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selling JW publications

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I've seen a number of our publications on amazon. I have looked through the terms of use on the website, nothing about selling our literature. Is this something to be concerned with? I feel like it's not, but it feels wrong that people are paying for what Jehovah provides at no cost.

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There are tens of thousands on eBay. Some selling for thousands of dollars. Personally I agree that some may be taken advantage of by paying for something we provide for free. But I don’t see anything illegal about it. They are given free without condition. Even if they are to be sold. Personally I just hope it’s not some enterprising literature servant. 😂

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I’ve seen this before. Way back when it was discussed. If I remember right, sometimes a container carrying our literature goes sideways. The system looses track of it. Then, in time, it is moved along, somehow, and ends up being sold. 

Who knows? Someone may find the truth this way. Sort of pitiful. Like someone said, if only they knew. 

I want to age without sharp corners, and have an obedient heart!

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4 minutes ago, Bjern said:

Can't Amazon and eBay be contacted and informed that something illegal is happening? It does state inside those very publications that they are not to be sold..

Good point. I know the brothers choose their wording carefully. But, legally I’m not sure if reselling them is illegal or just discouraged 


(Brother Arellano is not a legal authority)

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We could consider that many JWs that die may have huge theocratic libraries and have family that are not in the Truth.  What *should* they do with all the books that are part of the estate?  I don't have a good solution and I agree it seems "not quite right", but the natural thing for many to do is sell what they can.  Even congregations do not want loads of books contributed to them.


Who knows... maybe someone who is apprehensive about asking a Witness for anything might be inclined to purchase one of our books from Amazon or eBay and they get interested in the Truth.  To be honest, I'd rather see our books being sold and possibly appreciated than see them end up in a dumpster.  I look at my bookcase and wonder what would happen to them if I should die?  I haven't even looked at any of my hard copies in over four years.  They just look nice on the shelf.

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We are not allowed to resell the publications. This is stated on the title page:

“This publication is not for sale. It is provided as part of a worldwide Bible educational work supported by voluntary donations.”

🎵“I have listened to Jesus in these troublesome days,

He lights up my path.

As I hear and obey.”

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Generally, it’s not illegal to resell an item that you have legitimately purchased. Once you have purchased something at retail it is yours to do with as you choose. Manufacturers tend to have little or no control over a product past the first customer they sell to. - https://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/226401


The “first sale” doctrine is an exception to copyright protection that allows you to sell a second-hand copy of a copyrighted work without paying royalties to the author or receiving permission to sell it. An example of a sale protected by the first sale doctrine is the sale of a second-hand print copy of a book. Sale of an e-copy of the same book would not be excused by the first sale doctrine because the sale of an e-copy requires producing a new copy. - https://info.legalzoom.com/right-sell-copyrighted-material-22476.html


Here in the States we have something called the “first sale doctrine.” It simply means that once a tangible copyrighted work (or something with copyright in it) is sold lawfully the first time, the original copyright owner no longer has rights over the physical item. After that, the buyer can do whatever he or she wants with it — sell it again, donate it, whatever.  That’s why you can legally hold a yard sale or sell computers on eBay. The resale right applies only to the physical item sold, not copies. - https://smallbiztrends.com/2013/03/resale-rights-you-bought-own.html


Just because the original price was "free" does not remove the right of "First Sale" - it is totally legal for people to sell literature, ours included, if they legally obtained it in the first place. So, as long as they did not steal the literature from the KH - if they received it in the form of a "placement" or inherited it or in any other way legally received it - they can dispose of it in any way they chose, including selling it.


The same holds true of a "shipment" of literature. If the vehicle (like a semi-truck) transporting a load of our literature is involved in an accident, especially one that caused enough damage that the truck cannot deliver the load it carries, the insurance carrier will become the legal owner of the contents of the truck when they settle the claim. They can dispose of the contents however they chose. In many cases, they sell the contents to people who specialize in reselling such things as insurance spoil and/or repo-goods. This actually happened with a load of those 2013 edition of the Bible when they were first released - many got upset and called the Branch. However, the sale of those Bibles was legal because they were "insurance spoil" and the Branch knew this.


We may not like seeing our literature for sale on sites like Amazon, eBay and such - but, since it is totally legal and has been going on since before such sites came into existence, we need to just move on. There is nothing that can be done about it.


The reason the GB does not try to stop it - they adhere to what Caesar allows as long as it does not violate Jehovah's laws - and reselling things in a legal manner does not violate Jehovah's laws.

"Let all things take place decently and by arrangement."
~ 1 Corinthians 14:40 ~

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Would this apply?

“. . .and we tried to prevent him, because he is not following with us.”  But Jesus said to him: “Do not try to prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”” Luke 9:49, 50

CAUTION: The comments above may contain personal opinion, speculation, inaccurate information, sarcasm, wit, satire or humor, let the reader use discernment...:D


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