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Teacher Editor
Teacher Editor, Entertainer
Category: Entertainment
Satisfied Customers: 1325
Experience:  I was a magazine editor.
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Dear Friend, I have some questions about an online service

Customer Question

Dear Friend,

I have some questions about an online service I wish to provide. There are two online companies “” and “” that I have been researching closely.   These two download, buy sell and trade auto/visual media, many copyrighted, then mix and re-master then redistribute them as newly boxed creations. I have, however, closely noticed that they are very careful to keep the original copyrighted media’s content completely intact.

Questions: If theses two companies are selling all kinds of copyrighted and licensed video, classic TV, audio media and etc., and I am rather dubious that neither one is officially licensed for any of this stuff.   How then can they be doing this legally? Still, they have been openly selling, and adding to, their wares for years. If the powers-to-be are letting them do that, then what or who should stop me from doing it too? Is there something I need to do or know other than to bone-up one the “First Sale Doctrine”?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Entertainment
Expert:  Teacher Editor replied 5 years ago.
It is the job of the people who own the copyright to make sure that their merchandise is not infringed upon. Thus, they need to bring actions against the store (as one production companies who owns many movie copyrights would probably have rights to ownership of much of the material in these online stores).

In addition, the state where these businesses are officially registered (if they are) should take action. The attorney general of the state or the state's attorney can bring a copyright infringement action if there is evidence that they are breaking a copyright law in the state. In addition, since copyright law is federal, the PTO office that handles copyrights, trademarks and patents can bring an action against these individuals (although if they are really small and the damage is minor, they probably will not).

If you open your own business and violate copyright, you may get sued for damages from several of the owners of the copyrights and you will have to stop selling the titles right away.
Teacher Editor, Entertainer
Category: Entertainment
Satisfied Customers: 1325
Experience: I was a magazine editor.
Teacher Editor and 5 other Entertainment Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your quick answer. You pretty well answered the questions as I expected you to, under the circumstances. I am not trying to skirt or break the law,but to use it, maybe bend it a little from a consumers/sellers point of view. I have been reading (The First Sale Doctrine) and trying to make full sense out it. I wanted an opion, as it applied to my needs. You gave me one.

Thanks again,

Gary L. Williams

Expert:  Teacher Editor replied 5 years ago.
The first sale doctrine applies to items that you yourself have bought (not made copies of). Thus, you can sell your own merchandise but you cannot make copies of it and resell it.

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I was a magazine editor.