The DVR … and Tivo … YouTube … and independent films … are legal and popular, in part, because of a 1984 Supreme Court decision that established the precedent of “first sale”.
The legal terrain at that time included the argument that videotape itself should be made illegal because it might be used to make illegal copies.
That sounds silly, and it was shot down.
On the other hand, there is a practical point: if there was no videotape, it would be a lot easier to enforce and defend copyright. So you should be able to see the interest, if not the merit, in that side of the argument.
The precedent established, first sale, holds that if you purchase a legal, original copy, of copyrighted material … that it is yours to do whatever you want with. You can’t sell it for profit, but you can make as many copies as you like — whether or not they are later used illegally.
Flash forward, and the Supreme Court ruled this month that the principle of “first sale” applies to books as well. The case involved a Thai student in America, and the publisher Wiley.
Wiley practiced third degree price discrimination:* it sold the same book at different prices in different markets. In particular, it sold textbooks more cheaply in Thailand. No surprise there: lower incomes in Thailand are likely to make demand more elastic, and thus optimal markup lower.
But, the student saw an arbitrage opportunity: buy the books new in Thailand, ship them to America, and then resell them as mint condition used books. He made $900K doing this. Wiley sued and won. The student appealed, and the Supreme Court sided with the student.
How will this change the managerial economics landscape? Well, price discrimination will still be the first move on the part of managers. But, it may end up being less common in practice.
One thing to note is that this decision applies only to copyrighted goods, not to patented goods. So, pharmaceutical reimportation is still illegal.
* Some authors call this direct segment price discrimination.
The vXboy asked why the name Lloyd starts with two L’s.
I replied that I didn’t know. But then my male trivia gene kicked in, and I remarked that it was probably Welsh.
Sure enough, Lloyd is of Welsh origin … and the original meaning of the word is … grey … perhaps brownish … like the color of a mouse. it may have been originally used to identify people by the color of their hair.
P.S. And Gough, surname of a kid I was friends with in high school … means red (or red-headed) in Welsh.
Most of what you hear on CB radio is either tedious (truck drivers warning one another about speed traps) or banal (schoolgirls exchanging notes on homework), but at its occasional—and illegal—worst it sinks a pipeline to the depths of the American unconscious. Your ears are assaulted by the sound of racism at its most rampant, and by masturbation fantasies that are the aural equivalent of rape. The sleep of reason, to quote Goya’s phrase, brings forth monsters, and the anonymity of CB encourages the monsters to emerge.
This is from a lengthy, but worth it, piece on the prime of Johnny Carson.
In rhetorickairos is "a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved."
Kairos was central to the Sophists, who stressed the rhetor's ability to adapt to and take advantage of changing, contingent circumstances. In Panathenaicus, Isocrates writes that educated people are those “who manage well the circumstances which they encounter day by day, and who possess a judgment which is accurate in meeting occasions as they arise and rarely misses the expedient course of action". [emphasis added]
I write this because I recognize that this is an essential part of teaching macroeconomics. My feeling is that what makes a successful macroeconomist is the ability to recognize a current event as either something we’ve seen before, or something new … and relating that to students.
I’ve been doing that all week with the evolving situation in Cyprus (see SUU Macroblog).
The last time U.S. factory workers put in longer weeks than they averaged in February, Rosie the Riveter was on the assembly line and American GIs were fighting Nazis in Europe. …
“The workweeks are very, very, very long right now, on a historical basis,” said Michael Montgomery, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. …
Production workers averaged 41.9 hours a week in February, Labor Department data showed last week. That tied December 1997 and January 1998 as the most since May 1944, when full wartime production was pulling more women into factories …
This is yet more evidence that we have a labor market that has split between those who are employed and employable at current labor costs, and those who are not. We don’t seem to be having any trouble at all with the first group. Therefore, high and lingering unemployment appears to be a problem with either the benefits that a person brings to their potential employer, or the costs that they impose upon them.
Many people regard the following as a description of what’s wrong with the economy:
Another potential nudge to raise hiring is that wages as a percentage of GDP are near a record low, Labor Department data show. From the early 1950s until 1975, wages were at least 50 percent of GDP. They hit a record low of 43.6 percent in last year’s third quarter and ended the year at 43.9 percent.
I regard that as less of an issue. Compensation of employees is near historical norms. If compensation is normal, and wages are down, then the difference — benefits — must have gone up.
“We’ve reached a point where they can’t really reduce wages anymore,” Howard Ward, chief investment officer at Gamco Investors Inc., said in a March 11 interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance.” …
Don’t bet on it. Most employee benefits are still healthcare costs, and no matter what the White House says, we do not and will not have those under control any time soon. Mark my word, the share of wages will continue to drop.
Alvin Lee was the front man for the band Ten Years After, best known for this song that still gets regular airplay:
I’m glad to say they were a little before my time. Even so, my brother had a reel-to-reel tape of one of their albums that I used to play, and I seem to remember him going to see them in the early to mid 70’s.
By the time I came along, the teenage argument was who was the fastest guitar player. Younger names would be tossed out, and then some oldster in their 20’s would say: Alvin Lee. It may have helped that he was known as the “fastest guitar in the west” or the “fastest guitar alive”.
Most of the obituaries and retrospectives have emphasized the Ten Years After performance on the Woodstock album and video. Personally, I thought it had good bits once it got going after 2-3 minutes. But on the whole I found it self-indulgent.
That’s not a description I throw around much. But, on the whole, I think my tolerance for Ten Years After is on the low side because they were one of the most self-indulgent performers of that era.
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