So I put my schweser materials up for sale on eBay and got several bids. Midway through the auction, I had the auction pulled. eBay sent me a form letter telling me that the Software & Information Industry Association had informed them that I was selling counterfeit materials, and as such, they pulled the auction. Several extremely frustrating calls to eBay later, in which I explained that these were legitimately purchased used study materials that I wanted to sell, they explained that I had to get in touch with SIAA. I mentally filed this away in my “obnoxious crap that I’ll take care of later” file. A week goes by, and then yesterday I get a cease-and-desist letter from the attorneys for SIAA. Again, it refers to my materials as counterfeit. Exciting! I wrote back explaining that I purchased my materials legitimately, would happily provide proof, etc. Tried to keep things polite and professional. Also called a number at the law offices and left a message explaining my situation. Got a call from the lawyer today. The issue is not that I was selling counterfeit materials; the issue is that I tried to sell them at all. Evidently, you are not allowed to re-sell study materials, as per Kaplan’s purchasing policy? I’m now being hit with a several hundred dollar fine. I’ve seen tons and tons of other people sell their Schweser materials online and am kind of blown away that this is the first I’ve ever heard of this. Anyone else have any experience or knowledge about this?
WTF is all i can say
A kid I work with sold his L1 material for 100$ just the other day.
To make things EVEN AWESOMER, the lawyer I spoke to clarified: I don’t even need to complete the transaction in order to be liable for the fine. I just needed to make an offer for sale and *attempt* to sell them. I then have to pay a fine of $375 [awesome!] and SHIP MY INFRINGING MATERIALS BACK TO KAPLAN. Are you serious? This is amazing. Again - anyone else with a legal opinion on this, or experience on the subject?
You are not counterfeiting, but I believe the license to use the Schwesser materials bans you from selling them. The interesting question is whether it also bans you from just giving it away. So you might end up getting a legitimate cease and desist letter that changes “counterfeit” to some other legal term that deals with selling intellectual property you have no license to sell (or maybe the legal definition of “counterfeit” actually includes this type of transaction).
Tell them to go screw. Those books are your own private property and you can do with them what you please.
I think we should get Schweser a link to this thread and see if they weigh in.
What specific items were you trying to sell, and where did You buy them from? If you were trying to sell legitimate printed books (with the hologram on the back cover and everything), then +1 on equity_analyst’s sentiment. There is no way that selling used books of any type is illegal. On the other hand, if you were trying to sell pirated pdfs-on-dvd, sketchy books you bought off the internet for cheap, etc then it’s a different story.
supersadface Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > To make things EVEN AWESOMER, the lawyer I spoke > to clarified: I don’t even need to complete the > transaction in order to be liable for the fine. I > just needed to make an offer for sale and > *attempt* to sell them. I then have to pay a fine > of $375 and SHIP MY INFRINGING MATERIALS BACK TO > KAPLAN. Are you serious? This is amazing. > > Again - anyone else with a legal opinion on this, > or experience on the subject? I would get a lawyer to f— with them. Hopefully you have a college buddy that went to law school or something that will do it for free just for the sport of it. Have them fire over a few letters basically stating that you have no intention of paying that and would gladly drag this out through court. No way they want to spend the money to continue - they are just trying a money grab.
Call the company and ask them directly. Get them to state that it is illegal for you to sell your own private property–I will bet you $100 that they will NOT admit that it is illegal, since it is not true. What their “Terms of Condition” state and what the law says are two different things. Go look at Amazon, there are plenty of used study guides for sale. Tell them to FO.
Wendy Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > What specific items were you trying to sell, and > where did You buy them from? > > If you were trying to sell legitimate printed > books (with the hologram on the back cover and > everything), then +1 on equity_analyst’s > sentiment. There is no way that selling used > books of any type is illegal. The books are all legitimate. I bought them from Kaplan/Schwesers website in January of this year for LIII. I purchased the self-study pack from Schweser with Video CDs, full textbooks, quicksheet, mock exams, and Level 1 & 2 refresher. I paid something like $1,100 all-in for them. I’ve got plenty of proof - the confirmation email, receipt email, bank statements, etc. Keep your thoughts coming guys - I appreciate the feedback.
Go look up first sale doctrine. Companies try to pull this crap with software all the time, claiming it is licensed, but the courts have time and time again shot this down. Take DVD’s, am I to believe that I can’t sell my used DVD collection just because the terms of sale tell me it is for my own personal use? Again, the courts have already answered these questions. Tell Schewser to go F themselves.
I think Kaplan’s legal position on this is very strong. You signed an agreement when you bought that material. Kaplan probably can not stop all the people from doing so, but I guess they want to make an example out of this for others. I guess selling them on ebay was not a good idea. That should have been avoided. Having said that, I would still call the lawyers, apologize and say that you were not aware and you do not intend to sell it and atleast get rid of the fine. Most of the cases, they will accept this offer. They just want to make sure that you are not killing thier business and as long as you can satisfy them , they will be happy to settle. BTW - These $300-400 could be laywer’s fees for sending that letter to you, which they are trying to recover.
Please formulate a letter to these azzhats citing the following: “First Sale Doctrine refers to the right of a buyer of a material object in which a copyrighted work is embodied to resell or transfer the object itself. Ownership of copyright is distinct from ownership of the material object. Section 109 of the Copyright Act permits the owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under the Copyright Law to sell or otherwise dispose of possession of that copy or phonorecord without the authority of the copyright owner. Commonly referred to as the “first sale doctrine,” this provision permits such activities as the sale of used books. The first sale doctrine is subject to limitations that permit a copyright owner to prevent the unauthorized commercial rental of computer programs and sound recordings.” US Government Publication 04-8copyright. Post the exchange here so we can mock these idiots and celebrate on your win since there is no exemption in the Copright Act for sub par CFA review books and study guides.
supersadface Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > The books are all legitimate. I bought them from > Kaplan/Schwesers website in January of this year > for LIII. I purchased the self-study pack from > Schweser with Video CDs, full textbooks, > quicksheet, mock exams, and Level 1 & 2 refresher. Sounds like this Software & Information Industry Association is way off-base in this case. You should probably phone Shweser for help.
I wonder how many other people got the same treatment as you. Create a class action lawsuite for those that got hit with a fine given the first sale doctrine.
lxwarr30 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > A kid I work with sold his L1 material for 100$ > just the other day. report him now! offer to wear a wire while discussing the sale … “hey Billy so them books sold like hot crack huh”
I like what Equity_Analyst proposed. I’d also ask for evidence that you were informed of kaplan’s purchasing policy and agreed to it.
Just because something is legal, doesn’t mean you can’t sign away those rights. If in the purchase agreement he VOLUNTARILY stated that he surrendered his rights to resale and understood what he was surrendering, then they could very well be within their legal rights. I’m not saying they’re right, just that they could be legally right.