delivering them for free and on time, or adding in some service.

    What they should not be able to do is demand that my tax dollars make them wealthy.

    They have no right to make a profit, only a right to try to.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:11AM (#41595369)
    It would also mean that most garage sales would have to get raided in case there was a stereo or DVD player on sale and many donations to organizations such as Good Will or Salvation Army would not be allowed. Hurray! We can still put that stuff in the landfill though. I remember that appellate court ruling when it was mentioned here or on Arstechnica. At the time I wondered just how they could come to such a ludicrous decision.
  • by medcalf ( 68293 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:20AM (#41595463) Homepage
    It's Kelo, not Keho, but otherwise a spot-on comment. I would like to think that this would be an obvious, slam-dunk decsion, but after Kelo and Reich, I don't know that there are such things any more. Which, by the way, just points out the infinite danger of the "living Constitution" philosophy: it inevitably leads to the rule of man (that is, arbitrary and capricious rule, rather than the rule of law, which is predictable and not tied to personalities), by the mechanism of making the law meaningless without constant, case-by-case interpretation.
  • by dontfearthereaper ( 2657807 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:23AM (#41595491)
    In a world where patent trolling is rampant... you'll see it happen, and unfortunately, if the ruling is upheld, you'll very likely if not definitely see the following:

    - Pawn shops out of business
    - 'legit' used car market evaporates or used car prices skyrocket to nearly the price of new (with all of the extra money going to the IP trolls)
    - Trade stores (Gamestop, Trade It, etc) out of business
    - Thousands upon thousands of jobs lost
    - Billions of dollars in revenues (both tax and trade) disappear
    - If they make it retroactive, lawsuits and repossession of property en masse
    - If the law is applied evenly, the real estate market gets even more thoroughly screwed up than it already is (you sure that lumber and drywall is US produced? what about the wiring? light switches? ceiling fans? refrigerator? glass? vinyl/aluminum siding sheets? PVC pipe? faucets? the list goes on.....)
  • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:23AM (#41595499) Homepage

    This comment represents a really deep misunderstanding of the question before the court, which seems to be reflected by most of the comments on this thread, unfortunately. Sorry to pick on you, but you're early in the list.

    The misunderstanding is that this law specifically applies to products imported without the permission of the manufacturer. And it only applies to copyright, because copyright is where the doctrine of first sale applies. It doesn't, for instance, apply to patents, nor even to trademarks. The case turns specifically on the question of whether the doctrine of first sale applies to a product purchased in a foreign country, imported into the U.S. without the permission of the copyright holder, and then sold here in the U.S.

    So unfortunately this will not serve to boost American manufacturers, unless they can propagandize people into believing something that isn't true. But it will serve to further restrict grey markets, allowing copyright holders to continue charging different prices to rich Americans than they do to rich Europeans.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:36AM (#41595663) Homepage Journal

    ONLY corporations have PROPERTY RIGHT.

    Signed, United States, Inc.

  • by BetterSense ( 1398915 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:44AM (#41595773)
    Sure, at first, some people may notice that there used to be thrift stores. For a while. Some old geezers will say "I remember back in my day when you could just buy things, and then sell them--for cash!--and it was nobody's business but yours". But eventually, it will just be normal. Thrift stores will just be added to the list of businesses that aren't allowed to exist, and so they don't exist. And since they don't exist, nobody will care about getting the law overturned, because they will perceive no demand.

    After all, who can say how many stores are currently NOT in existence due to over-regulation? Can you even begin to say what businesses are ALREADY not in existence, due to laws? How many picobreweries, tobacconists, brothels, non-health-department-licensed restaurants, non-licensed physicians and dentists? How many cheap delivery services are NOT in existence due to the Post Office monopoly on first class mail? How many people WOULD be growing MJ in their backyard if it was legal? Exactly how many cab drivers WOULD there be in Dallas if they weren't effectively regulated out of existence so as not to compete with light rail projects?

    It's easy to say "this law is harmful because if we pass it, a valuable sector of the economy will disappear and thousands of jobs will be lost". It's harder to convince people to see the jobs and the economic sectors that aren't even there, that were never started, or that used to be there.

    Out of sight, out of mind. People don't miss what they don't have, and once the regulated sectors of the economy dry up, people don't even see the regulations as unreasonable anymore. If all the thrift stores disappear, it will just be another of a thousand cuts to our economy, and then people will sit back decades later and wonder why the economy sucks and blame the other party for it.
  • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:44AM (#41595783) Journal

    This would be the kind of court decision that would have Congress write an amendment codifying right of first sale, and having the House get somewhere around 418* "Yea" votes, followed by about 95* in the Senate. Obama would sign it, and roughy 50 states would ratify it.

    Not only would it be the fasted amendment ever ratified, but it would be a clear message that the Supreme Court can go to hell if they're going to fuck around with the way commerce has worked in this country since before it was a country.

    * there's always a few cranks that vote against the obvious flow, just to get their name in the press with a few quotes. They just want to grandstand, and nobody pays attention to them anyway.

  • Yes and no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:10AM (#41596029)

    I'm davidwr but I don't want to undo my moderation of the parent post. It was "-1 - troll" when I saw it, +1 insightful'd it, and by that time it was "2 - funny."

    If the Supremes rule broadly that the First Sale doctrine doesn't apply to items which contain foreign parts, you'll see a disruption in the marketplace, but it won't be pretty.

    SOME customers, notably some business customers who depend on the ability to re-sell, some governments looking for any excuse to "buy American," and a small percentage of individuals will insist on buying American when possible. SOME retailers will specialize in selling only products that their customers are "free to resell" but it won't become widespread, general practice.

    Here's why:

    Most large companies that control "IP" - studios, large software houses, etc., will make sure that their mainline products qualify as "made in part overseas." Yes, they may sell a "made in the USA" or "free to resell" version that has minor differences and huge up-front increased price so they can qualify to sell to governments and companies that insist on the "right to resell" but their retail products will prohibit reselling. Because they are willing to turn down business from SOME customers to protect their future sales from the resale market, they will essentially "force" most of America to either concede to the reality that they can't re-sell their CDs, or simply do without.

    My hope is that the Court will do the opposite and make it clear that people have the right to re-sell what they've already paid for.

  • Re:Let them do it. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zidium ( 2550286 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:17AM (#41596123) Homepage

    What's your reasoning?

    If this horrendous piece of judicial fascism becomes law against all that is holy and in the Constitution, then I would see it as a major boon to U.S. manufacturers.

    ANd if this passes, I will try my darndest to get my state (Texas) to re-establish its republic and get the fuck out of this forced-by-gunpoint union. And then I'm going to join the new Texas Armed Forces to defend the republic from both Mexico and the U.S. ;-/

  • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:19AM (#41596137) Homepage

    There are actually two opposing rulings on this case—if you read the summary of the question before the court [] from their web site, you can get a clear picture. But my point is that it doesn't apply to patents. And you should read the appellate court decision more carefully—it explicitly refers to "Importation into the United States, without the authority of the owner of copyright under this title..." IOW, not what you said.

  • by judoguy ( 534886 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:20AM (#41596157) Homepage
    Same damn thing as in the books. You only rent something, never "own" it. Kelo vs New Haven showed who owns your home. The county or city, not you. You only get to buy and sell the leases fairly freely, but you don't own your house. That's why you have to get permission from the actual owner to alter it. In most places in the U.S., you can't even replace your kitchen faucet without permission from the real owner. Nearly everyone in an urban area walking out of a Home Depot is, or soon will be, in violation of local laws and often don't even realize it.
  • Re:Let them do it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:26AM (#41596251)

    Except that any sane company is going to go out of their way to manufacture as much as possible outside the U.S. so that they get to decide whether or not you can sell it. If I'm an electronics company, and I can build the phones I'm going to sell in America, in either America or China, and you need the manufacturer's permission to sell something not bult in America, why would I build in the U.S.? If I build in China, I can force my customers to buy new phones because they aren't allowed to buy used ones.

  • by langelgjm ( 860756 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:38AM (#41596387) Journal

    There have been hundreds of thousands of students from Asia who knew the price differentials. None of us thought of exploiting it by arbitrage, because we knew it was "wrong". This creep from Thailand did just that.

    Actually, engaging in this sort of arbitrage is virtually an American tradition. The only reason there's a lawsuit here is because there's intellectual property involved. If someone discovered that they could purchase Widget X in Country B at a lower price than in Country A, then bought a lot of Widget X and imported to Country A to resell at a higher price, we'd typically call them smart or at least entrepreneurial. Not to mention that consumers in Country A benefit from lower prices.

    But since this involves copyright, normal logic goes out the window, and we're told that a book, lawfully purchased in Thailand, cannot be lawfully sold by its purchaser in the United States... because OMG WE NEED DIFFERENTIAL PRICING. You know what? Not my problem. Don't use copyright law to outlaw arbitrage. You want to make your differential pricing more effective? You could translate it into the local language, that'd be a huge barrier to reimportation and reselling.

    BTW, this is the exact issue brought up in the Omega v. Costco case - except there it was even more ridiculous, since the copyright was on a design that happened to be stamped on the watch. Currently Costco is apparently winning the issue, since they're arguing that Omega is engaging in copyright misuse in order to control distribution of a normally uncopyrighted object (a watch).

  • by medcalf ( 68293 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:42AM (#41596429) Homepage
    It says that they can take property for public use. So taking it to give it to another private party, who in turn promised to develop it in a way that would bring in more tax revenue to the city, is not public use. Obviously, the Supreme Court disagreed. The icing on the cake, though, is that the proposed marina development fell through and New London would have made more in tax revenue if they'd not taken the property in the first place.
  • by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:49AM (#41596491)

    From TFA:

    The case stems from Supap Kirtsaengâ(TM)s college experience. A native of Thailand, Kirtsaeng came to America in 1997 to study at Cornell University. When he discovered that his textbooks, produced by Wiley, were substantially cheaper to buy in Thailand than they were in Ithaca, N.Y., he rallied his Thai relatives to buy the books and ship them to him in the United States.

    I see. So when jobs get shipped overseas because labor is cheaper, and companies can make a higher profit, I'm told I have to accept lower wages and compete in a global marketplace. When a consumer notices that prices are cheaper abroad and buys books there to increase his profit here, the courts change one of the fundamental concepts of Capitalism (that you can resell what you purchase) to stop him.

    Can there be any doubt we live in a Corporatocracy? Can I get a fucking witness?

  • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @10:59AM (#41596589) Homepage Journal
    A ruling supporting this idiotic idea would kill American Manufacturing...
    Yes, it would be literally killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. You move all manufacturing offshore, lowering costs somewhat, but not as much as you think. Meanwhile, you lay off all of your American workers, you bring in all of these goods that are slightly cheaper than if they had been made in the USA, and... nobody buys them except for the rich executives who profited from closing down American plants. Except, there are not enough rich executives to buy enough of the product, so the company goes bankrupt and people in China get laid off.
  • by sargeUSMC ( 905860 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @11:02AM (#41596645)
    Man, I want to live in your United States, and not the real one that we have. Here's what would really happen in Congress if the USSC came down on the side of corporations in this decision: Nothing
  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @12:06PM (#41597373)

    ..., and I should be able to do whatever I want with it as long as I don't break the law doing so

    Whups. You were doing so well until then, too. Let me ask you a single, very simple question: Do you know all of the laws which may be applicable to you? No, of course you don't. Our own government can no longer count the number of federal laws alone. Many of those laws are badly or vaguely written. Did you know, for example, that if you possess a fish that is illegal to possess, own, transport, or consume anywhere in the world, that's a federal crime? That's right: Our own laws make references to the laws of other countries! Have you reviewed the laws of the other 176 countries currently on the planet as well?

    You can start to see the problem here. Right now, everyone reading this is likely doing something illegal. Any officer will tell you -- you follow someone long enough, and they'll commit a crime. Justifiably, even. You can't operate a motor vehicle for any length of time without committing some kind of moving violation. And that's just one example of one daily activity of yours... amongst dozens.

    My point is this: You shouldn't do (or not do) something based on whether you think it's illegal. The legality of a thing stopped being relevant a long time ago -- everything is illegal. In california, oxygen "is known to cause cancer" (old joke: Californian visits Minnesota and shortly after passes out. He is revived by putting his head under a car's exhaust). The law has degraded into pure idiocy, and anyone who still thinks it should form the basis of any kind of ethical or moral behavior is severely deluded or selling something. Do what's right -- you're going to pay for it anyway. Might as well be damned for what you really are.

  • by Digicaf ( 48857 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:40PM (#41598467)

    He's saying that when you "come up with questions automatically", that detracts from your cognitive listening skills because at least part of your thought is directed to the question and not what's being said. I have to agree with him. No matter how good you think you are, when you start thinking of questions while listening to something you take away some attention that could have otherwise been spent on listening and understanding.

    Most people who've taught or given presentations would attest that people who think they can talk (or think of questions) and listen at the same time are deluding themselves.

  • Re:Let them do it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:22PM (#41600431) Homepage Journal

    If, for example, a car has zero resale value by law, it will immediately be worth a lot less to a buyer than a similar all American made car.

    The Supremes would have to have several extra holes in their heads to even think about making such a ruling. They would destroy many billions of dollars in value with a single bang of the gavel. They would have a dreadful time sorting out the issue of anything bought prior to the ruling where the decision was in part or in full based on resale, particularly if the explicit purpose was resale.

    They would also wipe out major auction sites, any second hand store, all used car lots, and many retail operations. Destroying the entire underpinning of ownership in law is not appropriate for even the Supreme Court.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye