Sunday, October 08, 2006

According to Greg Beck (and as reported today on Techdirt), the doctrine of first sale is no longer valid for shampoo bottles, or at least according to some company called SalonQuest, who wants to make reselling your shampoo bottle online illegal.

SalonQuest isn't really seeking to defend its copyright here; they're just using copyright as the stick to beat someone whose actions dilute their market. The real "right" that SalonQuest is seeking to control is the right to control the market: they want to ensure that they and only they control the conditions under which their product is sold, probably to ensure that they don't lose the (highly valuable, to them, at least) marketing data that goes along with each transation.

Yet another example of copyright law being used as a lever to defend illegitimately-claimed "rights". The ability for copyright owners to leverage their copyrights into a monopoly in other areas cannot be understated, and yet our courts and lawmakers have done such a poor job of even recognizing this, let alone successfully curtailing it.