RED ALERT! CALL TO ACTION! If you are part of the online reseller community, or regularly make purchases online from merchants in the Discogs Marketplace (or ANY other platform that specializes in reselling), it’s time to MOBILIZE! And you CANNOT afford to take this lightly!
A new bill sponsored by Rep. Gerald Nadler (D-NY), called the “Shop Safe” act, could and according to most experts on the subject WILL destroy the online sellers community as we all now know it. It’s long and confusing in places, but it focuses on burden of proof for not selling “counterfeit mark” goods, and according to a number of legal experts, this will detrimentally affect all resellers because it will put the burden on the MARKETPLACE rather than the SELLER to prove that said seller is not selling such items.
If passed, it is likely to utterly decimate, or even completely put out of business, popular reseller sites like eBay, Etsy, Craigs List, Discogs, and online manufacturing sites like Zazzle, Teespring, and more.
This is what some online observers and experts have to say about the Shop Safe act:
TechDirt editor Mike Masnick’s article (the full bill pre-manager’s amendments can be found at the bottom):
TechDirt legal contributor Cathy Gellis on the subject:
Eric Goldman’s “Technology & Marketing Law Blog article:
I emailed Mr. Goldman this morning about whether or not the vague wording in the bill could cause problems with online music resellers, and Discogs Marketplace in particular, and this is what he told me:
My apologies, I can’t provide legal advice. But in terms of the SHOP SAFE Act, I don’t see any reason why vinyl records wouldn’t be affected by the law given the broad definitions.
If you are involved in the vinyl community as a music collector, in the reseller community with online marketplaces, or also in the vintage community in the same marketplaces, you WILL BE AFFECTED by the terms of this bill, which officially entered the “mark up” phase yesterday – this is where they do final discussion on the provisions included in the bill before it is presented on the floor of the House or Senate.
Please check this out and get to work – contact your local congressperson and let them know you will NOT tolerate this act becoming law. If it does, it will be a blow to the internet so huge that it may not be able to survive in it’s current form. And we must NOT allow that to happen. You need to stand up NOW – if you do not, especially if you are making a living as part of the resellers community, everything you’ve worked for could be gone OVERNIGHT. If you do not know who your Congressperson is, you can find out using this locating page from Common Cause.
Please make sure this gets to EVERYONE you know who could be affected!I will continue to cover this issue in the days and weeks ahead.