FILE: In this photo taken Oct. 8, 2011, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court gather for a group portrait at the Supreme Court Building in Washington. Seated from left to right are: Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Standing, from left are: Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. (AP photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON (AP) —Supreme Court justices are weighing copyright protections for publishers, creative artists and manufacturers in a global marketplace in a case that has attracted the interest of Costco, eBay and Google. The outcome has important implications for consumers and multibillion dollar annual sales online and in discount stores.
In arguments Monday, a book publisher faced off against a Thai graduate student in the U.S. who resold the publisher's copyrighted books on eBay after relatives first bought nearly identical, cheaper versions abroad.
The court seemed to struggle with whether it matters where the books were produced and first sold.
The justices' answer to those questions is of enormous interest to discount sellers like Costco and online business like eBay and Google that offer good prices on many products that were made abroad.