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  #1  
Old 05-14-2006, 06:08 AM
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Posted By: jason

I don't know if any of our legal contingent can help but I have recently been threatened with legal action after selling a lot on e-bay.

I sold an image that was published in someone else’s book but which I actually own the original. As part of the lot, I was selling both the original image and a 2nd hand copy of the book that it was published in.

I scanned the front cover of the book and included it in the lot. The guy who owns copyright of the book is now trying to invoice me 2200 euros for not getting his permission to use the image of the book when selling it on ebay.

Surly authors cannot claim money each time someone sells a 2nd hand book?

I think the problem with this guy is a bit of green envy. I purchased the original image off of the author for a reasonable amount but then sold it on for quite a bit more and now he is steamed and wants to sue me.

Does he have a leg to stand on?

Please Help!!!!!!!!!!!

Many Thanks - Jason

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Old 05-14-2006, 07:28 AM
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Posted By: warshawlaw

If he sold you the rights and you bought a book he made and you are trying to resell it, it sounds like you may have a defense under section 109 of the Copyright Act:

§ 109. Limitations on exclusive rights: Effect of transfer of particular copy or phonorecord

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106(3), the owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, copies or phonorecords of works subject to restored copyright under section 104A that are manufactured before the date of restoration of copyright or, with respect to reliance parties, before publication or service of notice under section 104A(e), may be sold or otherwise disposed of without the authorization of the owner of the restored copyright for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage only during the 12-month period beginning on —

(1) the date of the publication in the Federal Register of the notice of intent filed with the Copyright Office under section 104A(d)(2)(A), or

(2) the date of the receipt of actual notice served under section 104A(d)(2)(B), whichever occurs first.

*****

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106(5), the owner of a particular copy lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to display that copy publicly, either directly or by the projection of no more than one image at a time, to viewers present at the place where the copy is located.

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Old 05-14-2006, 07:39 AM
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Posted By: Matt E.

Please give Ebay auction number or link so we can see for ourselves. thanks

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Old 05-14-2006, 09:08 AM
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Posted By: jason

Hi guys, thank you for your responses. You mainly know me as an early baseball image collector but in my pursuit of the earliest images took me into the daguerreotype collecting field too.

The item is a bit off topic (non sport daguerreotype & daguerreotype book) but I also have other published baseball images too that I was considering selling so hopefully, this thread is not too much off topic and is of interest to other readers that may face the same situation with their unique baseball items.

The item number is: 6276188961

http://cgi.ebay.com/1850s-Erotic-Scandinavian-Nude-Goddess-Daguerreotype_W0QQitemZ6276188961QQcategoryZ408QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Just to clarify further, I purchase the second hand book from someone on e-bay about a year ago (not from the publisher) and then recently I saw one of the original daguerreotypes from the book on sale on ebay. I purchased the dag from the publisher of the book and original owner of the dag and resold it one-bay with a copy of the book included in the lot. I included a picture of the dag (that I now owned – not him) and a picture of the books front cover.

He is trying to say that because I included a picture of his 2nd hand book in the lot that Iwas selling it in then I am breaking his copyright. If this is the case then if I were selling a 2nd hand Stephen King book on e-bay then he could take legal action? Or put it another way, if I was selling a CDV that was published in Mark Rucker’s book and included a copy of the book in the lot & included a picture of that Baseball Cartes book then he could sue me?

Warshawlaw, I don not have the most brilliant legal mind but could you clarify things for me – I am a bit unsure of the ramifications in your very kind response?

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Old 05-14-2006, 09:22 AM
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Posted By: Josh K.

Im not a copyright lawyer but I believe after skimming Adam's post, that if you lawfully own the book and image, you are breaking no copyright laws by selling it.

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Old 05-14-2006, 10:14 AM
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Posted By: ramram

Obviously, the image is your to do whatever you want with it...so the only question is - can you sell a second-hand book. Where would that put all the used bookstores across the country? What about Amazon.com that also sells second-hand books.

Besides, I don't think any lawyer would handle his case anyway, especially for a percentage of 2200 euros nor would he spend several thousand euros just to collect 2200 euros from you.

Rob M.

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Old 05-14-2006, 10:46 AM
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Posted By: Paul

He does not have a leg to stand on. Section 113(c) of the Copyright Act authorizes exactly what you are doing:


(c) In the case of a work lawfully reproduced in useful articles that have been offered for sale or other distribution to the public, copyright does not include any right to prevent the making, distribution, or display of pictures or photographs of such articles in connection with advertisements or commentaries related to the distribution or display of such articles, or in connection with news reports.


As others have mentioned, if this wasn't the case, nobody could include a picture of the copyrighted product that they were selling in their ads. It would be real tough to sell a poster or a statue.

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Old 05-14-2006, 12:17 PM
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Posted By: Dan Lundrigan

I am by no means a legal expert but in "laymans" terms I would tell him to STUFF IT!

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Old 05-14-2006, 01:19 PM
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Posted By: jason

I'll tell him to stick it where the sun don't shine! Cheers!!!!!

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Old 05-14-2006, 01:25 PM
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Posted By: drc

I think the author's complaint is perhaps not the resale of the book (he has no case there)
but the reproduction of parts of the book online. One can resell a novel, but one
can't reprint a chapter from the book on your website without permission. The pictured
parts of the book have little text (granted I don't German so I don't know what they
say) and, due to their age and that he wasn't author, the author doesn't own any
copyrights on the Dag photos. Also, during sale, one can show a picture of the cover of
the book and perhaps a quick snapshot of the inside. I assume the book is out of print.

I do think it is legitimate for an author to complain if someone scans large portions of a book,
especiallly when the pages have essential tables or conclusion. I think a few pictures of old photos
in the promotion of the sale of the book can be okay. It would be a particularly neurotic
author who wouldn't be happy to see his 17 year old out of print book still being trading around
and used as reference. My dad had a book that was published in Japan (in kanji) without his permission
or knowledge, and he has a copy proudly displayed on his bookshelf.

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