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It violates laws of commerce. Certain commodities are restricted from crossing state lines through the mail. Primarily because of tax laws. Some of these laws are technical and arcane. For instance, in the Humanities fields, we were warned after 9/11 that translating texts (novels, poems even) from countries on the restricted trade list (i.e. Iran and the like) would be prosecuted, since such texts are also considered commodities, and fall under the NO TRADE rules. In this specific case, there is a law prohibiting the U. Pitt professor from mailing the package (a package purchased with university funds) over state lines.

Think of it this way: New York State allows you to purchase wine through the mail. Pennsylvania doesn't. If I send a bottle of wine to my friend in Pennsylvania, I have committed an act of mail fraud. I would have to pay a fine. Or, if the Feds win this case, go to jail.

by Upstate NY on Mon Sep 10th, 2007 at 01:32:34 PM EST
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