Reselling Your Stuff Could Become Difficult - 8 News NOW

Reselling Your Stuff Could Become Difficult

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LAS VEGAS -- Selling your own stuff could become difficult.

This fall the Supreme Court is expected to hear an agenda item that could restrict your ability to sell clothes, electronics and more online and in a garage sale or resale shop.

Retro Vegas is a resale shop that specializes in second hand items and antiques.

Nearly everything in the store has a copyright -- and that's specifically the problem.

If the Supreme Court overturns a law allowing resale of goods, sellers could have to track down the original owners and give them a cut of the sale.

The Supreme Court could hand down a ruling to make you rethink selling that old iPhone on Craigslist or at a garage sale.

If the so-called first sale doctrine is overturned, sellers would have to know who originally held the rights to a product and possibly give them a portion of the profit.

"It just wouldn't make it practical anymore," said Aaron Lee, who sells used textbooks. "I mean, they already got their cut."

Madison Olive, who sells to resale shops, said it would be a hassle to try and find who actually makes the item in order to sell it.

A copyright attorney said the average consumer would take a financial hit.

"It increases the cost of the products," said Jennifer Craft, a copyright attorney wit Gorden & Silver. "They will likely have to pay revenue to the copyright owner."

Retro Vegas co-owner Marc Comstock said the ruling would wipe out his livelihood. With the number of items inside his store numbering the tens of thousands, the prospect of tracking down original copyright owners is overwhelming.

"I just can't even imagine," he said. "Where would you start?"

The ruling would also affect foreign products, requiring permission to sell anything made overseas.

This would have huge implications for those selling on Craigslist or online resale retailers.

"If the Supreme Court upholds the Second Circuit decision, how it impacts retailers like Ebay and Amazon, is that anytime they import foreign-made goods, they will have to seek the approval of the copyright owner before they can resell to the public," Craft said.

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