Tue, Jun. 15, 2004

Offloading New Books

CK - Washington.   German law protects small book vendors and publishers by enforcing minimum retail prices established by publishers. Today, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals decided the issue whether the retail sales price also applies to sales of new books on eBay. Sevriens analyzes the decision in detail, and he, law blog, Handakte, and IUM, among others, discuss it further and provide background information, in German. A Culture Council expressed satisfaction.

The basic elements are simple. A journalist frequently sold books he received for free for reviews, on eBay. The court determined such sales to fall under the statutory principles that apply to the first sale of new books. A significant factor is the frequency of the sales which turns the seller into a book dealer. In this case, docket number 11 U (Kart)18/04, offering 40 new books over a period of six weeks was sufficent to render the journalist subject to the §3 of the Buchpreisbindungsgesetz.

See Nebel, Auction Sellers Anticipate Appeals Ruling, (May 24, 2004).

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